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Online & Digital Media News – ‘Regulatory and financial uncertainty’ leads to breakdown in Nordstar-Postmedia merger talks

Nordstar Capital, owner of Torstar (the Toronto Star and Metroland Media Group), and Postmedia Network have terminated discussions regarding a potential merger. The companies say they were unable to come to agreement on the terms of the merger, with the added backdrop of regulatory and financial uncertainty leading them to decide to end negotiations. “These are challenging times for media companies, but we intend to keep working hard to give Canadians the news they need to stay informed, which is essential to our communities and to the functioning of our democracy,” said Jordan Bitove, owner of Nordstar and Publisher of the Toronto Star, in a statement. “Torstar remains focused on addressing the existential threats to journalism in Canada, which have been amplified in recent weeks with the announcements by Meta and Google that they intend to block access to Canadian news.” 

All Access Music Group has announced it will cease publishing on Aug. 15 after 28 years of operation. In a statement, publisher and founder Joel Denver said due to a marked decrease in revenues, moving forward is impossible. “This was not a decision that was reached lightly nor without earnest tries to find a path forward. It comes on the heels of major changes in the music industry announced in January of this year. These strong financial headwinds also extend to our non-music partners as well. Both downturns have greatly affected how All Access operates. The dollars are just not there to support our operation and staff any longer.” Denver said he won’t be retiring from the business and will be focusing on new horizons and opportunities.


MTM Jr. has released a report exploring the use of social media among Canadian children, aged seven to 17. Highlights from the report include the finding that seven in 10 children used social media in the past month. Results skew lower among seven-11 year olds (51%) and higher among 12-17 year olds (85%). Almost four in five kids on social media (78%) use platforms for watching video, which is the most popular activity on social media, followed by messaging (70%) and looking at content others have posted (55%). TikTok is the biggest social media platform for kids, with more than half of children using social media (53%) using TikTok in the past month. That puts the platform ahead of Snapchat (42%), Instagram (40%) and Facebook (37%). With the exception of Facebook, all platforms were far more popular with girls than boys.

Horowitz Research’s latest State of Media, Entertainment & Tech: Viewing Behaviors 2023 report finds that six in 10 (61%) streamers would be likely to switch to a bundle of subscription services from one provider if the option were available. According to the Horowitz study, U.S. streamers use an average 6.4 services in a typical month, which includes an average of 3.8 paid and 2.6 free services. Netflix commands the largest share of streaming among TV content viewers (18% of self-reported viewing time, down from 32% of self-reported viewing time five years ago), followed by Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and YouTube TV. SVOD services overall command about six in 10 streamed viewing hours. The study also underscores the growth in usage of AVOD/FAST channels among streamers. One in four hours of self-reported share of viewing is now spent with one of the many free, ad-supported services. 

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