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Amazon Music Unlimited launches in Canada

Amazon has announced the arrival of Amazon Music Unlimited streaming service in Canada, which launched today with millions of songs, thousands of playlists and personalized stations. The new service joins Amazon’s previously launched Prime Music, the ad-free service available to Prime customers at no additional cost to their annual membership.

With Unlimited, Amazon customers can now discover new music easier than ever with more ways to access music through voice with Alexa on the Amazon Music app for iOS and Android, and on all Echo devices.

“We’ve seen such a positive customer response from the launch of Prime Music for Canada last year, and with today’s launch we’re excited to bring more customers even more choice and ways of discovering music with Alexa,” stated Sean McMullan, Head of International Expansion for Amazon Music. “We’re thrilled for our Canadian customers to start streaming with Unlimited today, and begin enjoying expanded voice controls to play music for every moment.”

A 90-day free trial is available now for eligible customers for a limited time, with plans starting at $7.99/month.

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Music Canada now curates Gold/Platinum playlists on Apple Music

Toronto, Feb. 27, 2018: Music Canada today announced it is curating music through its new profile on Apple Music. The popular Gold/Platinum certification and awards program joins a growing roster of curators on the service, which includes a variety of media publications, lifestyle brands, festivals, and record labels, including Music Canada member organizations Universal Music Canada, Warner Music Canada, Sony Music Canada, 604 Records, Last Gang, and Cadence Music.

Music fans can follow the Gold/Platinum Canada curator channel through the Playlists section of Apple Music. Five unique playlists are available upon launch, including Gold In Canada which is updated every Thursday with 50 of the latest singles that have the coveted Gold certification, as well as 2017: Year-End Recap, which features more than 300 songs newly certified in 2017.

There are three new all-Canadian playlists available now on Apple Music:

  • Canada Rocks The 2000s – a selection of Canadian rock and alternative hits certified by Music Canada that filled the airwaves and our portable music players in the Aughts;
  • Canada Vibes – a timeline of Gold/Platinum-certified Canadian hip-hop, rap, and R&B;
  • Forty 45s – a collection of past Canadian hits, originally certified by Music Canada as Physical Vinyl or CD Singles.

Music Canada first began accepting on-demand streaming data towards Gold/Platinum certifications with the launch of the Single Award in 2016. In the summer of 2017, Music Canada updated the guidelines for the historic Album Award to begin including Stream Equivalent Albums (SEA) and Track Equivalent Albums (TEA).

Check out Music Canada’s Gold/Platinum playlists on Apple Music here.

Follow Gold/Platinum Canada on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the latest certification announcements, award plaque presentations and playlist additions.

For more information:
Bram Gonshor, Music Canada
bgonshor@musiccanada.com
(416) 967-7272 x 0

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New global consumer research by IFPI includes Canadian figures

ifpi-ipsos-report-smallToday, IFPI released new consumer research from Ipsos that provides insights into music consumption trends around the world.  Ipsos studied thirteen markets, including Canada.  Internet users aged 13 to 64 were asked to comment on how they engage with music.

According to this research, Canada stands out as lagging behind other major markets in the consumption of music and adoption of paid services. However, 2015 sales stats released by Music Canada in April show explosive growth in premium subscription services, largely as a result of new entrants into the Canadian market.

The full global report and summary are easily accessed on the IFPI site.

Here are the key global highlights according to IFPI with Canadian comparisons:

“Paid audio streaming is growing: 71 per cent of internet users aged 16-64 access licensed music. Paid audio streaming services are growing in popularity, especially among under 25s. One-third of 16-24 year olds now pay for an audio streaming service.”

In Canada, only 2/3 (64%) of internet users engage with licensed music.

Audio streaming consumption continues to lag behind in Canada where only 27% of consumers are using audio streaming services, indicating an opportunity for significant further growth.  However, 11% are paying for it (as opposed to using free audio streaming services) which is up from 2015 (9%), a 22% increase.  Globally, the 2016 numbers are 37% and 18% respectively.

Markets like Mexico (64%) and Sweden (61%) stand out as leading the conversion to audio streaming, and in each of these 4 in 10 consumers are paying for streaming.

“YouTube is the most used music service: 82 per cent of all YouTube visitors use it for music. More people use YouTube to consume music they already know than to discover new content.”

Not unlike other markets, YouTube usage is very high in Canada.  86% of internet users in Canada used YouTube in the last 6 months for any content with 76% reporting using it for music related content.  Most of those users (85%) accessed YouTube for music they already know, rather than to discover new music.  The report concludes that free video streaming is mainly being used as an alternative to paying for music, as 49% of music video streamers do so mainly “because it’s free.”

