Around The Dial: Broadcast & Media News Today

News about media and the regulatory environment both inside and beyond Canada's borders.

MONTREAL: Stingray Digital Group Inc. is moving to acquire Classica, an international pay TV channel with a focus on opera, ballet and classical music and a catalogue of 1500 titles and 2000 hours of content.

The Montreal-based firm will acquire Classica from Unitel GmbH, which will continue to produce and deliver programming for Classica. Terms of the deal were not disclosed; however, La Presse pegs the deal at around $15M with about $8M to acquire the chain and $7M for content.

Classica is currently distributed by Unitel through existing partnerships across four continents and available to an estimated 20M subscribers. Stingray says Classica will complement its other classical music products acquired from Berlin-based EuroArts and Brava NL.

Stingray itself reaches about 400M subscribers in 152 countries through in-store and residential distribution platforms.

The transaction is estimated to attract as much as $6M in annual revenues.

-- Iain Grant's SOWNY radio board has published its list of the biggest stories of 2016.

-- Steve Faguy (aka Fagstein) has posted a personal reflection on his own life in an essay entitled "Are You Happy?" It's his own summation of 2016.

-- The Globe & Mail is trumpeting its new "Events" space on the 17th floor of its new digs at 351 King St. East in Toronto. "Our new event space will deliver sweeping city views, a stunning outdoor terrace and state-of-the-art technology. We’re looking forward to hosting a range of exciting Globe programming, along with advertiser events, executive summits, corporate retreats, community gatherings and private celebrations."

-- The CRTC plans to issue the following decisions and/or regulatory policies in the coming week:


-- GroupM, the world's largest buyer of advertising, has partnered with Spotify to study streaming media consumption with the aim to offer targeted ads to streamers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the U.S., the U.K. and Sweden.

-- Bitcoin began 2017 with its valuation exceeding $1,000 for the first time since December 2013. The digital currency has outperformed all central-bank-issued currencies with a 125 percent rise in 2016 -- Reuters

-- Digital ad spending climbed to a record high in the third quarter of 2016, with US advertisers spending $17.6 billion — a 20 percent increase from the same period in 2015.


Live365 returns, one year after going silent: Almost exactly one year after Live365 went dark, sending thousands of small webcasters scrambling for new platforms or giving up their stations, Live365 is back. Details are scarce, but this is what we know now...

2017 Predictions: Online Audio in the New Year: RAIN News is pleased to present predictions from 29 thought-leading guest futurists. 2017 will carry forward the audio industry's reputation for quick, disruptive change...

BPI annual report sees audio streams up 500% from 2013: The British Phonographic Industry released its official 2016 annual report. Total music consumption for the year rose 1.5% to 123 million album equivalent sales. The past year saw 45 billion audio streams served to UK listeners...

Worth Noting

The future of radio: Seven important trends: The medium will be transformed in the coming several years -- Media Life

What the NYT can teach radio...about radio: The article lists six moves The Times is making to reimagine its news product, from a memo sent to staffers last week from Executive Editor Dean Baquet. And the first four translate very nicely to many radio stations and the companies that own them -- Fred Jacobs

Jim Balsillie on how Canada is doing innovation wrong—and how to fix it: The former BlackBerry co-CEO and current chair of the Canadian Council of Innovators says Canada is still stuck in 20th century thinking on innovation policy -- Canadian Business


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