Stingray Digital

Stingray Digital Group
Traded as
Industry Media
Founded 2007
Headquarters Montreal, Quebec
Area served
Key people
Eric Boyko
(President, CEO & founder)
Revenue Increase US$ 71 million (2015)[1]
Number of employees
250 (2015)[1]

Stingray Digital Group is a publicly traded Canadian media and entertainment company based in Montreal, Quebec, with offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Israel, Australia and South Korea. The company broadcasts music and video content on platforms including cable and satellite television, IPTV, Internet, mobile devices and game consoles, and develops customized audio and digital services for retailers, hotels and other commercial clients.[2][3][4]


Stingray Digital was founded in May 2007 by Eric Boyko and Alexandre Taillefer, in partnership with Telesystem, following the purchase of karaoke company Soundchoice for $6 million. This gave them a catalogue of karaoke songs and a karaoke channel, allowing them to create The Karaoke Channel (now known as Stingray Karaoke).[3][5] Later that year, the company acquired cable TV commercial-free music service Galaxie from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for $65 million, renaming it Stingray Music.[1][4][6][7] Taillefer exited the company in 2010.[6]

In May 2015, Stingray raised $140 million in its initial public offering. The sale gave the firm a market value of $296 million.[3] It began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on June 3, 2015, under the ticker RAY. Novacap sold most of its stake in the company after the IPO.[5]

In 2014, Stingray launched the Stingray Music mobile app. In 2015, the service began connecting listeners to over 1,500 Vibes channels of music from a variety of genres. The service is a radio-style app aimed at passive listeners, without the option to listen to specific tracks on demand. The listeners can customize station to specific genres by applying up to three different filters from a list of options.[8][9] The number of Vibes channels is expected to grow to 3,000 by the end of 2016.[9]

Between 2008 and 2015, Stingray's annual revenue grew from $7.1 million to $71 million CAD.[1] By 2011, Stingray had amassed the world's largest catalogue of licensed karaoke songs for the Internet.[10] As of October 2015, Stingray reaches an estimated 135 million pay television subscribers in 127 countries,[11] and provides music playlists for 74,000 stores in Canada, including chain stores Reitmans and Subway.[12]


Stingray properties include Stingray Music, a broad list of channels available on cable television as well as through a mobile app and web player; Stingray Karaoke, a licensed karaoke supplier and an interactive television and Internet service; Stingray Business, a provider of in-store music licensed for commercial use, audio-visual systems and TV screens; Stingray Concerts, an on-demand service broadcasting live music performances; Stingray Music Videos, an on-demand music video service; Stingray Ambiance, a television channel showing relaxing scenery accompanied by soothing music; and Stingray Lite TV, a European pop music video channel.[13]


Music Choice, which launched in 1991, is owned by Microsoft, Arris, Sony Corp. of America, EMI Music Publishing, Time Warner, Comcast, Cox Communications and Charter Communications. Music Choice is in 72 million American households.[14] The company filed the lawsuit against Stingray Digital in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in June 2016 over patent infringement. The patents in dispute are U.S. Patent Nos. 8,769,602, 9,357,245, 7,320,025 and 9,351,045 pertaining to the on screen formatting of Stingray Digital's channels. [15] Stingray countersued Music Choice on August 29, 2016 calling it a "smear campaign".[16]

Canadian Businessman Evan Kosiner applied for and currently holds (as of October 2015) the only other favorable broadcast license to compete with Stingray within Canada.[17]

Acquisitions and partnerships

From its founding in 2007 through 2015, Stingray Digital acquired 18 companies, at a total cost of $150 million.[9][18] Its first purchases was Soundchoice, followed by Galaxie, from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.[18] In 2009, Stingray announced it would be acquiring the majority of assets in Max Trax from Corus Entertainment.[19] In August 2010, the company purchased Concert TV, a US video on demand service carrying recorded musical performances.[7] In April 2011, Stingray announced that it was purchasing London-based music streaming company Music Choice International, helping Stingray expand into Europe and Africa.[10] In May 2013, Stingray purchased the Canadian accounts of eMedia Network.[20] In 2014 Stingray acquired Lite TV from the Archibald Media Group,[21] and purchased Mood Media's residential digital music service in Latin America for $16 million.[2] In February 2015, Stingray acquired in-store commercial display company Groupe Viva.[22] In July 2015, Stingray announced it would pay $8 million for Netherlands-based Brava Group, operator of thematic television music channels Brava NL, Brava HD and Djazz.TV, with 35 million subscribers in 50 countries in Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean, with plans to bring the channels to the US, Canada and Latin America.[5][23]

