Media Beat: April 19, 2017

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

CRTC unfurls new three-year plan

The regulator has mapped out its territory through 2020 in an expansive document that promises changes to the CBC, French vocal music regs, and the implementation of an independent local news fund.

Also cited: Establishing a set-top box audience measurement system, issuance of licence renewals for English-language TV services owned by Bell Media, Corus Entertainment, Rogers Media and remaining Shaw Media assets, and removal of the remaining genre protections from independent programming licenses.

The document includes data showing small declines in TV hours tuned by 12-17 and 18-34-year-olds, a marginal increase in YouTube viewership between 2014 and 2015, and small increases in AM/FM and podcast listenership in the same period.

The full plan can be found on the CRTC website.

Canada’s analogue broadcasting policy makes no sense in a digital world

Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly travels to California this week with an agenda that includes meetings with Internet giants such as Google and Facebook.

Given the recent announcement in the budget that the government plans to “review and modernize” the Broadcasting Act and Telecommunications Act, the discussions may help shape an issue that could have a profound impact on the Internet in Canada as there are concerns the government may attempt to shoehorn Canadian cultural policies into telecommunications law.

Transcontinental selling 93 regional and local newspapers

The Quebecor subsidiary is placing its local and regional newspapers in Quebec and Ontario on the block.

The company says the process will take several months and follows the sale of media assets in Saskatchewan in 2016 and 28 publications and four printing plants in the Maritimes to SaltWire Network last week.

“As a long-time publisher, printer and distributor of local and regional newspapers, TC Transcontinental will remain engaged in this industry,” company president and CEO François Olivier said in a statement. “The Corporation plans to conclude agreements with potential acquirers for the printing and distribution of the newspapers. It will also continue to be the publisher of newspapers that may remain unsold.” 

The only people who matter at Fox News Channel are finally leaning toward dumping Bill O'Reilly

The move, with just six days to go before O'Reilly is scheduled to return from vacation, comes as Fox News' midtown headquarters have been beset by anti-O'Reilly demonstrators and the loss of tens of millions in advertising money following a New York Times report that O'Reilly and Fox News paid out $13M to former female Fox News employees who alleged O'Reilly sexually or verbally harassed them.

Amplifi Media and jacapps form SonicAi to build radio skills for smart devices

Audio content and marketing company Amplifi Media is joining with mobile app builder jacapps to develop voice-activated "skills" for radio listening in Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices.

7digital acquires aggregator FlowRadio

The music platform has purchased the aggregator of live radio stations, on-demand radio programs and podcasts. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Spotify branded moments can now be targeted to time of day

The music streaming platform is expanding its "branded moments" ad units. This product allows a company to sponsor an ad-free listening option. The new targeting feature allows brands to focus their moment to a specific time of day.

Music meets neuroscience: A glimpse at the possible future of personalised listening

Great music taps into our feelings in ways that seem impossible to identify. An article in Quartz examined how much science there can be behind music, with an investigation of a trend that uses neuroscience to create a certain response in the listener.

Pandora Premium is now available to all users for $10 monthly

The online radio platform has launched its Premium on-demand music service, competing with Apple Music and Spotify. It costs the same $9.99/month as existing services. There’s a free trial of either 30 or 60 days, and a special deal for existing Pandora Plus subscribers in the US, Australia and New Zealand.

Warner hires director for playlists

WMG has made another addition to its digital team. Michael Steele has been hired as the label’s director of playlist programming and curation.

CBS, iHeart hit with Patent 913 lawsuit

The '913' patent is directed to sending digital audio signals from a transmitter to a receiver or tuner, which metadata including song titles and artists, along with playing the corresponding audio. To date, no other radio companies have been sued.

Maison de Radio-Canada project is a go

CBC/Radio-Canada has announced Treasury Board approval for its new broadcasting centre.  

The original Maison Radio-Canada complex built in 1973 serves as the headquarters for the French-language arm of the CBC, including Ici Radio-Canada Première, Ici Musique, Ici Radio-Canada Télé and Ici RDI. It is also the main studio for television stations CBMT-DT and CBFT-DT and radio stations CBME-FM, CBM-FM, CBF-FM and CBFX-FM.

The new plans for the eastern part of the present site include 2000 housing units, offices, commercial space, and public spaces. To be all housed and located at 1450 René Lévesque Boulevard East, which will be covering a space of about three city blocks.

Yamaha launches AV receivers featuring 4K, HDR, Dolby and Bluetooth

The Pro Audio division has launched four new AV receivers, all of which are compatible with its MusicCast wireless multi-room feature. The company also announced that MusicCast now supports the Tidal and Deezer music streaming services.


Barbara Jean Cram, a former regional commissioner with the CRTC for Manitoba and Saskatchewan. She retired and moved to Courtenay, Vancouver Island, where she died after a brief illness on April 10 at age 66.


Worth Reading

Facebook’s fall into irrelevance: Facebook's Instant Articles promised to transform journalism — but now big publishers are fleeing – Casey Newton, The Verge

Why FT has upped its marketing spend: Digital subscriptions start at $338 yearly, and it takes a lot of exposure to convince a reader to pony up that kind of money – Max Willens, Digiday

How to avoid a PR disaster: The public relations nightmare that kept United Airlines in the news has also been an opportunity to engage with some of radio’s premier public relations specialists who have provided PR counsel and expertise to some of radio’s biggest brands – Deborah Parenti, Radio Ink

The FCC spectrum auction is sending $10B to broadcasters. Where will that money go? – Shan Wang, NiemanLab




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