Media Beat: April 26, 2021

By David Farrell

Rogers CEO ‘deeply disappointed’ after massive wireless outage, vows to win back trust

The chief executive officer of Rogers Communications Inc. apologized to wireless customers affected by a 16-hour outage as the telecom reported first-quarter results on Wednesday that beat analyst expectations.

The company boosted its Q1 revenue and profit as its cable and media businesses saw improvements. The Toronto-based telecom had $3.49-billion in revenue for the three-month period ended March 31, up 2 per cent from $3.42-billion a year ago. Its profit for the quarter was $361-million, up 3 per cent from $352-million during the same period last year. – Alexandra Posadzki, Report On Business

BCE made competing bid for Shaw Communications, but lost out due to unwillingness to take on regulatory risk

Although BCE, which owns Bell Canada, initially made a higher offer, Rogers went further by agreeing to a “hell or high water” clause that means it will accept any conditions set out by regulators in order to gain approval, according to four sources familiar with the negotiations. – Alexandra Posadzki, Report On Business


PM just made YouTube uploads, iTunes podcasts and more subject to CRTC rules

The federal government’s Bill C-10 proposed last fall aims to amend the Broadcasting Act, to essentially push taxes and requirements on all streaming services on the internet, to have them contribute to Canadian content like traditional broadcasters.

Bill C-10 had an exception to exclude social media, but that has now been ripped out according to followers of Meeting No. 26 of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (CHPC). – Gary Ng, IC Phone Canada

Apple announces paid podcast subscriptions to rival Spotify

The service joins several other paid digital offerings launched by the Cupertino, California-based technology giant in recent years, including Apple TV+, Apple One services bundles, Apple News+, Apple Arcade and Apple Fitness+.

Services have quickly become one of Apple’s chief revenue drivers, bringing in more than $50 billion in revenue during fiscal 2020. – Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Jeff Bezos, Drake, others invest $80M in Overtime sports media

Overtime is a media company that distributes original sports content on social media outlets, including Snapchat, YouTube and Facebook. The company also and sells apparel with its logos and branding. A portion of the new funds will be used to fuel its basketball league that pays 16-to-18-year-old players at least $100,000 per year. – Jabari Young, CNBC


Guaranteed to Blow Your Mind

Just how abusive is tracking? Let's take a look at an innocent publication like Smithsonian Magazine. You probably can't imagine that visiting the website of an organization like this can do you any harm, right? Think again.

Dr. Augustine Fou did some forensics on the website. Here's what he found. When you go to the Smithsonian website you think you are interacting with one party.  You do not know that 2,200 other entities are loading crap into your browser to track you and harvest your data. Then these ad tech creeps can profit from pimping your info all over the web. –  Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian


CFRB broadcaster Bill McVean was a gentleman of the airwaves: The Globe and Mail’s Brad Wheeler provides an exemplary obit feature on Bill McVean, a golden voice during the golden era of CFRB. He died March 21 from multiple strokes.

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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