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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

CBC Music
CBC Music Logo.png
Type of site
Available in English
Founded 2012
Area served Canada
Owner Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Industry Music
Commercial No
Registration Optional
Current status Active

CBC Music is a digital music service, launched by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on February 13, 2012.[1] The service provides online streaming of 53 web radio services, including the existing radio networks CBC Radio 2 and CBC Radio 3 and 47 streams devoted to particular genres of music.[1] Some of the genre webstreams were already provided by Radio 2 or Radio 3, while others were new offerings at the 2012 launch.

A similar site, (formerly, in reference to former radio branding Espace Musique), is also offered by the CBC's French radio division, Société Radio-Canada.

In addition to the website, the service is also available as a smartphone application for Android, iPhones, iPads and BlackBerry.[2]


The service was launched shortly after the CBC reached a music licensing deal with the Audio-Video Licensing Agency in January 2012.[2] The site is one of the first large-scale ventures into online broadcasting to be available in Canada since the launch of Iceberg Radio in 1997; at the time of CBC Music's launch, popular international ventures such as Pandora or Spotify remained unavailable to Canadian consumers.[3]

Shortly after the service's launch, Stingray Digital, the owner of the cable audio service Galaxie, filed a complaint with the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, alleging that the CBC's access to government funding gave it an unfair competitive advantage over private for-profit services.[4] Noting that the CBC pays the same copyright royalties to SOCAN as the competing services and that it places a much greater emphasis on Canadian content than the commercial services, the CRTC dismissed the complaint in August 2012.[4]

In May 2013, the service sponsored the first CBC Music Festival,[5] which is staged every spring at Ontario Place's Echo Beach.

The service also mounts the annual Searchlight competition for unsigned emerging bands, and produces the television series CBC Music Backstage Pass, featuring live performances by musicians, for CBC Television.[6]


The music streams are organized into various music communities, based on the existing community networking model developed by CBC Radio 3, whereby fans and genre specialists can participate in blogging and forum discussion about genre news and artists.

In addition, the site also serves as a portal to the websites of Q and The Strombo Show, two of the most popular music-related shows on CBC Radio's terrestrial services, and some artists' music and concert performances may also be streamed on demand.[7]

In December 2013, the site also launched the first issue of CBC Music Magazine, an e-magazine distributed in both iOS and Android formats.[8]


Prior to the launch of CBC Music, Radio 3 broadcast an annual "Searchlight" contest, soliciting listener votes in a process to determine the "best" of various aspects of the Canadian music industry. The topic of Searchlight was different each year, with contests focusing on such themes as Canada's best live music club, best music festival and best music website.

Following the launch of CBC Music, Searchlight was relaunched as a platform-wide contest to determine Canada's best unsigned musical artist. Incorporating participation from both CBC Music and CBC Radio One,[9] the process begins with a series of local competitions produced by Radio One's local afternoon shows.[9] Listener feedback and online voting determines the artists who advance to the next round,[9] until the national stage of the competition begins on Q.[9]

When the list has been narrowed to ten artists, three established musicians step in as judges, who each pick their own favourite act.[9] Those three artists and an audience selection as determined by online voting advance to the final round as the four finalists,[9] following which the judges debate and discuss the choices before voting on the ultimate winner.[9]

The winner of the competition wins $20,000 in musical gear from Yamaha Music, as well as a slot on the bill at the CBC Music Festival.[9]

Winners and finalists

CBC Music Festival

The CBC Music Festival takes place in Toronto, on the Echo Beach stage at Ontario Place. Each year's event features a lineup of acts from several different genres, including the winner of that year's Searchlight competition, and sometimes includes a live taping of a performance by a CBC Radio comedy show.


Live Radio



  1. ^ a b "CBC digital music service launched". CBCnews. Toronto: CBC. February 13, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "CBC launches free digital music service". Ottawa Citizen, February 13, 2012. Archived February 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Adams, Gregory (February 13, 2012). "CBC Launches New Music Streaming Service". Exclaim!. Ian Danzig. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Hudson, Alex (August 15, 2012). "Challenges to CBC Music Streaming Service Rejected by CRTC". Exclaim!. Ian Danzig. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  5. ^ Skinner, Jesse (May 23, 2013). "CBC at Echo Beach 2013". Toro Magazine: Interviews. TORO. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  6. ^ "CBC music expands reach with festival at Echo Beach". Toronto Star, May 24, 2013.
  7. ^ "CBC unveils free online music streaming site". Winnipeg Free Press, February 13, 2012.
  8. ^ "Introducing the CBC Music Magazine". CBC Music, December 23, 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "Searchlight: The hunt for Canada's best artist starts today". CBC News, March 16, 2015.
  10. ^ "Searchlight 2013 winner: Canada’s best new artist is... SHERMAN DOWNEY AND THE AMBIGUOUS CASE!". CBC Music, April 12, 2013.
  11. ^ "Lauren Mann and The Fairly Odd Folk win CBC's Searchlight contest". CBC News, May 8, 2014.
  12. ^ Searchlight - Orange O'Clock crowned Canada's best new act. May 15, 2015. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  13. ^ "Meet CBC Music Searchlight winner Desirée Dawson". Toronto Star, May 27, 2016.
  14. ^ "The Long War takes home Searchlight 2017 title". Q, April 10, 2017.

External links

This page was last edited on 3 October 2017, at 20:34.
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