Media Beat: February 06, 2019

Media Beat: February 06, 2019

By David Farrell

Update on smart speakers in Canada

Jeff Vidler’s Audience Insights has released a Canadian research report that spells out the growing adoption of smart speakers in households. Summary findings can be found here, and the complete results by contacting him at

Smart speakers show the potential to turn the last decade’s focus on ‘screen time’ on its head as Canada continues to catch up to the U.S. in smart speaker penetration.

•Only one and a half years after Google sold the first smart speaker in Canada, nearly one-in-five adults (19%) now report having a smart speaker.

•Thanks to its first-in position, Google continues to be the dominant smart speaker platform in Canada—unlike the U.S. where Amazon is the market leader.


•Heavy marketing of the budget-priced Google Mini and Amazon Echo Dot speakers during the holidays has helped to fuel the latest growth spurt in adoption, with these compact speakers being among the most popular gifts of the holiday season.

•Smart speaker owners are listening to audio on their smart speakers, with nearly 2/3s saying they listened to music streaming services and nearly half listening to AM/FM in the past week.

•As more Canadians own smart speakers, the number of devices per household is increasing. More than a third of smart speaker owners now have two or more speakers in their home.

•The rate of future growth may in large part depend on how effectively speaker manufacturers address privacy issues. Most Canadians say they are unlikely to buy a smart speaker in the next six months, many of whom express deep privacy concerns about having a speaker in their home.

Canada’s Rebel Media Hires Proud Boy Gavin McInnes

Gavin McInnes, the founder of “Western Chauvinist” group Proud Boys, is joining far-right Canadian website and network The Rebel Media, the outlet told Mediaite Tuesday.

Proud Boys states on its site that, “The basic tenet of the group is that we are ‘Western chauvinists who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.’ Like Archie Bunker, we long for the days when ‘girls were girls and men were men.’ This wasn’t controversial even twenty years ago, but being proud of Western culture today is like being a crippled, black, lesbian communist in 1953.”


Jann Arden’s mockumentary TV series launches in March

As announced during Super Bowl, CTV’s all-new original comedy JANN begins streaming Wednesdays at 8:30 pm ET/PT on CTV,, and the CTV app beginning March 20. Starring the comedic singer-songwriter and media maven, Arden is depicted in the six-episode series as a fictionalized version of hersel.

While she is as talented as ever, in the world of JANN she’s no longer the household name she once was, and is now dealing with the harsh reality that her former music career is slowly fading away. She plays corporate gigs and community events, like the local farmer’s market, and to make ends meet, Jann lives in the guest house on her own property, while renting out her actual big home to other, more successful people. You catch the drift? This is a scenario only her manager Bruce Allen, Bell Media supremo Randy Lennox and mad hatter Jann could have concocted and it promises to be huge. We can’t wait.


iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman tells it like it is

”Radio is doing very well in the car, very well in the office and we do well at home where people have the radios. But, over time the number of radio’s in the home has declined and its hard to go find an old-fashioned radio to buy. Alexa turned out to be the new radio. And, consumers use it just like their clock radio, their bathroom radio, their kitchen radio except it’s easier to use, just tell it what to do. That’s been the poster child for how these new devices go.” – Listen to the podcast here


Alex Dozois



Montreal's Geoffroy Delivers a Bright New Sound on 'Good Boy': New & Upcoming Canadian Album Releases

Also out this week is new work from Jim Cuddy, Tevet Sela, Kym Gouchie and Ellen Doty.

Canadian albums are in the spotlight this week, as the Polaris Music Prize announced its 40-album long list for best of the year. Longtime post-hardcore favourites Alexisonfire, meanwhile, announced a new live album.

This week also brings a number of new releases, including ever-evolving Montreal artist Geoffroy. He joins Blue Rodeo frontman Jim Cuddy, who has a new solo release, as well as Christin Hyshka, The Hi Tops,Maggie Andrew, Kym Gouchy, Wild Remedy and more. Others announcing new album release dates are Mo Kenney, Mia Kelly and KROY.

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