Quebec telecom provider Videotron is offering cost relief to its customers worried about music streaming draining their mobile data.
The carrier says it will no longer count several popular streaming music services towards its subscribers' monthly data packages if they're signed up for its new Unlimited Music service.
That means Videotron subscribers listening to music through Stingray, Rdio, Google Play, Deezer and Spotify can now stream as much music as they like without facing extra charges.
It's the first time a Canadian wireless carrier has eliminated one of the most common complaints of streaming music fans — that playing too many songs can drive their data usage through the roof, costing them extra money.
Streaming music services have been rising in popularity over the past year, offering instant access to huge libraries of music for a monthly subscription charge or for free with advertisements inserted between the songs.
"More and more consumers are making their mobile device the nerve centre of their entertainment system and their constant electronic companion," said Myrianne Collin, senior vice president of strategy and marketing at Videotron.
"We want to get ahead of our customers' needs once again by bringing them a unique, innovative service."
Some streaming music companies have tried to alleviate the hindrance of data usage by giving users the option to save music to their phones while linked to a Wi-Fi connection, effectively eliminating the usage of data altogether.
Not every streaming music service available in Canada qualifies for the Videotron data reprieve, however. Apple Music isn't included on the company's list of eligible services, and neither is Songza, though Videotron said the latter will be added in the coming weeks.
Fellow wireless carrier Fido, which is owned by Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI), has a partnership with Spotify which bundles a commercial-free version of the service with its monthly plans. Unlike Videotron, Fido still counts streaming music as part of its customer's data package.
Videotron, a division of Quebecor (TSX:QBR.B), said Unlimited Music will be available to subscribers of its Canadian premium wireless plan with two GB of data or its Internet and mobile combination package, which includes at least one GB of data each month.
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David Friend, The Canadian Press