The CRTC has released data on the Retail Mobile Sector as part of the most recent Communications Monitoring Report. Total revenue for the sector was up 10.7% last year to $27.1 billion, mostly due to a change in international financial reporting standards (IFRS) and how providers recognize revenues from consumer contracts. The Top 3 captured 91% of these revenues, leaving 9% to be divided among the remaining providers. In 2018, mobile subscribers grew by 4.8% to reach 33.2 million. That growth rate was more than two times slower than the revenue growth rate of 10.7%, indicating greater revenues per subscriber for 2018. When it comes to roaming revenues, approximately 74% of voice roaming and 55% of data roaming revenues were derived from users roaming in the U.S., with very few revenues generated from within Canada. Average monthly data usage for all subscribers and subscribers with a data plan was 2,128 MB per month and 2,525 MB per month, respectively.
The Canadian Media Concentration Research Project (CMCRP) finds that internet advertising continued to soar in 2018 to an estimated $7.7 billion—up from $6.8 billion over the previous year, however subscriber fees outstripped ad revenue by a ratio of 5:1. Helmed by Professor Dwayne Winseck, at the School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University, the first installment in this year’s series of reports looking at the state of the media economy, finds that U.S.-based internet giants are consolidating their dominance of digital advertising markets in Canada and becoming increasingly dominant across the advertising landscape as a whole. According to CMCRP data, Google and Facebook had a lock on over three-quarters (77.2%) of the $7.7 billion online advertising market in 2018 and more than two-fifths (42%) of the $14.2 billion in advertising spending across all media. However, the report found that subscriber fees from “pay-per media” including online gaming, music subscription, and pay and specialty TV soared from $1.4 billion in 2014 to nearly $4 billion in revenue last year. Including internet advertising, those sectors amounted to an $11.7 billion share of the network media economy in 2018, or 14% of all revenue—double its share of the pie in 2014. Read more here.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mandate letter to new Canadian Heritage Min. Steven Guilbeault lays out several priorities for the broadcast and film sector, drawing heavily from Liberal campaign promises. Among them: to create new regulations for social media platforms, starting with a requirement that all platforms remove illegal content, including hate speech, within 24 hours or face significant penalties; co-lead work with the Min. of Innovation, Science and Industry to modernize the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act, examining how best to support Canadian content in English and French and ensure quality affordable internet, mobile and media access; work with the Min. of Innovation, Science and Industry to introduce legislation by the end of 2020 that will take appropriate measures to ensure all content providers, including internet giants, offer meaningful levels of Canadian content in their catalogues, contribute to the creation of Canadian content in both Official Languages, promote this content and make it easily accessible on their platforms; strengthen the regional mandate of CBC/Radio-Canada to broadcast more local news and require CBC/Radio-Canada to open up its digital platform; increase annual funding for Telefilm Canada; and support local journalism and develop business models that facilitate private giving and philanthropic support for professional journalism and local news.
Radio-Canada, in a directive issued Dec. 5, has informed staff that the French-language arm of the public broadcaster will no longer use the word “exclusive” to describe stories on its platforms, except in the context of certain reports or interviews “meeting well-defined criteria.” The directive from Luce Julien, Directrice générale de l’Information, and Ginette Viens, Première directrice, Programmation nouvelles, actualités et déploiement, says with it not uncommon for the public to be exposed to “exclusives” several times a day, it has analyzed use of the label and determined that overuse risks reducing the desired impact. Julien and Viens also point out that it’s not uncommon for the same story to be played “exclusively” on two or three outlets in the same day, with that exclusivity sometimes attached to journalism based on public documents accessible to all or quickly verifiable.
Women in Communications and Technology (WCT) has extended the nomination deadline for its annual awards to Jan. 10. The 2020 WCT Leadership Excellence Awards will take place May 7 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. More info here.
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