Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: April 28, 2017

CRTC approves SiriusXM Canada transaction: Includes $29M CC fund

The CRTC has approved a plan to privatize Sirius XM Canada holdings, the parent company of Sirius XM Canada Inc. All of the shares of the Company will be acquired by three current major shareholders of the Company: Slaight Communications Inc., Obelysk Media Inc. and Sirius XM Radio Inc. The date for completion can be no later than May 31, 2017.

Sirius XM Canada is the sole provider of satellite radio services, with approximately 2.7M total subscribers in Canada.

Should Sirius XM Canada proceed with the transaction, nearly $29M will be allocated over the next seven years to support French and English-language initiatives through: Radio Starmaker Fund, Fonds Radiostar, FACTOR, Musicaction and the Community Radio Fund of Canada.

Additionally, a discretionary amount, totalling 1% of the value of the transaction must be made to the Broadcast Participation Fund, or, alternatively, Sirius XM Canada must submit a proposal for the Commission's review. — CRTC

Telus soft-launches skinny IPTV service bundle

Pik TV appears to have debuted last week, as apps for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets went live on April 19. A website dedicated to the Pik TV service notes that Telus customers can purchase the associated 4K-capable Android TV box for C$100. The core $20 service includes 23 basic local and regional channels and a VOD library, and gives customers the ability to add five more channels from a selection that includes AMC, Comedy Network, Space, Food Network, A&E, Discovery Channel, Bravo, TLC, Much HGTV, CBC News Network, CTV News Channel, E!, CNN, and Slice. — Multichannel News  

Corus, Shaw shuffle news priorities

Global News in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton will be getting a $10M boost of support for local reporting.

Corus Entertainment Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. announced Wednesday the reorganization of operations to redirect funds to the Global News stations; as a result Shaw TV community channels in the three cities will be closed effective Tuesday, Aug. 15. -- Global News

Why the Telefilm debate is a red herring

Speculation that the Liberals are planning a super-agency that would bring together film, television, new media and publishing under one roof roared into life last week when the country’s leading filmmakers released a letter to Joly and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arguing that a merger of Telefilm Canada with the Canada Media Fund would be a big mistake.

Is Joly willing to risk political capital on a fight to place levies on ISPs, or to address the parallel questions of how to bring Netflix into the system or whether broadcasters can be held to Canadian-content regulations not imposed online?  -- Kate Taylor, Globe & Mail

TV Advertising: "I've heard a lot of reasons why things can't change. It's all bullshit."

Irwin Gotlieb’s company is in charge of a third of the world’s advertising budget and he came to Toronto last week to tell Canada’s broadcasters to get on with addressable advertising, measure better, and work co-operatively, or his company will soon be spending its clients’ money elsewhere. -- CARTT subscription

Spotify acquires Mediachain Labs

The streaming service has acquired the Brooklyn-based blockchain start-up Mediachain Labs, whose team will join the company’s office in New York where they will work on developing better technology for connecting artists and other rights holders with the tracks hosted on Spotify’s service. Prior to its acquisition, the startup had developed several technologies that could aid in these efforts, including a decentralized, peer-to-peer database to connect applications with media and the information about it, as well as an attribution engine for creators, and a cryptocurrency that rewards creators for their work.  Techcrunch

Kickstarter shares music project milestones

Every five seconds someone backs a Kickstarter project. More than 12.7M people around the world have taken a chance on new creative ideas here, pushing 123,587 of them one step closer to reality. All this just added up to an exciting milestone — as of April 26, $3B has been pledged to independent creators on the crowdfunding platform. It’s a big figure, but stepping back, what it represents is much bigger. -- Kickstarter Blog

Merlin shares financial updates

Independent music digital rights agency Merlin has announced that it has paid out $300M to its independent label members over the past 12 months – an eightfold increase on the $36m paid out in the calendar year of 2012. -- MBW

Futuri Media partners with University of Florida on student radio project

The social and mobile engagement tech firm has partnered with the U. of Florida College of Journalism and Communications for a new research and development lab. A group of select students launched GHQ. Futuri designed the dynamic multi-platform radio station, available on mobile, social and digital. -- Press release

RTDNA winners announced

The Radio Television Digital News Association has announced the region winners in BC and Central Region.  The Board has also announced that the inaugural recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Network Programming are Terry Milewski and Charles Adler. The national conference is to be held in Toronto on May 26 and 27. — RTDNA

Top uses of voice assistants

Digital home assistants can do many things, but mostly they're used for music. Posing a question and seeking news, weather and traffic reports are the second and third most common requests. Close to 70% of study respondents primarily used the VAs on a mobile gadget and 19% said they used the app frequently. — Mediapost

Viewers prefer watching TV on computers

The study, which surveyed 26K internet users worldwide, found a sharp drop—from 52% in 2016 to 23% in 2017—of people who said they preferred to watch TV shows the traditional way, on a TV. — eMarketer

Content marketing ranks poorly

An April 2017 study of internet users in the UK found that eight in 10 respondents forgot the branded content they had seen just three days prior. — eMarketer

Is Spotify working on a hardware gadget?

The Swedish music streaming service is looking for someone to help build a "category-defining product" akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacle. Spotify has more than 50 million subscribers but rivals like Apple Music are turning up the volume and it needs a way to capture new customers more easily. — Fortune

Verizon to offer unlimited data to prepaid customers

Customers who sign up for the plan will pay the same $80 per month as customers of Verizon's regular unlimited monthly plan. The plan doesn't include the ability to share an Internet connection with a tethered laptop, doesn't have multi-line discounts, and doesn't include high-definition video streaming. — Fortune

Meet the king of fake cash

It's no secret that most of the money you see in movies or music videos is fake, but what might surprise you is that most of it comes from one source. Rich "RJ" Rappaport started RJR Props nine years ago as a full-service prop shop, but his specialty is fake cash.

As you can imagine, making fake money is a highly regulated endeavour that is closely watched by federal authorities, so Rappaport has to be extra careful to ensure his fakes never make it into circulation. Still, when your prop money is the go-to for rap videos and has been featured in over 175 films and shows, we think it's safe to say that your cash is king.

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