Media Beat, Sept. 07, 2023

By David Farrell

Canadian Heritage provides clarity on Online News Act exemptions

… According to Canadian Heritage, the bargaining process with search engines and platforms like Google, Meta and Bing, should result in approximately $230 million a year made available to support news organizations. Based on government estimates, made without the benefit of published market data from digital operators, their formula multiplies global revenue by Canadian share of global GDP, multiplied by a further four percent contribution rate. Google would stand to contribute about $172 million a year, under the formula, followed by Facebook at $62 million. A department spokesperson told a media technical briefing there is still a question of whether Instagram will be subject to the legislation as it may fall under the 20 million user threshold in Canada. – Connie Thiessen, Broadcast Dialogue


How much is news content worth to Google?

 Each year, Google pays more than $100 million to Australian news publishers under the News Media Bargaining Code. Under the threat of being forced to pay up, the law encourages Google and Facebook to negotiate commercial deals with publishers to use their content. And they have – the two companies pay north of $200 million a year between them.

But a new study from Switzerland suggests Google snagged a bargain – local journalistic content could be worth eight times more for a search engine. In 2022, Google made $US162 billion ($252 billion) from advertising on its search pages, and as much as $5.5 billion, on one estimate, from searches in Australia. And at the end of next year, the first of the three-year deals Google negotiated with media companies will come up for renewal.

Australia is not alone in this. – Sam Buckingham-Jones, Financial Review

Twist in Online News Act regulations could see news media owe millions to Google, Facebook

… According to The Logic, the official confirmed that the agreements could include as compensation the value of web traffic provided by the platforms. “Non-monetary contributions can be included, if both sides agree on their value, and the official said the deals could put dollar figures on the eyes Google and Facebook send to Canadian sites.” Since Google claims to send $250 million worth of traffic to Canadian news websites a year and Meta is close behind at $230 million, this could absurdly result in Google being owed $78 million and Meta $188 million. The devil will be in the details, of course, including how to value the traffic and whether the platforms could collect any overage… – Marc Edge, Canadian Dimension


The Globe and Mail's Phillip Crawley turns the page on a 58-year newspaper career

Crawley is handing the reins to former chief revenue officer Andrew Saunders, who he says is well-positioned to handle the challenges facing the newspaper in the years to come. He credited Saunders with having negotiated deals in recent years with tech companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook-parent company Meta, as did multiple news organizations in recent years, including The Canadian Press.

Crawley said that experience will be key as the newspaper navigates one of the most critical unknowns: the federal government's ongoing standoff with Meta and Google over its Online News Act. – Sammy Hudes, The Canadian Press

Facts and figures about Canada’s current national debt

The federal government posted a $1.5 billion surplus in April and May, the first two months of the fiscal year, thanks to increased revenue from EI premiums, higher interest rates, a carbon price hike, and additional income tax revenue. However, this will hardly put a dent in the overall $1.1 trillion federal debt owing. – Christopher Liew, CTV News


Former CRTC Chair von Finckenstein named interim Ethics Commissioner

Former CRTC Chair Konrad Winrich von Finckenstein has been appointed as Interim Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, as per an announcement from Ethics Commissioner communications director Melanie Rushworth.

Mario Dion retired in February after serving as the last permanent conflict-of-interest and ethics commissioner. A longtime staffer in that office, Martine Richard, took on an interim role in April and resigned within weeks amid a hullaballoo created when it became know that she is the sister-in-law of Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc.


Finkelstein was chair of the CRTC between 2007 and 2012. Prior to that, he served as a Federal Court justice for 5 years until 2007 and served a similar term as head of the Competition Bureau until 2003.

US streaming viewership in US beats broadcast and cable numbers

Broadcast and cable’s share of viewing dropped below 50% (to 49.6%) as streaming hit a new high in July, according to Nielsen.

Broadcast’s share was 20% in July, a new low, down from 20.8% in June. Cable had a 29.6% share, down from 30.6%. 

It’s the first time cable’s share had been below 30%. It’s worth noting that cable had a 40.1% share as recently as June 2021.

Streaming’s share rose to 38.7% in July, the highest since Nielsen began issuing monthly reports, and up from 37.7% in June.  – Jon Lafayette, Broadcast & Cable

How Jack Welch hijacked capitalism for no common good

Starting in the 1980s, though, as a result of the corporate takeovers mounted by raiders such as Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky, and Carl Icahn, a wholly different understanding of the corporation emerged.

The raiders targeted companies that could deliver higher returns to their shareholders if they abandoned their other stakeholders — by fighting unions, cutting workers’ pay or firing them, automating as many jobs as possible, outsourcing other jobs, and abandoning their original communities by shuttering factories and moving jobs to states with lower labour costs or abroad.

The raiders pushed shareholders to vote out directors who wouldn’t make these sorts of changes and vote in directors who would (or else sell their shares to the raiders, who’d do the dirty work).

During the whole of the 1970s, there were only 13 hostile takeovers of big companies valued at $1 billion or more. During the 1980s, there were 150. Between 1979 and 1989, financial entrepreneurs mounted more than 2,000 leveraged buyouts, in which they bought out shareholders with borrowed money, each buyout exceeding $250 million. – Robert Reich, extracted from his book The Common Good.


Why is it easier to buy bullets than cold medicines?

Ammunition isn’t regulated like guns. But it used to be. Advocates and lawmakers say it’s a missed opportunity. – Jennifer Mascia, The Trace

Word population by religion

About 85% of the world's people identify with a religion. The most popular religion is Christianity, followed by an estimated 2.38B people worldwide. Islam, which is practiced by more than 1.91B people, is second. However, population researchers predict that Islam will have nearly caught up to Christianity by 2050. Other religions measured and projected include Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and two umbrella categories. The first is "folk religions", which collects traditional African religions, Chinese folk religions, and both Native American and Australian aboriginal religions. The second is "other religions", a catch-all that tracks smaller faiths such as Shintoism, Taoism, Sikhism, and Jainism. Finally, a significant number of people—nearly 1.2B worldwide—remain nonreligious or have Atheist beliefs.

Below is each religion's total estimated population for 2020:

  • Christianity - 2.38 billion


  • Islam - 1.91 billion

  • Hinduism - 1.16 billion

  • Buddhism - 507 million

  • Folk Religions - 430 million

  • Other Religions - 61 million

  • Judaism - 14.6 million

  • Unaffiliated - 1.19 billion

Pew Research: 5 facts about religion in Canada

  1. A declining share of Canadians identify as Christians, while an increasing share say they have no religion.

  2. Most Canadians say religion’s influence in public life is waning in their country.

  3. Canada has low levels of government restrictions on religion…

  4. Relatively few Canadians frequently engage in traditional religious practices…

  5. Two-thirds of Canadians (67%) say it is not necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values.

Not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints spoof Adele’s Hello

Written, Directed, and produced by Marcus with Korey Smith Cinematography and performed by Elder Berry and Parker Cressman


50 Cent

50 Cent


50 Cent Takes A Victory Lap at Toronto's Cabana Pool Bar: Canadian Concerts of the Week

Also this week: it's festival season, with Hillside, Le Festif! and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival all happening on the same weekend.

Summer is in swing, and that means festival season. While many of the biggest ones take place in August, this weekend sees a handful of folk or adjacent events with the perfect summer vibes. Find those below, after our concert of the week featuring one of the biggest rap success stories of the last two decades.

Concert of the Week

50 Cent at Cabana Pool Bar, Toronto — Saturday, July 20

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