Stingray Music is a Canadian-based international multi-platform audio service that broadcast continuous streaming music and other forms of audio on multiple channel feeds. The service is owned by Stingray Digital.
Stingray Music primarily broadcasts music across over 400 channel feeds available worldwide. Each channel is programmed around a particular musical genre or theme. The channels cover a wide range of genres and sub-genres including pop, rock, jazz, electronic, classical, and more. Programming is primarily in English, however, multiple channels feature programming in French, Spanish, Punjabi, among multiple other languages. The majority of channels broadcasts music, however, other audio feeds are available that broadcast instrumentals, comedy, nature sounds, and others. The channels are broadcasts primarily commercial-free with no live, on-air disc jockeys.
Each channel has its own unique programmer, a professional from the music industry with experience and knowledge in the genre of music the channel caters to.
The service's beginnings in Canada started in December 1995, when the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was granted approval from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to launch a national pay audio service named Galaxie consisting of 30 channels in both English and French.
The service launched as Galaxie on September 10, 1997.
Because of service duplication, in 2002, Galaxie and Max Trax (a similar television service owned by Corus Entertainment at the time) agreed to provide a joint 40-channel audio distribution service to satellite and digital cable television providers called Galaxie Max Trax. The package consisted of 20 Galaxie and 20 Max Trax channels.
On October 1, 2009 the Max Trax brand was discontinued, as its owners, Stingray Digital, (who purchased Max Trax from Corus in February 2009) and the CBC merged the two services together under the Galaxie brand. Stingray Digital, who had been operating as the exclusive sales and development agent for Galaxie since late 2007, officially took over as managing partner in the service upon completion of merger.
According to Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) records, Stingray purchased Galaxie from the CBC in May 2011 for a reported $65 million.
On November 18, 2011, Stingray announced it had expanded the number of Galaxie channels available to be offered to distributors to 100. On January 10, 2012, Shaw Cable was the first distributor in Canada to launch 15 of those additional channels, the majority of which were focused on various genres of multicultural and multilingual music. The full slate of new channels were rolled out to consumers when SaskTel became the first distributor to carry all 100 channels in May 2012.
On September 30, 2014, Stingray announced it was uniting all of its properties under the Stingray brand, effective immediately, with Galaxie rebranded as Stingray Music, albeit with audio channels still Galaxie branded until early 2015 and the OnDemand music video service is still branded Galaxie with only some music videos Stingray branded.
Stingray Music is also carried in both the United States and the Caribbean via various television providers. Expansion began in 2009 with the addition of Stingray to various smaller market television providers in the U.S. and in 2010, Galaxie was added to WIV Cable TV in the Turks and Caicos as well as Trinidad and Tobago. In April 2011, Galaxie further expanded their reach in the US when American cable company Insight Communications chose Galaxie as their new cable radio provider to replace the defunct MTV Networks "URGE TV" cable radio service across their service area in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. Galaxie further expanded into the Caribbean with the launch onto Jamaican television provider Telstar Cable. In October 2011, Galaxie was further added to more US television services. Galaxie furthered its expansion into the Caribbean and Latin American regions with its launch on various television providers in a number of different countries including St. Marteen, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and 10 others. Stingray's main competitor in the U.S. market is Music Choice. On October 29, 2014, Stingray and AT&T, Inc. announced the launch of Stingray Music on AT&T's U-verse service, ranked 3rd in the United States in wired pay TV television content providers. Stingray's AT&T U-verse launch increased Stingray's distribution by over six million customers in the United States.
Stingray Music sponsors a number of "Stingray Rising Stars Awards" (formerly Galaxie Rising Stars) presented at a variety of music festivals and awards presentations each year, including Canadian Music Week's Indie Awards, the East Coast Music Awards, and the Western Canadian Music Awards, among numerous others. Stingray also sponsors an annual Songs from the Heart competition for new and emerging songwriters. The Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award is presented to the winner of the competition.