A collective licensing agreement, representing more than 1500 major and independent record labels in Canada, has facilitated the launch of Galaxie Mobile by Stingray Digital, the first Canadian-owned commercial-free mobile streaming music service.
The agreement with Stingray is Canada’s first collective semi-interactive agreement and was negotiated by AVLA and SOPROQ on behalf of their members who represent the majority of recorded music in Canada, laying the groundwork for future agreements of its kind.
Music Canada, which represents Canada’s major record labels, spearheaded the negotiations, empowering AVLA to act on its behalf. Graham Henderson, President of Music Canada, points out that the major labels want to see more digital services operating in Canada as quickly as possible, “We aggressively pursued this pioneering agreement because we understand how cumbersome our regulatory environment can be, and we want to help services better navigate it. We hope the Stingray agreement sets the stage for other online and mobile services, and signals to the marketplace that Canada is open for business.”
“For digital music services who are eager to enter the Canadian market, it is an enormous benefit to be able to negotiate with one or two organizations rather than 1500 plus rights holders,” says Victoria Shepherd, Executive Director of AVLA.
“By enabling Stingray to clear all rights necessary with both major and independent music labels, we have created an accessible template for other semi-interactive services that want to come to Canada. In addition, AVLA’s independent members benefit from being at the ground floor of a deal that may otherwise have begun only with the largest rights holders. Developing the digital business here will remain an important priority for us in the months ahead,” adds Shepherd.
Stuart Johnston, President of the Canadian Independent Music Association welcomed the agreement, “This agreement with Stingray is an exciting and important step forward for the Canadian music industry, and we are hopeful it will serve as a template for other services going forward. Any agreement that serves to streamline the approvals process while providing a broad licensing deal for the benefit of our industry is most welcome.”
The new music service offers all of Galaxie’s 45 commercial and talk-free channels, already available online and via cable satellite and IPTV, on mobile devices. Interactive controls allow listeners to skip songs and purchase their favourite songs directly on iTunes via the Galaxie Mobile player. The player is available immediately in Canada for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and all Android devices.