MONTREAL: Cable operator Videotron has added Apple Music and Tidal to its Unlimited Music plan, bringing the total number of supported apps to 17.
It's a bold move as the company is caught in regulatory limbo over its practice of allowing its premium-plan mobile subscribers to stream the services without data caps.
The company launched its Unlimited Music streaming service in August 2015, allowing its customers to stream music from specific third-party services without it counting toward their monthly data cap, a practice dubbed as zero rating, also known as differential pricing.
The CRTC had earlier ruled that mobile TV services offered by Bell and Videotron violated the Telecommunications Act by giving preferential treatment to their mobile television services and created an unfair advantage. Those mobile TV services are no longer being offered.
But the regulator said Videotron’s data-exempt music streaming services are different because Videotron doesn’t promote its own application.
Unlimited Music will let Videotron Mobile customers stream music using popular music apps without using up any of their data plan. Recently added apps include Napster, Google Play, Spotify, Deezer, Stingray Music, 8tracks, Groove, Slacker, Radio Tunes, Bandcamp, Jango, Analekta, Digitally Imported, Rock Radio and Jazz Radio.
Unlimited Music is available across Videotron's LTE network, which covers nearly 90% of Québec's population and supports speeds of up to 150 Mbps. Understandably, the mobile plan does not include indiviidual subscriptions to the respective music-streaming services.