“Copyright infringement remains a significant problem: more than one-third (35 per cent) of internet users access unlicensed music content. Infringement is changing, with half (49 per cent) of 16-24 year olds using stream ripping services to download music.”

Access to piracy continues to evolve in Canada as well with more consumers choosing stream ripping over downloading (cyberlocker/peer to peer).  Almost one third of all consumers (27%) continue to access unlicensed content.  Half of all 16-24 year old consumers report stream ripping.

“Young people are highly engaged with music, with 82 per cent of 13-15 year-olds listening to licensed music and the majority willing to pay for music.”

In Canada, 13-15s are far more likely to access licensed audio services (55%) and one quarter of them (25%) choose paid streaming.  Half of all 13-15s access pirated music (49%) with downloading (40%) and stream ripping (44%) receiving close to equal attention.

“Smartphones are moving towards replacing computers as the most used device for music consumption, especially in developing countries. Users of paid audio streaming services are particularly likely to listen to music on a smartphone.”

Complete results can be found in this IFPI report.

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Music Canada’s Amy Terrill discusses the recent isoHunt settlement on Roundhouse radio

Music Canada’s Executive Vice President, Amy Terrill, appeared on Vancouver’s Roundhouse radio 98.3 to discuss the recent settlement reached between isoHunt and Canadian and international music companies. This settlement ends litigation originally filed in 2010, and isoHunt has agreed to a court order finding them liable for infringing the rights of music companies in their recordings.

The discussion begins at the 31:25 mark. Listen here: http://cirh.streamon.fm/listen-pl-4015

For music fans and consumers, this settlement is a step forward towards a thriving legitimate online music marketplace. For those who build businesses by enabling copyright infringement, this settlement sends a message that they will face legal consequences for their actions.

Amy affirmed that the industry must remain vigilant on the legal side, but she stressed the need to work very closely with all of the legal services that are providing fantastic options for consumers. Canada is home to a vast array of legal digital services that support artists and labels.

In addition to the isoHunt settlement, Amy discussed the evolving forms of music piracy like stream-ripping, and how internet service providers can help combat copyright infringement. She also touched on copyright modernization, and the upcoming review of Canadian copyright laws in 2017.

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Canadian artists top Spotify 2015 Year in Music lists

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On Monday, streaming service Spotify revealed their 2015 Year in Music top lists, which find Canadian artists Drake, The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara and Francesco Yates as some of 2015’s most listened to artists in the world.

Proud Toronto-native Drake was announced as the most streamed artist of 2015 with over 1.8 billion streams this year and 46 million listeners. He takes the title from 2014’s most streamed artist Ed Sheeran, who in 2015 was announced as the most streamed artist of all time.

Drake’s 2015 mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late was the second most-streamed album globally behind Canadian The Weeknd‘s Beauty Behind The Madness. In the US, the order is flipped, with Drake’s album being the most streamed this year. Based on sales numbers, both albums have been certified Platinum in Canada.

On November 13, Justin Bieber released his highly-anticipated album Purpose, which helped the artist set the record for most streams in a single day of all time with 36 million streams.

The #1 most viral track globally belongs to German DJ Robin Schulz for his track “Sugar” which features Canadian labelmate Francesco Yates. Canadians claimed 3 more spots in the top 5 of this list, with Drake’s “Hotline Bling” at #2, The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” at #4 and Alessia Cara’s “Here” at #5.

The full Year in Music top lists can be viewed on Spotify’s blog.

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Napster’s subscription service launches in Canada

Napster, the digital music service featuring more than 35 million licensed songs, has officially launched in Canada. The service launched yesterday, offering on-demand access to the service’s catalogue for $9.99 per month. The service is available in both French and English, and is available on a wide array of devices, including iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Web, Sonos, Chromecast, and several auto manufacturers.

While many will recognize the Napster name from the turn-of-the-millennium P2P service that became synonymous with music piracy, the brand is now owned by Rhapsody and operates as a fully licensed subscription service.

Napster features curated playlists as well as personalization algorithms, and offers tailored music recommendations through the service’s Music Inbox feature. The service offers offline playback feature to allow subscribers to download music to their phone to save on data fees or to listen in areas without a connection.

“With a deep catalogue of local artists, hand-curated playlists, and the first music experience for kids, Napster is customized specifically for Canadian music fans,” said Ethan Rudin, Napster’s chief financial officer, in a release. “It was important to us that we enter Canada with a personalized music experience that has a complete catalogue of local, national and international artists.”

