Like many other music lovers these past few months, I’d been anxiously awaiting the launch of CBC’s new music streaming portal. I’m thrilled to report that the site finally went live on February 13.
Similar to its Radio-Canada counterpart Espace.mu, CBC Music offers a wide range of tunes – over 125,000 to be precise – on more than 40 web radio stations spanning 14 musical genres.
The launch comes on the heels of a groundbreaking agreement between CBC and the Audio-Video Licensing Agency (AVLA), which represents the major labels along with nearly 1,000 independent labels and artists. It means you can listen to continuous streams in specific genres, ranging from indie rock and ‘80s pop, to jazz and Aboriginal music. There’s even a stream devoted entirely to the great Leonard Cohen. What more could you ask for?
Another great feature is the selection of hundreds of CBC-recorded concerts, treating Canadian music lovers to exclusive performances by talented up-and-coming artists like Chad Vangaalen, Kathleen Edwards, and Tegan and Sara, or francophone acts such as Malajube, Karkwa, and Jean Leloup & The Last Assassins.
You can also browse by artist, program and podcast, or even check for upcoming shows. Updated by the artists themselves, the concert calendar is one of the largest of its kind in Canada. It’s a real treat for live music buffs across our vast country.
The site also provides easy access to CBC Radio 2 and Radio 3, while allowing listeners to stream interviews and musical numbers from such programs as Q, Strombo Show and Georges Stroumbolopoulos Tonight directly on the CBC Music site. I strongly recommend you have a listen to Jian Gomeshi’s December 2011 interview with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, winner of the 2011 Grammy for Best New Artist, or catch the heartfelt performance by Cold Specks, a young singer/songwriter from Etobicoke, during her appearance on George Stroumbolopoulos Tonight.
The site offers a staggering range of content, but is surprisingly easy to navigate. It’s highly interactive: you can read and comment on blogs posted by CBC’s most knowledgeable music programmers. Articles and playlists are updated daily. And those curious to know more about the musical tastes of CBC’s on-air personalities won’t be disappointed. It was in this spirit that host Mark Kelly from Connect With Mark Kelly agreed to share some of his musical picks. Take a look at his playlist. You’ll find an eclectic mix of tunes close to his heart.
Download the CBC Music app for your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch and follow your favourite community, read up on your top bands, and discover emerging artists.
In short, have fun exploring the new site – it will keep you hooked for hours!
- Sophie Bernard-Piché, Editor, CBC/Radio-Canada