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Online & Digital Media News In Brief – CBC launches CBC Gem streaming service

CBC has launched CBC Gem, the public broadcaster’s new streaming service. First announced in September, the platform boasts more than 4,000 hours of live and on-demand programming, including access to 14 CBC channels and their local newscasts across the country. It’s offered in two tiers: a Free tier and a Premium tier for $4.99/month that allows ad-free on-demand viewing and a 24/7 live stream of CBC News Network. Exclusive to Canada, both tiers offer ad-free kids programming and continuous watching across devices, in addition to French-language programs from ICI Radio-Canada. All content is available with Closed Captioning, along with Described Video for most on-demand content. Gem partnerships include Wattpad, the social storytelling platform, which will offer emerging Canadian writers the opportunity to create exclusive content for CBC Gem. Read the full story here.

Corner Gas and Corner Gas: The Movie are now available to watch on Amazon Prime Video in over 60 countries and territories, including the U.S., UK, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Kenya, South Africa, and the Philippines. In Canada, the series, movie and new Corner Gas Animated series are still available exclusively on Bell Media’s Crave SVOD service.

Google is squarely taking aim at radio with the launch of a new audio news experience beta that positions Google Assistant as an on-demand news source, featuring AI-curated playlists and the ability to skip or go back to another story using your voice. Participating news partners include The Hollywood Reporter, CNBC, USA Today, The Washington Post and the New York Times, among others. Initially rolling out to a limited number of English-speaking users in the U.S., the prototype relies on single-topic stories, segmented out from newscasts or shows, to contribute to the audio news feed. The Google News Initiative provided funding to outlets like KQED Public Media in Northern California and The McClatchy Company, which operates 29 daily newspapers in 14 states, to help offset the cost of segmenting larger broadcasts into shorter stories. Google is now looking for more publishers, who produce English-language content, to submit feeds for inclusion and sign up to try the experience. Read the full story here.

YouTube Canada is out with its list of the top trending videos of 2018, which of surprise to no one shows Canadians still have a lot of love for homegrown talent Drake, played a lot of Fortnite, and for the most part followed global viewing trends. The most-viewed video, both in Canada and globally, was Kylie Jenner’s To Our Daughter, an 11-minute film detailing her pregnancy and the birth of baby Stormi, which was watched over 53 million times. On the music side, the year belonged mostly to Drake and Cardi B, who appear multiple times on the list of Canada’s Top Music Videos. Read more here.

Farah Nasser

Global News has launched the second season of Living In Colour, an eye-opening digital series tackling the inequality faced by diverse people in modern society. Utilizing a mid-length, panel discussion format, Living In Colour sees individuals from all walks of life provide personal accounts of how race and ethnicity affects their daily lives. Hosted by Farah Nasser, anchor of Global Toronto’s Global News at 5:30 & 6, each episode in Season 2 features a different set of diverse guests sharing their experience in the context of: Cosplay and Media Representation, the Justice System, Interracial Dating, and Employment. The series expands on Global’s slate of original digital series, with digital productions RISE, Odd Jobs and Just Like Home all debuting earlier this year. The Season 2 premiere is available online at and the Global News’ Youtube channel. New episode will be released each Wednesday through the month of December.

Elamin Abdelmahmoud

BuzzFeed editor Elamin Abdelmahmoud has a book deal with McClelland & Stewart. Abdelmahmoud’s Son of Elsewhere is a book of personal essays about belonging, blackness, masculinity, & Muslim-ness from the point of view of a man who immigrated from Sudan to Canada as a child, a year before 9/11. The book is set for release in Fall 2020.

Pew Research Center says when looking at online news use combined – the percentage of Americans who get their news from either news websites or social media – the web has closed in on television as a news source (43 per cent, compared with 49 per cent of adults who often watch TV news). For the first time, social media also edged out print newspapers in Pew’s annual survey of news use. One-in-five U.S. adults say they often get news via social media, slightly higher than those who cited print newspapers (16 per cent). Overall, television is still the most popular platform for news – even though its use has declined since 2016. News websites are the next most common source, followed by radio, and finally social media sites and print newspapers.

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