First live RealAudio streaming of commercial radio in Canada
Friday, December 15th, 1995
The first live streaming in Canada occurred in mid-December 1995 with the live delivery of radio station CKNW’s talk and sports content. Hugh Dobbie recalls the launch in his 2015 article “Christmas Is” …. the program that launched a career in streaming commemorating the 20th anniversary. A division of the Dowco Group of Companies, dowco.com was an Internet Service Provider offering hosting and connectivity services and had recently acquired the first 100 stream RealAudio license in Canada. The CKNW radio station website was hosted by dowco.com and the station was excited about the opportunity to broadcast over the internet. Dowco and CKNW launched the service in stealth mode starting December 15, 1995 for a few days to ensure everything was working and then started promoting the service in conjunction with their annual Christmas Is programming. The key architects on the delivery side included Grant Christian, Ron Cuthbert, and David Phinney, all of whom were integral in the founding of INSINC. In Aug 1996, not realizing how much fans had grown accustomed to listening over the internet, the station suspended their RealAudio streaming service and were inundated with complaints until the service was restored in December of the same year.