Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: June 05, 2019

PPMs pushed back to Thursday

The Numeris PPM radio measurement rankings, expected earlier this week, have been pushed back to Thursday noon. When published, we will have an overview of the results for all markets covered in the topline survey that ranks radio stations by Average Minute Audience, Average Daily Cume, and Share.

Cuts are throwing original Canadian scripted programming into a ‘death spiral’, union warns

Data provided exclusively to The Globe and Mail by the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) indicate the three major English-language commercial broadcast groups have cut their Canadian scripted commissions between 24 and 68 percent over the past five years.

“Domestic production is in a death spiral, and that’s because the private broadcasters have gotten out of the business of making Canadian content,” said Maureen Parker, the executive director of the Writers Guild. “It’s really quite shocking.” – Simon Houpt (subscription needed)

Spotify begins testing curated podcast playlists

Five playlists have started showing up to around 5 percent of users in the UK, US, Canada, Mexico, Sweden, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina. The themes include comedy, true crime, “geek culture,” “walking (motivational),” and “relaxing (mindfulness).” The playlists are expected to change over time as Spotify experiments with how to present them, which means they could update at different rates and feature a rotating selection of both Spotify-exclusive shows and third-party podcasts. It’s unclear how the curators are choosing the episodes — if they’re creating deals with networks for placement or just picking content they themselves recommend.

The bigger goal of these tests is to improve podcast discoverability, an issue that plagues the industry. – Ashley Carman, The Verge

Podcast ad revenue IAB study reports ‘significant’ growth

The third annual Podcast Revenue Report by IAB and PwC confirms robust and increasing growth in the US podcast advertising marketplace. The report, which surveyed top US revenue producing podcast companies on various data points, reports continued growth trends at the individual publisher level. The report adds an independent market sizing element, which echoes the pattern of increasing marketwide revenues into 2021 and beyond.

This year’s report finds marketers spent US$479 million to advertise on podcasts in the U.S., an uptick of 53 percent from $314 million in 2017.  Based on market trends and surveys returned by significant podcast companies in the US, the report projects that revenues will top $1 billion in 2021. – IAB

Podcasting in Canada survey released

A new Canada-wide podcasting survey, conducted by Audience Insights Inc. and Ulster Media with support from TPX (The Podcast Exchange) adds weight to the fast-growing audio medium.

On average, monthly podcast listeners say that 40% of their podcast listening is comprised of Canadian podcasts. However, closer analysis shows some apparent gaps.

Fewer than one-third (30%) of the Top 50 podcasts with the highest monthly reach were Canadian, according to CPL's findings. Of the 15 Canadian podcasts appearing in the Top 50:

• Most - a total of nine - were not original podcasts, but rather time-shifted programming already broadcast on CBC Radio One or its French-language equivalent ICI Radio-Canada Première

• Two were original podcasts from private broadcasters

• One was an original podcast from the CBC

• Three were original podcasts from independent publishers

Reflecting the lack of original Canadian programs among the most popular podcasts, listeners with the healthiest appetite for podcasts are less likely to listen to as many Canadian shows. Among podcast listeners who listen to at least five hours of podcasts a week, over a third (34%) of the podcasts they listen to are Canadian, with 56% being from the U.S.

The results show a similar pattern by demographic - on average, Canadian podcasts account for just 34% of the podcasts 18-34-year-olds say they listen to, compared to 54% of listeners aged 55 or older.

French Canadian podcast listeners are more likely to devote a higher proportion of their podcast listening to Canadian podcasts, with the average Francophone saying that nearly 2/3s of the podcasts they listen to are Canadian. However, Jeff Vidler, president of Audience Insights Inc., says the finding is somewhat deceptive.

"French Canadian podcast listeners are much less likely to be regular podcast listeners than their counterparts in English Canada, and much of that can be attributed to the lack of in-language content.”

Ian Scott at the Canadian Telecom Summit

The regulatory chief was, as to be expected, long-winded in discussing the commission’s work under his watch to date, and significantly he avoided touchy topics dealing with regulated and unregulated media in Canada, and in particular who foots the bill for Canadian content. Nonetheless, those with a sharp ear and a head for subliminal messages may find Scott’s comments of some value beyond making time to catch up on e-mails and texting loved ones at the summit.

Ian part, Scott introduced his overview with the following:

“Our recent work has taken many forms. We invited Canadians to share their views on the possible creation of a new Internet Code. We issued a report on misleading or aggressive sales practices by telecommunications service providers. We launched a comprehensive review of mobile wireless services. And we are launching our Broadband Fund to help close Canada’s digital divide.

“I’ll touch on each of these in turn during my remarks today. But the key message I have for you is that Canadians have been clear about their wishes. They want their service providers to treat them with respect. They want to know that the person they’re dealing with—whether on the phone, in person or over the Web—is trustworthy. They want a marketplace for services that fosters choice, innovation and better prices.

“As a country, we have successfully deployed the latest technology—including broadband and mobile wireless—in most areas, and are continuing to work to reach those in underserved areas. Where Canada hasn’t performed as well is on retail prices.

“As the communications system regulator in this country, the CRTC has a unique role. We must ensure consumers’ needs are being met—which includes robust competition on prices—while enabling businesses to do their best work. Our role is to create those conditions that best stimulate innovation—while keeping foremost in mind the imperative of ensuring that Canadians are well served by their communications system.

“That’s a lot of ground to cover. Let me explain how we’re delivering on these imperatives with some examples of our recent work, and the challenges we’ve attempted to resolve. – Full text online

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