The service also offers Napster KIDS, a streaming music experience specifically designed for children. The KIDS feature allows children to safely explore age-appropriate songs and playlists designed for a younger audience.

As part of their launch, Napster is offering an introductory subscription for Canadians, priced at $1 for the first three months. For more information, see the announcement on Napster’s blog.

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Rithm Music Messaging & Streaming Service Launches In Canada

When that moment of choosing what to stream from a dense catalogue of music comes, who can you turn to for the perfect suggestion? Toronto-based streaming service Rithm has a simple answer for that – your friends!

Rithm is a free music messaging service that allows music fans to share track recommendations through chat windows and playlists. While the free option only allows for 30-second snippets of songs, Rithm also offers a monthly paid subscription at the low cost of $4.59 for full-song streaming.

After an initial launch in 2013, Rithm relaunched in its current form on April 2 with a large music library of 7 million tracks. CEO and Co-Founder Mike Wagman believes Rithm will likely attract a younger demographic who are accustomed to new mobile messaging services and can afford the low monthly cost.

While the user base is still growing, popular music sources like Dancing Astronaut, Indie88 and GoodMusicAllDay are currently active on Rithm and engaging with music fans in their chat windows with recommendations. Users can also share Rithm-exclusive (and admittedly, pretty adorable) animated emojis with their friends including several paid ones of artists like Steve Aoki, The Chainsmokers and Zeds Dead.

Rithm is now available for download on the App Store and Google Play.

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High fidelity streaming service TIDAL launches in Canada

CTIDAL_WebPlayer_MyMusicanadian audiophiles have a new option to get their fix of high-fidelity music: TIDAL, which offers streaming music in lossless quality (FLAC/ALAC 44.1kHZ / 16 bit – 1441 hbps), announced the launch of their service in Canada yesterday.

The service features a library of more than 25 million licensed songs, including catalogs of Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group, as well as a host of independent labels, plus more than 75,000 music videos.

The service is available via the web browser at http://listen.tidalhifi.com/, via apps on iPhone, iPad, Android, and can also be installed on PC and Mac computers. TIDAL is also available on home audio network players like BlueSound, Simple Audio, Auralic, and Squeezebox.

TIDAL features editorial content from music journalists, with articles, interviews, and playlists posted regularly at http://read.tidalhifi.com/.

TIDAL_iOS_iPhone_15 copy“We are big fans of Canadian music, and look forward to working even more closely with Canadian artists and the local music scene,” says TIDAL’s Head of Editorial Sveinung Rindal in a release. “Through collaborations with local magazines and music journalists we plan to showcase the best in Canadian music, such as our recently added Loscil and Ryan Hemsworth recommendations and the new EP from one of Canada’s iconic punk rock figures, Art Bergmann.”

To celebrate their expansion, TIDAL has created an all-Canadian playlist featuring a mix of “big guns” like Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, and Joni Mitchell, as well as “indie darlings” such as Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, and The New Pornographers.

The service is available now for a monthly subscription of $19.99, and is offering an introductory one-week free trial at for new customers.

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FitMix launched as one-stop music solution for fitness instructors

Canadian fitness instructors have a new option for high-energy music to power their spin classes and bootcamp sessions: FitMix Inc. is a new digital service offering a one-stop music solution for fitness instructors.FitMixPlaylist

Licensed by all of Canada’s major labels and top independent labels through Connect Music Licensing, FitMix leases continuous mixes of ten to twelve songs, which are mixed especially for exercise classes. As Julie from Fitmix described, this means the mixes are continuous, which allows the exercise classes to maintain their pace as there are no breaks between the songs. Each mix is timed between 45 and 48 minutes, so classes keep a consistent time.

The tempo of Fitmix’s songs are also designed to fit with exercise class routines, with the songs’ beats per minutes matching the desired intensity of the class. As the chart shows, some of the latest FitMixes gradually gain intensity, while others end with a slower song for the cool-down portion of the class.

FitMix is a welcome addition for instructors, says Julie, because it allows them to have a one-stop shop for their music, which is pre-licensed and allows them to spend their time working with clients instead of preparing playlists, which is generally unpaid work for instructors. The Connect Music License covers the reproduction of sound recordings, while the gym operaters can cover the public performance of the music with a license from SOCAN & Re:Sound.

FitMix releases are in mp3 format, which allows instructors to bring them to class on their mp3 player or mobile phone. All of FitMix’s songs are performed by the original artist, and are clean versions to avoid offensive language during classes.

For more information, visit their website at https://fitmix.ca/.FitMixBPMs

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