Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: September 11, 2019

Cineplex has a TIFF tiff with streaming giants

There's a survival thriller at the Toronto International Film Festival playing out offscreen this week at Scotiabank Theatres, the traditional Press & Industry screening venue.

Cineplex, the Canadian exhibition giant that runs Scotiabank, told TIFF this year that Amazon and Netflix titles it programmed for a short run in movie theatres, or none at all, have been barred from its multiplex on Richmond Street that hosts industry and film critic guests. – The Hollywood Reporter

Broadcasters must be freed to fight foreign giants

To compete with multibillion-dollar — even trillion-dollar — foreign Internet giants, Canadian media companies need enough scale to finance increasingly expensive programming and the freedom to make the types of shows audiences want to watch. Unfortunately, that is not possible today, not because we don’t aspire to do so, but because it is expressly forbidden.

Canadian broadcasting policy still regulates the type of content we can make, where we can get it from, and when we can broadcast it. To my knowledge, no other country’s regulatory and funding mechanisms are designed specifically to limit their home broadcasters from producing programming they can own outright and export internationally.

– Corus Ent. CEO Doug Murphy, Toronto Sun

A surprising fact about Canada’s podcast listeners

A study has found that the most popular platform for podcasts in Canada is YouTube.

The study, co-produced by Audience Insights and Ulster Media, surveyed 1,500 monthly podcast listeners aged 18+ from Canada. – Media in Canada (subscription)

Elections Canada: Rules & regulations

Today mark the formal start of the writ period as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits Governor General Julie Payette to start the process to dissolve Parliament.

Elections Canada is charged with policing candidates and parties, and its website is easy to navigate with a deep pool of resource tool covering everything from political financing rules to a readable guide on what voters need to know–and even a teachers’ corner that offers useful links and classroom resources.

Smart speakers grow in importance

People are talking to Alexa; but the smart speaker isn’t the only one listening. Radio industry leaders are paying attention — designing digital plans to make listening to their own streams on voice assistant platforms as easy as possible. – Randy J. Stine, Radio World

American CEO’s seek federal privacy regulations

Fifty-one chief executives at major U.S. corporations, including Amazon, AT&T and IBM, are urging Congress to pass federal consumer privacy legislation that would block states from implementing their own regulations on data privacy.

The Business Roundtable, a coalition of major CEOs, sent a letter to lawmakers Tuesday, calling on them to act quickly to pass what would be the nation's first comprehensive privacy law. – Harper Neidig, The Hill

AT&T bought DirecTV for $49 billion. It's still paying a price for the deal

Four years ago, AT&T purchased DirecTV for $49 billion, or $67.1 billion including debt. Now DirecTV is flailing badly enough that it is at the heart of an activist shareholder revolt against AT&T's business strategy. – Kerry Flynn & Frank Pallotta, CNN Business

Ex CIA agent Valerie Plame’s election campaign teaser ad is a ‘wowser’

Business Insider says it looks like a "Fast & Furious outtake"; the AV Club notes it's more reminiscent of the Bourne Identity franchise. Whatever movie you might compare Valerie Plame's new campaign ad to, there's no denying the spot is memorable.

Podtrac publishers ranking August: Audience growth across the board as iHeartRadio grabs #1

Podtrac released its Top 10 Podcast Publishers ranking Tuesday, noting that all 10 network producers showed audience gains from July. The governing metric in the monthly ranker is US Unique Monthly Audience, with a secondary statistic — Global Unique Streams & Downloads — also cited for each publisher, along with the number of active shows in each publisher’s network. – RAIN News

Report forecasts $1B in US podcast revenue by 2020

IPG Mediabrands’ Magna division forecast starts with an estimated $679 million in spending this year. The recent podcasting report from Magna found that this segment is responsible for 3% of the U.S. audio ad marketplace, currently valued at $16.2 billion. Under its 2022 prediction, podcast ads will up their share of the audio pie to 8.2%. – RAIN News

BMI sets revenue record with $1.28B

The American PRO announced record revenues Monday, with $1.283 billion, up 7% over the previous year. The performing-rights organization also distributed and administered $1.196 billion to its songwriters, composers and publishers, its highest distributions ever, and a 7% or $78 million increase over last year. The surveyed fiscal year ended on June 30.

According to the announcement, these results mark the most reported public performance revenues and highest royalty distributions of any music rights organization in the world. – Variety

New hires hint how Spotify is thinking about sports and news podcasts

Spotify has made two interesting personnel moves to bolster its podcast development pipeline around two key genres, sports and news, according to a report by The Information that dropped on Friday.

First, the company has hired Amy Hudson, most recently the sports media partnerships lead at Facebook, to oversee its sports programming assets. Secondly, David Rhodes, the former news chief at CBS, will now serve as a consultant on the platform’s efforts around news programming. – Nicholas Quah, NiemanLab

Westwood One report on AM/FM streaming finds audience skews younger, more female

Among the highlights, the WWO study found that 62% of the streaming audience is female (as opposed to half of the broadcast audience); A larger percentage of the streaming audience (37%) is Millennial (18-34) than for broadcast (27%); The proportion of 25-54 listeners is 67% for streaming and 52% for broadcast. – All Access Music Group

Tougher Australian music quotas on the horizon for radio

Among the recommendations is a plan to task the communications watchdog with ensuring all commercial broadcasters meet an Australian content quota of "no less than 25 percent of all music" played between 6 am and midnight. A quarter of that figure is to come from music released within the last 12 months. – Broede Carmody, Sydney Morning Herald

RIP

Rod Coneybeare, who enjoyed a three-decade run at the CBC hosting, producing and appearing on a variety of shows, including voicing the characters Rusty and Jerome from The Friendly Giant, has died. According to an obituary from his family that appeared in the Toronto Star, died in Lindsay, Ont., at the age of 89. – CBC News

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