Village Media is expanding its network of local news sites with the acquisition of Oakville News. Joining the 21 other community news sites in Ontario under the Village Media umbrella, Oakville is one of two new sites joining the Village network in February, along with FlamboroughToday.com. Village Media says it’s anticipating launching up to three additional news sites by the summer of 2024.
Netflix will end its ad-free “basic” plan in Canada this spring. The streaming giant previously announced it would no longer offer the $9.99/month plan to new and returning subscribers, but is now phasing out the tier for users who were grandfathered in. “Basic” subscribers will be offered a choice to downgrade to a $5.99 plan that includes commercials or pay more for an ad-free plan starting at $16.49/month. Prime Video is also set to start airing commercials on its entry-level tier, starting Feb. 5.
Universal Music Group (UMG) is set to pull its music from TikTok on Feb. 1, following a breakdown in talks over payments for use of its songs. In an open letter to the artist and songwriter community, UMG says the social platform attempted to bully it into accepting a deal worth less than its previous agreement that expired Jan. 31, that isn’t reflective of the app’s exponential growth.
MuchMusic documentary 299 Queen Street West failed to make its scheduled streaming debut on Crave last week. Filmmaker Sean Menard told The Canadian Press that major labels, including Universal Music Canada, have taken issue with the documentary for using 10-15 second clips of live performances at the former MuchMusic studios by artists like Avril Lavigne and Noel Gallagher. While the doc did licence some music, Menard maintains that the clips should fall under fair use. The documentary wrapped up a cross-country roadshow in November that featured former MuchMusic personalities.
Collab, CBC/Radio-Canada’s partnership program with public libraries and the National Film Board (NFB), has announced a new partnership to expand the content available on the CBC Corner / L’espace Radio-Canada digital portal. Developed specifically for public libraries, the digital resource brings together and showcases a wide variety of content from the public broadcaster and its partners for the benefit of library patrons across the country, including 100 additional NFB films, animated kids’ movies and classic documentaries.