By BEN KAPLAN, Postmedia News; National Post February 15, 2012 12:24 PM
CBC Music's new online service will also feature contributions and content from such popular music shows as George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and Q. Photograph by: archive, PNG
Two years in the making - including one full year spent negotiating an online licensing agreement with almost 1,000 major and independent record companies - the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation launched CBC Music on Monday with a party at its headquarters in downtown Toronto.
"It's the first time such a deal has been negotiated in Canada and it will enable CBC to be a true home for digital music," said Chris Boyce, executive director of radio and audio of CBC English Services. "While the terms of the deal are confidential, it's safe to say we'll have the widest range available of music to download and listen to online."
The initiative is the 75-year-old public broadcaster's latest foray into the music world, but this new project is unique because it's based entirely online. Consisting of a family of 40 Internet radio stations and 14 genre-based online communities, the free music portals will allow listeners to download music, stream podcasts, watch concerts and access CBC's immense archive. The websites will also feature contributions and content from such popular music shows as George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and Q.
"Adele had a huge night (Sunday) at the Grammys, but she made her North American debut four years ago on Q," said Q host Jian Ghomeshi, who, along with Molly Johnson, Buck 65 and Stroumboulopoulos, attended the afternoon event. "With CBC Music, we'll be able to put all of our content like that online."
Much was made about the collected websites' coverage of not only indie rock and pop, but also classical, country, world music and blues. In addition to blogs and curated playlists, the websites will feature concert listings and artist information pages that will highlight the music and biographies of 25,000 independent artists.