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Slacker brings Canadians into the fold

After months of negotiating with copyright holders, Slacker Radio goes live in Canada.


While I write this, I am enjoying a custom-built station on Slacker Radio, and as of last night, Canadians can do this as well. The news is a big win for both Canada and Internet radio, and is thanks in no small part to BlackBerry, which has a huge presence in the country and a growing relationship with Slacker.

No doubt, many Canadians will be thrilled with this announcement, as I've had no small number of them e-mail me about various music recommendation and streaming services. However, Slacker won't be exactly the same in Canada. Residents will only have access to the free Slacker Basic Radio for up to 30 days and then have the option of upgrading to the Plus service for $3.99USD per month.

Most likely, the song catalog won't be exactly the same, either, but the major features will be. Listeners will be able to access more than 60 preprogrammed stations as well as create their own custom stations. The Plus service also offers ad-free listening, complete song lyrics, unlimited song skipping, and song requests. In addition, Canadians can access Slacker on BlackBerry and Android devices (iPhone/iPod Touch coming soon) with station caching for native playback (rather than power-hungry streaming). And of course there's the normal Slacker interface options: heart/ban, pause/skip, and "peek ahead" to the next track.

Slacker for Canada can be accessed at www.slacker.com.