Canadians Love Listening to Music Online. We Just Don’t Want to Pay for It.

We Canadians spend a lot of time online.  A lot.  By some measures more than any other people on the planet.

It’s probably safe to say that much of our online time involves something to do with music.  It’s also apparently safe to say that we have some kind of aversion to spending money on music online.  From a Canadian Press story in the Vancouver Sun:

There are more than a dozen competitors to choose from in Canada, including free radio-style options such as CBC Music and Songza, and fee-based a la carte listening platforms with millions to songs to access, such as Deezer, HMV’s The Vault, Rara and Rdio.

A recently released report by the Media Technology Monitor suggests listening to music online is catching on with large numbers of Canadians. About 59 per cent of anglophones and 46 per cent of francophones said they listen to streaming audio, with YouTube being the most commonly cited source for seeking out tunes.

Another recent report, this one released by the Department of Canadian Heritage, also suggested many Canadians are interested in streaming — but most want it to be free.

This doesn’t bode well.  If Canada is to gain access to music online like the rest of the world, we’re going to have to start ponying up.  

But will we?  Are we cheap?  Are we frugal?  Or are we thieves?  Read more here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “Canadians Love Listening to Music Online. We Just Don’t Want to Pay for It.

  • February 4, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    It's confusing how people say that radio is free. I'm pretty sure that if a service provided good enough content, our beloved average Canadian listener wouldn't mind listening to ads or paying a fee to not listen to ads.

    Personally, I'm not so much a consumer of streaming music but I am a happy producer of it. I would be happier if more older official music videos made their way online and were monetized for the people involved (and then having other content aggregators actually link to the official version rather than whatever came up first in the search). Next I'd like simple SOCAN licenses for those who want to stream music as a hobbyist (non-commercial or very limited commercial), pay a nice yearly fee, promote Canadian talent…

  • February 5, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    I use Rdio to stream music to my laptop at work, my PC at home, my Sonos speaker system at home, my iPad, and also to sync favorites to my cellphone for offline listening. Best $10/month I spend.


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