Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Spotify Faces a Slew of Music Streaming Challengers in Canada, Including YouTube

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Spotify Faces a Slew of Music Streaming Challengers in Canada, Including YouTube

Article excerpt

Spotify to battle YouTube as it launches in Canada


TORONTO - Spotify signalled on Tuesday that it's finally ready to compete in Canada with the multitude of music streaming services already on the market, including, Deezer, Google Play Music, Rara, Rdio, Slacker and Songza.

But there's a larger foe the streaming pioneer will have to fight as it tries to sell consumers on the concept of paying a monthly subscription fee for music: YouTube.

Just ask Rdio, which launched in Canada four years before Spotify with a virtually identical service.

Back in the summer of 2010, Rdio's founders believed music fans would eagerly embrace their offer: for just $10 a month -- about the price of purchasing a single album -- users could stream or download millions of songs to listen to on a computer or mobile device. They could have access to just about every song and album in the world -- as long as they continued paying for a subscription.

Rdio has since appealed to thrifty consumers by offering some free versions of the service, which are subsidized by ads. But four years after it launched, Canadians are still not fully aware of what the company does, admits Rdio CEO Anthony Bay.

But he has a new sales pitch he hopes might work.

"What we found is if you say, 'It's like Netflix for music, except it has everything,' people get it. But it is clearly not as widely distributed and understood. That's been a little bit of a surprise," says Bay.

"I think once people get it, it is a remarkable value when you think you can essentially have everything on iTunes for $10 a month. The concept of Netflix caught on pretty quickly in Canada, and if you talk to Canadians about Netflix, people know what it means. If you talk to people about subscription music, in a sense they don't."

According to a telephone survey conducted for the Media Technology Monitor late last year, nearly two-thirds of the anglophone Canadians polled said they regularly streamed music online.

But only about one in five said they used a streaming service similar to Rdio or Spotify. …

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