Astral Radio, a division of Astral Media Inc., will launch an on-demand streaming music and music video service. Available online and on mobile devices, the innovative service is Astral Radio’s most recent initiative to reach listeners beyond the airwaves. “Astral Radio continues its long history of innovation in the digital space and we are excited to be the first radio broadcaster in North America to bring this on-demand offering to Canadian music fans in both English and French,” said Charles Benoit, Executive Vice President at Astral Radio.
Thanks to agreements with four major music labels-Universal Music Group, EMI Music Canada, Sony Music Entertainment Canada, and Warner Music Canada-as well as with SOPROQ, a collective representing the vast majority of independent producers in Québec and francophone producers in Canada, and Independent Digital Licensing Agency (IDLA), a digital distributor owned by Canadian independent labels and distributors, listeners will be able to stream music and video content online and on mobile devices. The service launches this fall across all Virgin Radio stations (Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver) and the NRJ network across the province of Quebec, and various Astral Top 40 formatted stations.
Astral Radio has a strong relationship with the Canadian music industry and this new offering will give music fans new platforms to discover and consume new music and new artists,” said Rob Farina, Executive Vice President, Content, at Astral Radio.
Giving precedence to emerging artists, Astral Radio’s new service provides the Canadian music industry with a choice platform across the country in both official languages. As well, the service will offer weekly releases, exclusive content, a music video library, customizable playlist functions, and multiple niche format channels. The service was created to fully integrate the possibilities offered by social media, enabling music fans to share their latest finds and favourites.
Astral Media, with a head office in Montreal, is Canada’s largest radio broadcaster (by number of stations) with 83 radio stations in eight provinces, and is a major player in premium and specialty television in Canada, including The Movie Network, Super Écran, Family, Teletoon, Canal D, Canal Vie, VRAK.TV, Séries+, Ztélé and more. Astral Media also owns numerous billboards for outdoor advertising through its Astral Media Outdoor division, and is a major competitor to CBS Outdoor.