Media Beat: May 12, 2022

Media Beat: May 12, 2022

By David Farrell

It’s a good time to be a big Canadian telecom

BCE Inc. released its first-quarter earnings on May 5 with “better-than-expected” results, Jerome Dubreuil, financial analyst at Desjardins Securities, wrote in his report. Earnings were up 36 percent year-over-year or $934 million.

Rogers Communications reported a strong first quarter with total revenue of $3.6 billion, up four percent from the first quarter of 2021. – Clarrie Feinstein, Toronto Star

Heritage Minister preaches internet regulation at cultural summit

At the National Arts Centre in Ottawa Tuesday (May 3), Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriguez made a startling revelation: He asked for this job.

In his opening speech to a three-day national cultural summit, Rodriguez said that after the last election, he told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to put him back in Heritage, the portfolio he held briefly in 2018-19. He must have known that whoever led Heritage would have to stickhandle several controversial pieces of legislation intended to regulate the internet, but he signed up for the tricky assignment nonetheless. – Kate Taylor, The Globe and Mail


Quebecor invited by Rogers to join bidding for Shaw’s Freedom Mobile

Bankers representing telecom giant Rogers Communications Inc. have reached out to bankers working for Quebecor Inc. about potentially buying Shaw Communications Inc.’s Freedom Mobile, according to a source.

The Globe is not identifying the source because the person is not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. – Alexandra Posadzki & Andrew Willis, The Globe and Mail

Competition Bureau opposing Rogers-Shaw merger

Canada's competition commissioner intends to oppose Rogers Communications Inc.'s proposed $26-billion merger with Shaw Communications Inc., the companies said in a statement released early Saturday.

The telecom giants said they were notified of the commissioner's plan to file an application to the Competition Tribunal aimed at preventing the deal following the close of trading on Friday.

They said they will oppose the application while "continuing to engage constructively with the Competition Bureau to bring this matter to a resolution." – CBC News


As Ottawa chews on Rogers-Shaw deal, investors should brace for delay of next 5G auction

Any postponement of the 3800 MHz auction, should it come to pass, will rankle telecoms, deepen the rift between the business community and the Prime Minister’s Office and cause Canada to fall further behind on its 5G rollout.

Although Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) unveiled its timetable for the 3800 MHz auction just months ago, deadlines are just suggestions in Ottawa. That’s why delayed spectrum auctions have become the Canadian way.

Even if we cut the government slack for delaying last year’s 3500 MHz auction by six months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada has long been a laggard among OECD countries when it comes to allocating spectrum. – Evan Buhler, The Canadian Press

TikTok announces two-day Canadian summit in June

TikTok is holding its first-ever ‘For You’ Summit in Canada next month, with Canadian creators and advertisers invited to come along and learn the latest insights and trends, in-person, at an actual, real-life meet-up event. – Andrew Hutchinson, Social Media Today

Al Jazeera condemns Israel’s killing of Shireen Abu Akleh

Here’s what the Qatar-based media network had to say: “In a blatant murder, violating international laws and norms, the Israeli occupation forces assassinated in cold blood Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Palestine, Shireen Abu Akleh, targeting her with live fire early this morning, Wednesday, May 11, 2022, while conducting her journalistic duty, clearly wearing a press jacket that identifies her a journalist, covering the Israeli occupation forces storming of Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank.” – Al Jazeera


Dying is easy, but it’s far from over for radio listening

Our data shows that radio listening – even among Techsurvey's mostly core radio sample – is slowly eroding, along with those once-important images for new music discovery that used to bring teenagers to the medium in droves.  Now, they're on Spotify, TikTok, and YouTube.

Meantime as predicted by your friends here at Jacobs Media, the car has become a battleground as radio shares its prime end-cap position in dashboard with SiriusXM and smartphone apps.  It's enough to make you want to watch Art Vuolo videos of the good old days. – Fred Jacobs


But don't do that just yet.  The good news is that this “radio thing” is still a very desirable medium that isn't going away anytime soon.  Repositioned, yes?  But down for the count?  Not even close.

Podcasting now makes up 10% of iHeart revenue

That’s what CEO Bob Pittman said on the iHeartMedia earnings call last week as the company reported an overall revenue increase of just under 20% to $843 million. Pittman said podcasting revenue jumped 79% over 2021 to $69 million. – Radio Ink

Elon Musk and Twitter hit with lawsuit from shareholder to delay $44B takeover

In a complaint filed in Delaware Chancery Court on Friday, the Orlando Police Pension Fund said that under Delaware law Mr Musk cannot complete the takeover until at least 2025 unless holders of two-thirds of shares not “owned” by him approved, according to Reuters.

The lawsuit said Mr. Musk became an “interested stockholder” after taking a more than 9 percent Twitter stake, requiring the delay. – Megan Sheets, Reuters

UK’s new rules for Big Tech could lead to ‘eye-watering fines’

A newly established Digital Markets Unit, sitting inside the country's competition regulator, will have the power to rein in big tech and issue fines of up to 10% of global annual revenue. For the biggest tech companies, the fines could easily stretch into tens of millions of dollars -- especially as the regulator will have the power to add an additional 5% onto the penalty for each day an offense continues.

The UK is far from alone in striving to ensure tech's biggest names don't abuse their power in a way that's detrimental to users. – Katie Collins, CNET

Meta is opening its first store. Here’s what it’s like inside

The 1,550-square-foot space at Meta’s campus in Burlingame, California, underscores that Meta is getting increasingly serious about creating consumer hardware. The company is following a path of opening physical stores that Apple has made a success. Google and Samsung are also trying the approach, as have other companies. – Queenie Wong, CNET


TikTok is poised to triple ad revenue to $11.6B this year – surpassing Twitter and Snap combined

Boosted by growing engagement and commerce activity, TikTok’s ad revenue is projected to triple from $3.88 billion in 2021 to $11.64 billion this year — up a whopping 200% — according to eMarketer’s forecast. That makes the ByteDance-owned app’s ad business larger than Twitter’s ($5.58 billion) and Snap’s ($4.86 billion). And by 2024, analysts expect TikTok’s ad business to double again to $23.58 billion, with over half of that revenue coming from the U.S., allowing it to catch up with YouTube’s $23.65 billion haul in ad revenue. – Antoinette Siu, The Wrap

Billboard Japan


Music News

Japan’s MILLENNIUM PARADE Coming to Toronto on 2024 Global Tour: See the Schedule

The band, led by Daiki Tsuneta of King Gnu, will kick off the trek on Nov. 2 in Mexico City.

MILLENNIUM PARADE is set to launch its first-ever global tour called the WHO AND HOW TOUR 2024 in November, traveling to nine cities around the world for 10 shows.

The band, led by Daiki Tsuneta of King Gnu, will kick off the trek in Mexico City, then hit Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Berlin, Paris, London, Utrecht, and Tokyo. The Tokyo shows will take place at Tokyo Garden Theater on Dec. 19 and 20. The tour will mark the first time in three years that the band performs live.

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