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Juno Awards: Feist, Michael Buble Win Big in Canada

Canadians will now have access to Google Play Music’s free ad-supported streaming service that has been available in the US since June, and the podcast portal that has been in the U.S. for a month.

The two services are now only available in North America, not the 58 other countries where the subscription service is available. Google Play Music would not disclose to Billboard how many subscribers there are in Canada or globally, but says the two-year-old service has doubled its number of subscribers in the last year.

“We had to work with our label partners here to get that ability to launch this in Canada,” Danny Cohen, product manager, Google Play Music told Billboard. Jason Kee, public policy and government relations counsel with Google Canada, told Billboard rates are determined by the Copyright Board in Ottawa, unless separate deals are negotiated.

The announcement of the two new services in Canada was made at the Google Play Music offices in Toronto.

“Until today, Google Play Music has only be available to subscribers in Canada,” said product manager Peter Asbill, one of the four Songza co-founders who sold the company to Google in 2014. The subscription fee is $9.99 (CAD). “… As of 3 p.m. [ET] we are launching a free ad-supported tier of Google Play Music to welcome more Canadians into our service. There is no credit card required; there is no reason not to try it.”

“Of course at Play Music, we will continue to build our service specifically for our Canadian music listeners,” added Ashbill. “We love working with our Canadian experts and we love making stations for inhaling the beautiful spring air on the sea wall in Vancouver, for pre-gaming with your friends before a big night out in Toronto or for cruising around Mile End in Montreal.”

Another Songza co-founder Eric Davich, now product marketing manager at Google Play Music, said the portal for podcasters is now available to Canadians. “Podcasters in Canada can start uploading podcasts now and when we open up the platform to our listeners in a few months, podcasts will be available for free users as well as paid subscribers, adding to the way that we’re investing in Google Play music.”