In January 2016, Bell Media announced an exclusive partnership to bring the American media company brand iHeartRadio, North America’s fastest growing digital audio service with over 90 million registered users, to Canada’s evolving streaming market.
On Monday, iHeartRadio Canada officially went live, giving Canadians a free new service to access over 100 licensed Bell Media English and French music, sports, and talk radio stations across 54 markets. The service also offers more than 100 additional digital-only music stations, curated for dozens of genres and designed to suit every taste.
“iHeartRadio Canada harnesses the strength of Bell Media’s radio stations in addition to more than 100 exclusive, curated digital music stations, placing them all conveniently at the fingertips of every Canadian,” said Randy Lennox, President of Broadcasting and Content, Bell Media, who spearheaded the deal upon stepping into the role in 2015. “iHeartRadio is an enormously successful brand that will represent Bell Media’s radio strategy in Canada, in many incarnations, including must-see live concerts, events, and more.”
In conjunction with Monday’s launch, iHeartRadio revealed plans for Canada’s first Jingle Ball, happening November 25 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre. The Canadian version of Jingle Ball, also taking place in a dozen cities across the US, will feature homegrown superstars The Weeknd, Alessia Cara, Hedley, Serena Ryder, Belly, and Kardinal Offishall, who hosts radio show The Kardi Party for Bell Media-owned Virign Radio and syndicated nationwide via iHeartRadio. American acts Kent Jones and multi-Plaitnum chart-toppers The Chainsmokers will also join the Toronto lineup.
Over the weekend, CTV Two will broadcast the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival from Las Vegas, a two-night event jam-packed with legendary performers including U2, Sia, Sting, Britney Spears, and Usher; plus all-star collaborations, including Billy Idol and Miley Cyrus; Ariana Grande and Zedd; and Backstreet Boys and Florida Georgia Line. Throughout the summer, Canadian fans were given a sneak peek at the company’s premiere programming with branded events like iHeartRadio Fest (formerly CHUM FM FanFest) at Toronto’s Canadian Music Week, and the nationwide broadcast of the 2016 iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards.
iHeartRadio Canada is now available for free via the web, and iOS and Android devices. While details have not been officially announced, iHeartRadio is also expected to launch their paid on-demand streaming tiers in 2017.