Bell Media’s launch of the iHeartRadio streaming service in Canada on Monday the 10th is tied to the announcement of the inaugural Jingle Ball pre-Christmas extravaganza taking place in Toronto on November 25th.
The event, presented by Bell-owned Virgin Mobile, is produced by Bell Media in association with Live Nation Canada and is to include an eyebrow raising marquee of international and Canadian stars including The Weeknd, The Chainsmokers, Alessia Cara, Hedley, Serena Ryder, Belly, and Kardinal Offishall. At least one other global superstar is expected to be announced shortly.
An accompanying interview with Bell Media entertainment and production president Randy Lennox makes clear the introduction of iHeartRadio to Canada is very much about branding and the app is the platform that can aggregate content for nationwide distribution. For the broadcast industry, the strategy and capital behind the integration is undoubtedly a game changer that is going to have competitors re-evaluating their own strategies in a market that has one of its own aggressively seeking a dominant position in the entertainment landscape.
“Canada’s first-ever iHeartRadio Jingle Ball and its slate of powerhouse performers demonstrates the momentum fuelling the iHeartRadio brand,” Lennox stated in a media release this a.m. “The iHeartRadio Canada Jingle Ball lineup personifies what iHeartRadio is all about: it’s an experiential brand that unites listeners and fans with radio in all genres, curated audio streams, television content, the biggest music events ever staged, and more.”
Brand Sr. advisor Rob Farina puts it this way: “Wide availability, richness of variety, and easy accessibility – these are just a few of the features that have made radio a vital and lasting medium. The iHeartRadio Canada Jingle Ball is just one example of how iHeartRadio is evolving the medium to the next level, delivering unique, live experiences that bring the music found across iHeartRadio to live audiences. Stay tuned for more great events, concerts, and exclusive offers!”
The announcement has the backing of key industry figures as well. Universal Music Canada topper Jeffrey Remedios has welcomed the brand, stating “we are pleased to be collaborating on bringing the Jingle Ball to Canadian music fans."
Sony Music Canada president Shane Carter adds that “we share iHeartRadio’s passion for diverse music experiences,” and Warner Music Canada president Steve Kane enthuses— “We’ve watched with envy some of the great iHeartRadio concert lineups over the years and couldn’t be more excited that Canadian music fans now get to join in the fun.”
Virgin Mobile will be offering its members exclusive priority access to tickets for the show from October 8 through 9 and tickets go on sale to the public on Tuesday, October 11th.
Pricing and integration of the event across Bell Media’s various platforms have yet to be announced.