Media Beat: April 24, 2019

Media Beat: April 24, 2019

By David Farrell

Streaming set to exceed cable subs in 2020

The number of Canadian households paying for at least one streaming video service will eclipse traditional TV subscribers next year, according to a report on consumer habits prepared by Convergence Research Group.  

Last year, Canadian TV subscribers declined by 204,000, and another 253,000 cancellations are expected this year, the report says. – David Friend, Canadian Press

theScore lobbies for legalized sports betting

One of Canada’s top sources for sports news has tasked a lobbyist with convincing the federal government to legalize sports betting. Peter Curtis, a founding partner of Toronto-based Pathway Group, filed a registration with the federal Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying last week to lobby on behalf of theScore, which operates a popular sports news app and website,


Earlier this year, theScore announced it intended to become the first media company to launch a sportsbook to facilitate betting on games in the United States. – . – Marco Vigliotti, iPolitics

Younger listeners abandoning radio for the digital universe

New data from Edison Research’s Share of Ear study indicates that among the 25-54 age group, the number of minutes spent listening to podcasts (out of total time spent listening to audio) grew by 180 percent between 2014 and 2019, which amounts to a 17 percent growth year over year. By comparison, AM/FM radio listening in that same age group decreased by 22 percent and streaming increased by 30 percent. – Billboard

Sri Lanka’s ban on social media forces a question nobody wants to ask: What if a global media network is impossible?

In the aftermath of a series of coordinated terrorist attacks Sunday, Sri Lanka blocked social-media sites in the country. According to TheNew York Times, the move was “a unilateral decision” on the part of the government, made out of fear that misinformation and hate speech could spread on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram and sow confusion or even incite more violence. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe pleaded with Sri Lankans to “please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation.”


This wasn’t the first time Sri Lanka had cut access to social media. – Ian Bogost, The Atlantic

Media outlets fight to keep Harvey Weinstein's sex assault hearing open

News organizations are going to court in hopes of pulling back the curtain on Harvey Weinstein's next court appearance in his sexual assault case.

Prosecutors contend the hearing should be closed to protect Weinstein's right to a fair trial and for the privacy of women whose allegations against him are not part of the underlying criminal charges. Weinstein's lawyers say news coverage could taint the jury pool. – Associated Press

Twitter profits rise as quarterly ad revenue doubles

The company posted profit of US$190.8 million, or 25 cents per share, for the first quarter. After adjusting for one-time gains and costs, earnings rose 10 percent to $66.4M, or 9 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research forecast earnings of 15 cents per share. Revenue in the period came in at $786.9M, beating analyst forecasts of $774.9M. – AP

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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