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Music streaming service Spotify says it's launching in Canada in coming months

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TORONTO - The online music streaming service Spotify is hinting that it will be coming to Canada soon.

The company, which was founded by Swedish entrepreneur Daniel Ek in 2006, pioneered the concept of granting Internet users access to a huge catalogue of music they could freely stream without having to purchase songs or albums a la carte.

Spotify had signalled in 2009 that it was looking to move into Canada within months but never did. But a number of competitors did launch in Canada in recent years, including Deezer, Rara, Rdio, Slacker, and most recently, Google Play Music.

Other online services like Songza, which Google purchased earlier this month, allow the streaming of curated playlists of music for free, but users can't play albums of their choice.

No launch date for Spotify in Canada has been released but the company says users will start getting access to the service in the "coming months." Canadians can register for early access at Spotify.ca.

In the U.S., users can use the service for free with advertisements slipped in between songs, or pay $9.99 a month for ad-free access, the ability to listen to music offline, and higher quality streams.

According to a telephone survey conducted for the Media Technology Monitor late last year, nearly two-thirds of anglophone Canadians polled said they regularly streamed music online, which was up from 61 per cent in 2012 and 57 per cent in 2011.

The most popular source for listening to music for free online was YouTube, with 53 per cent of the respondents saying they streamed tunes that way. About one in five said they used a streaming service like Spotify.

The Media Technology Monitor commissioned Forum Research Inc. to speak with 4,009 anglophones by phone between Oct. 7 and Dec. 1, 2013. The survey results are considered accurate within 1.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

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