Online & Digital Media News – Google banning political ads ahead of federal election

Canadian Online Publishing Awards

Google is banning political advertising on its platforms ahead of the federal election and incoming ad transparency rules. Bill C-76, which passed in December, is set to come into force in June and will require online platforms to keep a registry of political and partisan ads they publish, directly or indirectly. Not doing so could lead to fines and possible jail time. Google plans to modify its ad policies and block advertisers from running ads that fall under the C-76 definitions. C-76 requirements will apply to all online publishers, including broadcast news outlets, apps, games and other platforms. A study from the Canadian Media Concentration Project estimates Google accounted for 48 per cent of all internet advertising in Canada in 2016. Facebook was a distant second at 24 per cent.

Facebook allegedly influenced Canadian officials into granting data privacy concessions using the promise of a data centre and job creation, according to a Mar. 2 scoop by Computer Weekly and The Observer. A leaked internal Facebook memo notes: “Sheryl [Sandberg] took a firm approach and outlined that a decision on the data center was imminent. She emphasized that if we could not get comfort from the Canadian government on the jurisdiction issue, we had other options.” Former Industry Min. Christian Paradis later supplied the agreement by the end of the day. The documents also recount how Facebook officials crashed a Canadian reception at the 2013 World Economic Forum in Davos and distracted an aide to gain access to other members of cabinet and their mobile numbers. According to the notes, Facebook similarly aggressively lobbied officials in Malaysia and across Europe, including former UK chancellor George Osborne.

CTV has given JANN a digital premiere, ahead of its Mar. 20 television broadcast debut. The network pre-released the premiere episode this week to, YouTube, Crave,,, and Canadians can also now stream the premiere on iTunes or with Crave on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, and on CTV On Demand (set top box). CTV is also releasing digital extras for the series. In addition to bonus content on and SnackableTV, the network’s @CTV social accounts will roll out a series of exclusive video features throughout the season, including behind-the-scenes blooper reels, outtakes, and a feature with Jann Arden titled PB&J (PEANUT BUTTER & JANN), where Jann answers  questions about her new series while eating spoonfuls of peanut butter. will also feature sneak peek clips weekly.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has released its Year-End Report for 2018, which finds that music streaming revenue increased 30 per cent last year to $7.4 billion. Streaming accounted for 75 per cent of all revenue, the first time it’s passed the halfway mark. Paid subscriptions remained the biggest driver of increased revenue for the American music industry at $4.7 billion, up 33 per cent over 2017. The report also notes that combined, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and TIDAL, among other streaming services, reached 50 million U.S. subscribers. Revenue from ad-supported streaming services like YouTube and Vevo, grew 15 per cent to $760 million. The digital download medium continued to decline, with permanent downloads dropping 25 per cent to $500 million. Recorded music revenue rose 12 per cent to $9.8 billion. For the first time since 1986, CD sales brought in less than a billion dollars, falling 34 per cent to $698 million. Vinyl sales on the other hand, jumped eight per cent to $419 million, their highest volume since 1988.

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.