Media Beat: June 07, 2019

By David Farrell

Bell Media confirms 70 original productions in new season

Bell Media has confirmed its first wave of new and returning original entertainment programming for the 2019/20 season. With 31 new original programs announced to date and more to be confirmed in the coming days and weeks, a total of 70 original English-language programs will be produced in the coming season in partnership with independent production companies and in-house at Bell Media Studios.

Included is an eight-episode series through Banger Films, called Pop Evolution and a co-production about The Band entitled Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band. – TV eh

Amazon Canada to launch Prime Video TV channels

Prime Video Channels (PVC) will offer 13 TV channels to Canadians that users can subscribe to through Prime Video instead of a traditional TV provider. The feature has been live in the U.S. since 2015. In Canada, the channels cost between $3.99 and $12.99 a month. PVC offers live and on-demand content for the included channels and counters Apple’s new TV app, which so far only offers three channels in Canada — Acorn TV, CBS All Access and the Smithsonian channel. Some of the channels on offer are available directly through Bell’s Crave and Corus Entertainment. – Mobile Syrup


4th Annual Digital Publishing Awards

The National Media Awards Foundation has announced the winners of the 4th annual Digital Publishing Awards, which were handed out Wednesday night at a gala event in Toronto. The ceremony was opened with the presentation of the Leadership Award to Kathy Vey, TVO’s executive producer of Digital. In General Excellence in Digital Publishing, The Sprawl took Gold in the small division, Maclean’s was the Gold winner in the medium division, while CBC News was the Gold-winner in the large division. Overall, The Globe and Mail came away from this year’s awards with nine Gold and three Silver awards, while CBC claimed seven Gold and five Silver. Hakai Magazine and Vice Canada also earned multiple honours. Broadcast Dialogue has the complete list of winners.  


Canada must ‘think big’ when pondering the future of broadcasting laws

Over the next couple of months, a federal review into Canada’s broadcasting and telecommunications laws will be tasked with offering prescriptions for future legislative change.

Issues that are being looked at include the rollout of 5G wireless network technology and the efficient introduction of infrastructure, how to better support the creation and production of Canadian content, improving the rights of digital consumers, and ensuring diverse and independent news sources. – Alex Boutilier, The Star

Spotify tries to be more like radio

The platform’s new app called Stations includes a scrollable list of playlists and the ability to customize stations. Like radio, there will be ads. Most likely, not as many though. Unlike radio, there will be no personalities or local community flavor. – Radio Ink

What’s ‘new’ with Classic Rock?

As Nielsen continues to remind us, the Classic Rock format continues to excel in the 25-54 “money demo” – many stations are Top 5 – the “demographic cliff” (as Ted Ruscitti calls it) continues to get closer, as more and more format fans age out of these stations.

(Actually, it's more correct to say these listeners aren't leaving the format – radio is leaving them, because of its myopic focus on the same 30-year age target it's been frantically chasing for decades now.)


And in the sales department, the challenges are profound, even when Classic Rock stations have desirable ratings.  Many media buyers are in their 20s, not exactly in the heart of the format's epicenter.  The conversation is likely to be more about Billie Eilish and Cardi B than it is about when the Stones' tour will resume.

That's a reminder to all of us involved in programming and overseeing Classic Rock stations that there's an ongoing need to remain “current.” – Fred Jacobs, Jacobs Media


Amazon launches 30-minute drone deliveries

In 1984, Domino’s 30-minute delivery was a revolutionary offer for pizza, which arrived by cars.

Today, the stakes are higher, literally and figuratively. And it just so happens Amazon announced its latest Prime Air drone design on Wednesday, which it says can fly up to 15 miles—but the packages it ferries must weigh less than five pounds. – AdWeek


Peterborough radio legend John Muir has passed away

As well as being the long-time general manager of Trent Radio, the student-run radio station of Trent University, Muir was an audio engineer, community leader, mentor, and arts advocate.

He passed away early Monday morning (June 3) at age 63. – Peterborough Examiner

Intertwining Currents by artist Matthew Davies
Courtesy Photo

Intertwining Currents by artist Matthew Davies


Billboard Canada Partners On Transformative New Media Festival, NOXTE

The first of its kind in Toronto, the event breaks barriers between audio, visual and new media and launches on July 12.


There’s a new art festival breaking barriers between audio, visual and new media. This new media experience is the first of its kind in Toronto, bringing the city’s art forms together with a distinct nightlife vibe more often found in Miami or Berlin.

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