Radioplayer Canada: What you need to know about the digital radio app

Listen to your favourite Canadian radio stations any time and anywhere across the country on Radioplayer Canada. Getty Images

Radioplayer Canada is here, and it’s the only app in the country that brings together nearly 500 Canadian radio stations for your listening pleasure.

From news to music to talk radio, the accessible stations run the gamut, and are represented by media giants like Corus Entertainment (which owns Global News) and Rogers Media. It’s not all big names, either; Radioplayer Canada will also stream many college radio, grassroots and local stations.

On Wednesday morning, it was confirmed that Canadian public broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada is also making its radio stations available on Radioplayer, bringing together the majority of media outlets in the country.

It features over 400 Canadian radio stations, from coast to coast.

Sure, biggies include Corus Entertainment, CBC/Radio-Canada, Rogers, Pattison and Newcap radio stations, but there are more small players and community broadcasters being added every day, says Troy Reeb, Senior Vice President, Corus Radio & Global News.

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“The great thing about this is it’s the whole Canadian radio industry working together — save for one company — so there’s a single standard for where you can get access to almost any kind of format, any kind of music, any kind of opinion, and hopefully a lot of news, in one place,” he noted.

It will have radio content in both English and French, and is available on iOS, Android and desktop.

There will be a wide array of French-language stations, both private and Radio-Canada. Radioplayer Canada goes well beyond English and French, including multiple other languages to reach more of Canada’s diverse audience.

We’re taking our cues from the Brits.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

Radioplayer already exists as Radioplayer UK, and was formed five years ago when BBC Radio joined forces with the UK’s private radio broadcasters. Over that short time, Radioplayer UK has become the top-rated digital app in Europe and is currently being rolled out in territories around the world.

“The big players involved realized together… united we could win, divided we’d fall,” said Reeb. “There are a lot of new media players outside of our borders who offer very attractive options. We knew, in order to get the scale, we needed a really compelling listening option online.”

A shared effort by the radio industry, Radioplayer operates as a non-profit, and that’s how it’s going to operate in Canada.

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There’s nothing else like this in Canada right now.

It’s easy and quick to download. You can get it on your phone in under 60 seconds, and it integrates with most in-car apps and the Apple Watch.

“The way Canadians listen to radio is changing, and we’re changing with them,” said Julie Adam, Senior Vice President, Rogers Radio. “Radioplayer gives listeners access to their favourite local stations and allows them to discover others across the country like never before. With access on mobile devices and desktop, listening to your favourite station has never been easier.”

Reeb agreed saying, “It creates a new radio dial beyond AM and FM, and exists in the cloud, and you can take it anywhere and use it on any device.”

CBC Radio, already a favourite to a vast number of Canadians, is thrilled to disseminate their stations to the widest Canadian audience, too.

“Joining the Radioplayer family is a part of our commitment to ensure that CBC content is available to all audiences and on as many platforms as possible,” said Susan Marjetti, Executive Director, CBC Radio & Audio English Services.

You can listen live, or listen to broadcasts you missed.

Obviously, at first, there won’t be any archived episodes, but over the coming days and months, a repository of this content will build up within the app.

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It’s comparable to on-demand programming: your favourite Edmonton talk show may air in the middle of the day when you’re at work, but you can listen to it when it’s convenient for you.

“What it really offers is it allows you to access your local stations, it allows people who live in markets that aren’t served by a certain format to listen to stations from other parts of the country,” said Reeb. “If you happen to be travelling and you want to get the news from home, you can do that. You have the choice.”

Radioplayer Canada launches on March 1 across the country.

You can download the app here for Google Play and iOS.

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