In 2009, Stingray signed an agreement with Google to become a content partner by launching TheKARAOKEChannel YouTube channel.[10][24] In 2015, Stingray invested in App Direct, which develops online stores for business software applications,[25] and made a deal with Air Canada to be the music provider on its flights. Stingray also has hotel chain partners, to feed Stingray's music into guest rooms.[8]

On June 21, 2016, Stingray announced that it would acquire the MuchMusic spin-off channels, MuchVibe, MuchLoud, MuchRetro, and Juicebox from Bell Media.[26]


Year Event
2007 Stingray Digital Group founded by Eric Boyko and Alexandre Taillefer
Purchases Soundchoice, which becomes The Karaoke Channel
Purchases cable TV music streaming service Galaxie from CBC, later renamed Stingray Music
2010 Purchases Concert TV, which is renamed Stingray Concert
2015 Goes public, raising $140 million in IPO
Purchases Netherlands-based Brava Group
Launches music streaming service Stingray Vibes


  1. 1 2 3 4 Damon van der Linde, "Stingray Digital Group Inc plans global expansion after $140M IPO," Financial Post, June 3, 2015.
  2. 1 2 Nicolas Van Praet, "Entrepreneur behind Galaxie music is betting on TV's survival," Financial Post, January 24, 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 Doug Alexander, "Stingray Digital Raises C$140 Million in IPO," Bloomberg Businessweek, May 26, 2015.
  4. 1 2 "Stingray Digital to raise $140M in IPO," CBC News, May 27, 2015.
  5. 1 2 3 Damon van der Linde, "Stingray Digital Group Inc plays to a bigger crowd with first acquisition since IPO," Financial Post, July 24, 2015.
  6. 1 2 Paul Delean, "Stingray Digital in a growth groove," Montreal Gazette, July 24, 2014.
  7. 1 2 Grant Robertson, "Stingray goes live with deal for Concert TV," The Globe and Mail, August 4, 2010.
  8. 1 2 David Friend, "Montreal's Stingray Digital wades into music streaming waters," Toronto Star, July 6, 2015.
  9. 1 2 3 Bertrand Marotte, "Stingray ups ante in mobile music sphere with new version of its app," The Globe and Mail, July 6, 2015.
  10. 1 2 3 Grant Robertson, "Stingray Digital to buy London's Music Choice International," The Globe and Mail, April 4, 2011.
  11. Chris Dziadul, "Stingray's Brava buys Cultuur 7," Broadband TV News, October 6, 2015.
  12. Gerrit De Vynck, "Stingray says nesting its service in cable TV packages keeps it safe from Apple, Spotify, Rdio," Montreal Gazette, June 16, 2015.
  13. Robert Briel, "Q&A with Stingray's Eric Boyko," Broadband TV News, March 10, 2015.
  14. PowerPoint Presentation Music Choice 2016-06-7
  15. Music Choice Sues Stingray, Accusing TV Rival of Patent Infringement Music Choice 2016-06-6
  16. Stingray counters Music Choice’s lawsuit, calls it smear campaign Globe And Mail 2016-08-30
  17. Broadcasting Decision 2015-449 CRTC 2015-10-1
  18. 1 2 "Stingray Digital said to seek about $120M in IPO," Montreal Gazette, April 24, 2015.
  19. Corus Enters Agreement with Stingray Digital For Pay Audio Service; Broadcaster Magazine; 2009-02-13
  20. Josh O'Kane, "In Muzak battle, Stingray snags eMedia's Canadian accounts," The Globe and Mail, May 1, 2013.
  21. Robert Briel, "Stingray Digital acquires Dutch music channels," Broadband TV News, June 13, 2014.
  22. Dominique Lemoine, "Customer Experience: Stingray acquires Viva Group," Direction Informatique, February 17, 2015.
  23. "Music services company Stingray Digital perks ears for acquisitions," CTV News, August 12, 2015.
  24. Grant Robertson, "Singing for profit, in the key of Google," The Globe and Mail, July 14, 2009.
  25. Yuliya Chernova, "AppDirect Lands $110 Million at More Than $1 Billion Valuation," Wall Street Journal, October 7, 2015.
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