Spotify officially launches in Canada


Each year, Sweden exports $3.2 billion dollars worth of goods into Canada, including plastics, pharmaceuticals, minerals, and medical equipment. Today, Spotify gets added to the list, as the Swedish streaming giant has officially launched its service in the Great White North. The Canadian people did give the world poutine, so it’s the very least they could do in return.

As Billboard points out, Spotify rolled out the red carpet on Tuesday morning, making Canada the company’s 58th country worldwide. Rumors of the move up north actually began in June, when executives announced plans to “bring Spotify to everyone everywhere,” though no official release dates were ever revealed. Beta testing then began abruptly in August; the sudden timeline no doubt came as means to compete with Google Play, who had entered into the Canadian market back in July.

So why did it take Spotify so long to launch in Canada? Simple economics: Re:Sound, Canada’s royalty agency, had requested nearly 45% of a streaming site’s revenue. However, in May, the Copyright Board of Canada ruled that services would only have to pay 10 cents for every 1,000 plays. Compared to the US, that’s a lot less. As TIME revealed last year, the average song generates between $0.006 and $0.0084 per stream in royalties. Even at the very low end of the spectrum, 1,000 streams generates $6 in royalties, of which the artist and/or rights holder gets about 70%. That explains why more services have leapt into Canada in recent years, including Deezer, Rdio, Xbox Music, and more.

According to press for the launch, the service is available on mobile phones, desktops, and tablets, offering free access to millions of songs. Or, users can pay the $10 CAD for an ad-free experience and downloadable playlists. Because the country has such a high number of French speakers (predominantly in the province of Quebec), Spotify has bolstered the local music catalog, adding in a “comprehensive” list of French songs, both foreign and domestic. Executives explained this specific Spotify has been “tailor made for Canadian music fans.” Canadian users can head here for more info.

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