Media Beat: June 14, 2021

Media Beat: June 14, 2021

By David Farrell

MuchMusic is now in TikTok mode

Bell Media has plans to relaunch the MuchMusic brand with a new generation of content creators and a series of short form content on the TikTok platform, staring on July 7.

“With hosts and creators that speak directly to Gen Z and younger Millennials, the all-new multiplatform MuchMusic stays true to its spirit as a seminal brand with an authentic voice,” said Stewart Johnston, Sr. VP, Sales & Sports, Bell Media.

A Bell Media statement quotes Adam Burchill, Head of Music, TikTok Canada saying “Culture starts on TikTok, from music and trends to artists being discovered and rediscovered, so there’s an obvious synergy between TikTok and MuchMusic for the relaunch of this iconic institution.”


The broadcaster adds that the relaunch is to be driven by the team behind TSN’s BarDown, the initiative follows the brand’s successful model for creating social media content with high engagement rates. “With four of the top five engagement rates on Instagram among Canadian media, the BarDown team regularly ranks among the top engagement rates for any major sports account in North America.”

News Media Canada tired of PM’s promises

The Canadian newspaper trade association is growing impatient with the PM’s promises to change the media landscape with a policy fix that favours them and trims Google and Facebook’s lock on most of the media dollars spent in Canada–including those the feds pony up.

Last Wednesday, June 9, News Media Canada issued “a historic open letter to the PM calling on the Trudeau government to act now on their commitment to support local journalists.

The open letter run as an editorial on the front pages of many newspapers across the country, the unified message holds that “For months, you and your Minister of Canadian Heritage, Steven Guilbeault, have promised action to rein in the predatory monopoly practices of Google and Facebook against Canadian news media.  But so far, all we’ve gotten is talk.  And with every passing week, that talk grows hollower and hollower.”


The coalition adds: “This isn’t just a Canadian problem. Google and Facebook are using their monopoly powers in the same way throughout the world — choking off journalism from the financial resources it needs to survive.

“The difference is that other countries are putting their foot down. Australia’s parliament — with support from all parties — has enacted comprehensive new legislation requiring the two web giants to negotiate collectively with that country’s media. And they’ve backed up these new rules with enforcement teeth.

“Time and again, you and your government have committed to similar action. The Minister of Canadian Heritage has specifically and repeatedly committed to tabling legislation this spring. But after months of promises, there is still no legislation…”

Pressure mounts against CRTC’s questionable ruling allowing higher Internet rates

An Ottawa-based digital-rights group says that a federal regulator is the “biggest barrier to an affordable internet in Canada.”

In an online petition, OpenMedia claimed that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) “just screwed Canadians” by allowing large companies like Bell and Rogers to revert back to “oppressively high 2016 [wholesale] rates.” – Charlie Smith, Now


Rupert Murdoch writes down value of Sun newspapers to zero

Plummeting advertising sales and one-off charges related to ongoing legal action over allegations of historical phone hacking have combined to bludgeon the bottom line of Murdoch’s once top earners that has long titillated or infuriated UK readers with a mix of salacious gossip, xenophobic views and right-wing flag-waving.   

Joke of the Week

The French competition watchdog has fined Google €220 million for their monopolistic practices. Specifically, they're accused of giving preferential treatment to their own stuff (which, btw, I wrote about in BadMen five years ago.)

Google spends €220 million a year on pizza. This fine is about as likely to change them as telling your 16-year-old that if he doesn't stop throwing his clothes on the floor you won't let him read Tolstoy anymore. – Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian


Big Tech’s grab for world domination

The unholy trinity is cornering the markets for cloud computing, online gaming, VR, e-commerce, electric cars, automated homes and robotics. The Star’s Eric Jhonsa neatly wraps up the rush to tomorrow in one easy read.

Lana Del Rey performs on "Christmas in Graceland"
Katherine Bomboy/NBC

Lana Del Rey performs on "Christmas in Graceland"


Yes, Lana Del Rey’s Headlining Coachella Set Was Perplexing — And Profound

The iconic artist's night one headlining set included a guest appearance from Billie Eilish, a hologram of herself and so much more.

Not only did Lana Del Rey start her Coachella headlining set early, but her entry was epic.

On Friday, April 12, at 11:16 p.m. the festival main stage screens showed an aerial view of Del Rey and her entourage rapidly approaching. As she neared, it became clear her crew was not rolling up on the expected golf carts that often shuttle stars around the Indio, Calif. fest, but rather motorcycles. And as a snippet of her never-to-be-officially-released song “Jealous Girl” played – with the lyric “Baby, I’m a gangster too” on loop – Del Rey’s motorcade took a lap through the crowd as she smiled and waved to the thousands of fans gathered for this very moment.

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