Online & Digital Media News – Hakai Magazine wins big at Canadian Online Publishing Awards

Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAs) for 2019 were handed out Jan. 9 in Toronto. Victoria-based Hakai Magazine was the night’s big winner claiming six Gold and three Silver, including the award for Best Digital Content for their investigative article on Human Smuggling. Hakai also won Gold for Independent Publisher of the Year. HuffPost Canada won three Gold and three Silvers, while Bell Media claimed five awards total. Gold for Best Publication was awarded to upscale Chinese lifestyle publication Fête Chinoise. Vancouver Magazine won Silver in the category.

Ontario Creates has released a study conducted by VICE Insights that finds 90% of those ages 14-22 – the demographic dubbed “Gen Z” – are willing to pay for content. “Gen Z: The Culture of Content Consumption” surveyed 500 Ontario Gen Z’ers online and an additional 150 Millennials (ages 23-39) for comparison. In addition to being willing to pay for content, the survey found that Gen Z wants to see more diversity in the stories and people they see, with one in two survey respondents citing a gap in gender, sexual identity and ethnic representation in cultural content. The survey also found Gen Z is more interested in being entertained by content than informed, and that the demo values ease of discovery, looking to social media channels like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok to find new content and form relationships with creators. Read more here.

MTM JR has released a new report on the use of social media by Canadian teens. It finds that 72% of Canadian teens now use social media, with anglophones and females more likely to have an online presence than the rest of their peers. The three most popular platforms among Canadian teens are Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Facebook remains the most popular platform with both adults and teens with 91% of Canadians aged 18+ on the platform, in addition to 65% of teens who use social media.

TIFF and Bell Media have struck a partnership that will see 11 feature films that had their World Premieres at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival distributed for streaming on Crave.  The first collection of “Tiff Selects” films includes Canadians features like Sophie Deraspe’s Antigone (February); Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (spring); and Matthew Rankin’s The Twentieth Century (March). The new film series builds on the previously announced “Best of TIFF” – a selection of 82 films curated by Cameron Bailey, TIFF’s Artistic Director and Co-Head – currently available to Crave subscribers. 

CBC, in partnership with Sonar Entertainment, has announced the streaming premiere date for new original young adult sci-fi drama Utopia Falls. All 10 one-hour episodes will be available exclusively on CBC Gem, starting Feb. 14. Part of CBC’s commitment to offer expanded content for younger audiences, Utopia Falls is set in the not-too-distant future amidst the charred ruins of Earth, and follows a group of teens chosen to compete in the prestigious Exemplar performing arts competition in the seemingly idyllic colony of New Babyl. The series showcases a variety of musical genres and dance styles, including hip hop, latin, classical and Indigenous, and features themes of afrofuturism, youth activism, and eco-awareness. It stars emerging actors Robyn Alomar (Riot Girls), Akiel Julien (American Gods, Warigami), Robbie Graham-Kuntz (Full Out), Phillip Lewitski (Supernatural), Humberly Gonzalez (Orphan Black), Devyn Nekoda (Degrassi: The Next Generation), and Mickeey Nguyen (Make It Pop). Hip hop icon Snoop Dogg serves as the voice of the “Archive.”


MEDIAPRO Canada has secured exclusive broadcast rights in Canada to all national team tournaments organized by Concacaf, the continental confederation encompassing the 41 soccer associations in North and Central America and the Caribbean, from 2020-23. The Concacaf package of national team tournaments includes the Concacaf Gold Cup, the men’s national team competition, in 2021 and 2023, and the women’s equivalent, the Concacaf Women’s Championship in 2022. The OneSoccer streaming service will serve as the exclusive home to a total of 13 tournaments and up to 300 games over the four-year period, starting with live coverage of the 2020 Women’s Olympic qualifying tournament in Texas and California later this month.

Joule, the publisher of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), is removing the paywall on its weekly online edition. Past issues will be available starting Mar. 1. Joule President Deborah Scott-Douglas said in a release that the move is aimed at expanding their content to a broader audience, including the patient community and the public, to “generate greater dialogue on issues affecting health care, informed by evidence.” While weekly online content will be open to all readers, CMA members will continue to receive the monthly printed journal as a member benefit.

QYOU Media, the Toronto and L.A.-headquartered digital-first curator and distributor, has announced the launch of The Q India on Airtel Xstream, a converged digital entertainment experience offering a wide catalog of live TV channels, movies, and more in 14 Languages. Q India content will be monetized via ad sales across the platform. Curt Marvis, CEO of Q India, says the partnership expedites the company’s move to an ad revenue model as it targets young Indian audiences in an anywhere/anytime on-demand viewing world.

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