Slacker has has announced that its ad supported free Basic Radio service is now available in Canada. This is a move that puts Slacker ahead of Pandora in offering its free streaming radio service north of the border.
A year ago, Slacker began offering free interactive channels and streaming to Canadians, but only for a 30 day trial after which listeners had to agree to pay $3.99 a month to continue.
Now listeners can freely listen to more than 100 expert-programmed genre stations or create and share customized music stations starting with either Slacker’s programmed stations or by artist’s name or song title. Interactive options include the “Fine Tune” feature which enables listeners to adjust the frequency of artists and songs and choose to hear more classic versus newer or popular versus fringe selections.
Competitively this is a nice move for Slacker. XM Canada, a streaming music extension offered by XM Canada and Sirius Canada which gave subscribers access to their favourite satellite radio stations online, was cancelled in November 2010 and replaced with an offering that forced subscribers to pay an additional fee. Pandora, the widely popular online radio platform in the US, has yet to offer access to listeners from Canada.