Online and Digital Media News In Brief – Criterion, Corus, Portal, Netflix

The Government of Canada is extending a refundable tax credit to qualifying news organizations that “produce a wide variety of news and information of interest to Canadians.” The credit, available to both non and for-profit newsrooms, will apply to the labour costs associated with producing original content. An independent industry panel will be struck to determine eligibility, with the credit taking effect Jan. 1, 2019. Non-profit journalism organizations will also be able to issue tax deductible receipts to digital news subscribers. The measures will cost a total of $595 million over five years.

The Canadian Online Publishing Awards were handed out Nov. 14 in Toronto, recognizing outstanding contribution to online publishing. In the Media category, RDS was the big winner claiming eight awards including Gold for Best Publication, Best Podcast, Best Blog Column, Best Sports Feature, Best Video Content,and Best Use of Social Media. Independent, Victoria-based environmental-focused news site The Narwhal, which launched just six months ago, earned four awards, winning both Gold and Silver for Best Photojournalism and Silver for Best Publication. In addition to Media, awards were also handed out in Academic, Business and Consumer categories with HuffPost Canada and HuffPost Quebec earning a total of five nods across all four. Find the full list of winners and finalists here.

The Criterion Collection plans to launch a standalone streaming service in the U.S. and Canada in spring 2019. The move follows WarnerMedia’s decision to shutter streaming service FilmStruck, which carried the Criterion library but wasn’t available in Canada. Subscription rates are currently listed at $10.99/month (USD). Disney is also gearing up to launch its Disney+ service next year which would see Hulu programming made available in Canada for the first time following Disney’s planned acquisition of Fox. Hulu is the third most popular streaming service in the world, trailing Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Stefano Faita

Corus Entertainment says the premiere of its #OneDirtyDish live Twitter series reached 78,000 viewers. Produced by so.da, Corus’ in-house social content studio, the first installment of #OneDirtyDish streamed live on Nov. 15, with the second installment set for Thursday, Nov. 29 at 9:30 p.m. ET. Hosted on @FoodNetworkCA‘s Twitter page, the series features Chef Stefano Faita creating an easy weeknight meal in one pot, integrating Knorr® products. Audiences can influence elements of the recipe by voting via Twitter polls. Final recipes are available after each stream at foodnetwork.ca.

Lilly Singh

Lilly Singh, arguably Canada’s biggest YouTube star, is taking a break. In her final video, Singh says she’s stepping away from the constant pressure to produce content to focus on her health. One of the first stars of YouTube’s original content initiative in 2016, she had amassed 14 million subscribers.

Portal, the first video and audio platform offering person-to-person payments, has launched. The platform is free to join and features the ability to share video and audio of any length. Creators can optionally add a price to what they upload of between $0.01 and $100, or choose to keep their content free.

Netflix is testing a low-cost, mobile-only plan in Malaysia. The trial, which costs about half the price of a regular subscription, limits streams to standard-definition video. It’s unclear if the streaming giant has plans to expand the cheaper, mobile-only option outside of Asia.

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism has released The Future of Voice and the Implications for News which finds that consumers don’t love news on smart speakers. The study looked at smart speaker usage in the UK, U.S. and Germany, finding that news consumption on the devices is lower than might be expected, with most usage focusing on very short news briefings. Many users are unaware of the wider range of options around news, including how to access their favourite brand. Others are underwhelmed by existing content, which is mostly reversioned from radio or print. For those who are not using smart speakers for news, the main reason cited was the ease of accessing news on other devices (52 per cent U.S., 51 per cent UK). Many users also complained about the quality of news briefings, how often they are updated, and about production quality. Some users also said briefings are too long and would prefer updates of no longer than a minute.


Not A Subscriber? Subscribe Now – Free!

Broadcast Dialogue has been required reading in the Canadian broadcast media for 25 years. When you subscribe, you join a community of connected professionals from media and broadcast related sectors from across the country.

The Weekly Briefing from Broadcast Dialogue is delivered exclusively to subscribers by email every Thursday. It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.

Let’s get started right now.