Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: June 16, 2017

Liberal MPs to call for broadband Internet tax to fund Canadian media

A Liberal-dominated committee is calling for a 5-percent tax on broadband Internet services to fund Canada’s media industries, which are struggling to adapt to technological changes and evolving consumer habits. The move would add hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues to the Canadian Media Fund, which already receives a levy on cable bills to finance the production of Canadian content; however, as the story below points out, the policy suggestion is dead in the water.

Trudeau confirms no broadband, 'Netflix' tax

A recommendation to impose a new five per cent tax on high-speed internet services in Canada was promptly rejected by the heritage minister Thursday, just minutes after it was made public by a parliamentary committee

Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage presents report on the media & local communities

Disruption: Change and Churning in Canada's Media Landscape is the result of year-long study with testimony from over 131 witnesses.

“Witnesses pointed out the slow decline of local and regional print and broadcast media, and its negative impact on democracy,” said Committee Chair Dr Hedy Fry. “Local media allows Canadians of all backgrounds, cultures and opinions to be informed and participate in the democratic life of their country.”

The witnesses, drawn from print, broadcast and digital media experts and academia appeared before the Committee to provide their views on the state of Canadian media today. Many witnesses expressed concerns about the concentration of media ownership and its negative effect on the diversity of voices locally, regionally and nationally.

“We heard about the challenges caused by news aggregation, which often conflated verifiable and accountable news sources with 'citizen journalism', giving rise to the phenomenon of ‘fake news’ said Fry. "It was noted that the very nature of journalism is changing in the digital age‎ and it was imperative that all media follow the same ethical and regulatory guidelines."

The Committee makes 20 recommendations: Key is the creation of a new government funding model that is platform agnostic and would support Canadian journalistic content. Another recommendation suggests levelling the playing field across all platforms so that foreign news aggregators are subject to the same tax treatment as Canadian providers.

The Committee also recommends tax measures to allow deduction of digital advertising on Canadian-owned platforms and to assist the transition from traditional to digital platforms — Witnesses, briefs and the report can be viewed here

The departing king of the CRTC praises his own brilliant reign of fiascos

It is with great sadness that we now observe the departure from office of the man who brought broadband to Canada. Had Jean-Pierre Blais not served these last five years as chairman of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, Canada might today still be struggling with outdated technology, waiting for data like stranded passengers, waiting at the corner for a slow-moving busload of digital content to trundle its way over.

We were saved from this grim fate, we learned this week, by one man, Jean-Pierre Blais. He told us so himself during a speech on Tuesday — Terence Corcoran, Financial Post

Five Indigenous radio licenses approved in urban markets

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) granted licences for the operation of five radio stations on Wednesday that will serve the Indigenous communities in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto.

The organizations that will operate the radio stations are:

  • Northern Native Broadcasting, in Vancouver;

  • Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta, in Edmonton and Calgary; and

  • First Peoples Radio Inc., in Ottawa and Toronto.

Associated Links

Save local news

Foreign companies are dominating the Canadian news atmosphere. Click here for details on how you can help #savelocalnews.

Answering radio’s impossible challenge

Radio law demands these days that afternoon hosts must do the “impossible challenge.” (Unless the morning show does it. But that’s only if some other team has claimed both prank phone calls and the “Second Date Update.”) So here’s mine.

Very few acts manage to do this on their third major release.

Hint: the Killers couldn’t do it.

Kings of Leon haven’t done it, at least on the pop side.

Spin Doctors, because of vocal issues, physically could not do it.

Regaining career momentum after a disappointing follow-up to a major hit album is often an impossible challenge — Sean Ross, Ross On Radio

Worth Noting

Believe Digital on the block

At least two of the three major label groups have expressed interest. Other possible buyers include BMG, Concord and several private equity firms —  Hypebot

Midem in a nutshell

Some 4,200 delegates from all over the world were in attendance for the annual in the south of France. Among the highlights: keynote Q&As by Def Jam CEO Steve Bartels, Deezer chief executive Hans-Holger Albrecht, Tencent Music Entertainment Group VP Andy Ng, First Access Entertainment’s Sarah Stennett, a conversation with Latin superstar Daddy Yankee —  Variety

Here’s what Entertainment’s 1% earned last year

Drake places 2nd, more than doubling his 2016 total to $94M, thanks to relentless touring, plus endorsements with the likes of Apple, Nike, and Sprite —  Forbes

YouTube, ASCAP strike data sharing deal

The companies will combine their data to better identify and pay royalties on ASCAP members’ works performed on the platform —  Variety

Inside Eventbrite's $200M purchase of Ticketfly

Pandora ultimately accepted the Eventbrite bid that included $150M in cash and a $50M note payable to Pandora, with the sale expected to close in Q3 —  Billboard

CRTC tells Telcos to unlock cell phones for free

The new code also gives consumers 15 days to cancel contracts and offers a few other perks for big data users – Canadian Press

Leave a comment