Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: July 03, 2019

Mirko Bibic to replace George Cope as BCE CEO

After almost 12 years at the helm of Canada’s second telecommunications company, George Cope will retire on January 5th, 2020, Bell Mobility parent company BCE announced on Friday morning. Current chief operating officer Mirko Bibic will take over leadership of Bell at the start of next year. Bibic has been with Bell since 2004. – Igor Bonifacic, Mobile Syrup

Stingray invests millions in homegrown artists

This year the global company headquartered in Montreal will invest $6.7M in Canadian content development initiatives, amongst other payments made to music industry orgs.

Industry Support
Stingray’s aid to the Canadian music industry will take many forms in 2019, including financial contributions to Factor/Musicaction, Radio Starmaker Fund/Fonds Radiostar and the Community Radio Fund of Canada.

Also, Stingray will allocate $1.6M to over 70 music festivals and events across the country such as the Junos, the CCMA Awards, the Polaris Music Prize, the Francos de Montréal, and Breakout West.

Stingray Rising Stars Program
Through its Stingray Rising Stars Program, Stingray will offer cash awards and provide showcase opportunities to great new Canadian talent of all musical genres. Launched in 1998, the program sets out to discover, encourage, promote, and champion new and up-and-coming Canadian artists.

Close to 1,200 Canadian artists have received Rising Stars awards including Arcade Fire (2004), Tokyo Police Club (2007), Serena Rider (2009), Tanya Tagaq (2013), and Grimes (2018). To date, over $1M has been distributed to promising musicians. – Stingray

Does federal panel threaten net neutrality in Canada?

If you want to know how much in extra fees you might be paying or how much Canada intends to meddle with online content to make sure you watch what the government wants you to view, you should start paying attention now. – Peter Menzies, Hamilton Spectator

Canada must ‘think big’ when pondering the future of broadcasting laws, panel chair says

Canadians must “think big” when it comes to reshaping the nation’s broadcasting and telecommunications laws in the digital age, says the chair of a federal panel looking into the overhaul.

“We must think not about what will serve Canada and Canadians well for the next few years, but for the next full generation at least,” Janet Yale said in a speech at the Canadian Telecom Summit in Mississauga. – Tony Wong, The Star

Why e-books, e-audiobooks could be harder to snag at your local library

E-books and e-audiobooks are the fastest growing area of borrowing at Canadian libraries. But it could get tougher to get your hands on them, as libraries are expressing concern about major publishers setting high prices, restrictive contract terms, and exclusivity windows for coveted digital content. – Jessica Wong, CBC News

Apple quietly expands Siri support for 100K+ radio stations

Apple has added support for over 100,000 live radio stations through its integration with TuneIn and iHeartRadio. – Digital Music News

With a new round of funding, Wondery is ready to push podcasts overseas

Wondery has raised US$10 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Waverley Capital, and the sum adds to the $5 million Series A raised last year, plus the seed round that came before that. The new money is meant to fuel the Los Angeles-based podcast studio’s expansion into international markets, dive into daily podcast production, and further grow its show portfolio. – Nicholas Quah, NiemanLab

iHeartMedia approved for NASDAQ listing

CEO Bob Pittman said, “This is an exciting time for our company and an important step in the evolution of iHeartMedia. Our listing on the NASDAQ will provide greater liquidity for existing shareholders, allow us to diversify our investor base, and give us improved access to public capital markets in the future. – Radio Ink

SiriusXM unveils new L.A. headquarters, as competition with streamers heats up

Much of SiriusXM’s original programming has emanated from the company’s headquarters in New York City, with a modest L.A. operation on one floor of a Wilshire Boulevard office building left to handle any interviews that needed to be done here.

Greenstein, a former movie executive, sees the bolstering of the Southern California facility as the natural counterpart to what’s been happening for years in New York. – Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times

BuzzFeed News: Ben Smith and the power of a digital newsroom

Ben Smith had come to BuzzFeed after a pathbreaking career as a political blogger, one in which he’d developed a thirst for holy-shit scoops and a high threshold for risk. “He’s not a safe journalist,” says Chris Geidner, BuzzFeed News former legal news editor. “He’s a good journalist. He’s an aggressive journalist. He wants to make news that people are going to talk about.” It’s a mindset that has allowed Smith to dance past the veterans of print journalism and establish himself at the vanguard of the new-media revolution. But it can also lead to controversy. “BuzzFeed is not as strait-laced as The New York Times,” says Politico senior media writer Jack Shafer, “and I think that both works to BuzzFeed’s detriment and to its advantage.” – Luke Mullins, Esquire

What’s the future of audio? And where does radio fit in?

As much as some of the technorati want us to believe, old-fashioned terrestrial radio is not just alive and well, but it remains popular, powerful, and profitable. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not feeling the heat from all the tech advancements that keep coming on a daily basis.

So where does radio, and more broadly, audio entertainment, go from here?

Let’s start with this clip from an event in New Zealand called Power of Audio.

– Continue reading Alan Cross, A Journal of Musical Things

Spotify decides it doesn’t want to be a distributor after all

Spotify has officially reversed its decision to become a distributor of music, announcing that it’s closing its Upload Beta Program for independent artists. – MBW

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