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FYI

Media Beat: September 13, 2019

Media Beat: September 13, 2019

By David Farrell

Costing $5.99 monthly, Apple TV+ launching Nov. 1 in Canada

With no historical library of television content of its own, Apple will sell its own service — Apple TV+ — even as it already serves as a reseller of other channels like HBO and, analysts believe, takes a cut of sales. Apple’s challenge is to persuade consumers that its family of devices, from its set-top box to phones, are the best one-stop place to watch shows, despite the fact that Netflix has yet to come on board with the integrated viewing system. (Netflix remains available as a standalone app on Apple devices, and its shows appear in search results in the Apple TV app.)


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The subscription streaming service beats Disney Plus on price and launch date. Disney’s service launches Nov. 12 with an $8.99 price tag. Both compete with the pre-existing Netflix, Bell Media’s Crave, CBC Gem and Amazon Prime Video services in the market here. –Sources: Reuters & Canadian Press

Ontario’s My Broadcasting Group recognized for winning strategy

For the ninth consecutive year, My Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), has been ranked on the Growth 500 list published by Canadian Business and Maclean’s Magazine. Founded in 2004 with six employees, MBC now operates radio stations in 21 Ontario, Canada, markets with a staff of more than 125 employees. Radio Ink talked with MBC President Jon Pole.

“I would say in Ontario, with the exception of Rogers Media that has two all news stations in the province, I would be surprised if we don’t have the second-largest radio newsroom,” Pole says in the interview. “We’re not in major markets. We really believe in local news. We research our audiences on a regular basis, and the number one reason people listen to our radio stations is local news; followed by music, contests, and local announcers…” – RadioInk

Rawlinsons donate $650K to Saskatoon end-of-life care hospice

A project to build an end-of-life care hospice in Saskatoon is getting a big financial boost, after a $650,000 donation from Gordon and Jill Rawlinson.

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The gift was presented to the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation as part of the Close to Home Campaign for Hospice and End of Life Care during a ceremony on Tuesday morning.

Rawlco President, Pam Leyland, says it means a lot to the Rawlinson’s to give back to the community in this way. – 650 CKOM News

A good wager: Netflix will win the streaming wars

What Netflix has going for it is an already long-established consumer loyalty and dependability. It deals in volume and value for money. The number of Emmy nominations it gets – in 2018 it surpassed HBO for the first time – are mere icing on the cake. The day-to-day business of Netflix is the customer’s ability to discover new content it didn’t know about. Also, it spends money in acquiring hot and award-winning cable series after they’ve aired on cable, a manoeuvre that convinces subscribers to abandon cable and stick with streaming. – John Doyle, The Globe and Mail

Inside the Vancouver Sun after Anti-Immigrant Op-ed Debacle

On Monday morning, Vancouver Sun editor-in-chief Harold Munro gathered his staff to address the controversy engulfing both Postmedia newspapers in the city, and wept.

Three days before, the Sun and Province had published an opinion piece by Mark Hecht under the headline “Ethnic Diversity Harms a Country’s Social Trust, Argues Professor.” Canada, wrote the sessional instructor at Calgary’s Mount Royal University, should “say goodbye to diversity, tolerance and inclusion.”

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(But) Munro’s address to staff lacked a few elements many in the room were hungry to hear. He did not mention any specifics about how procedures or policies would change in the newsroom. Nor did he say whether Sun and Province editorial pages editor Gordon Clark would be replaced in his role at the paper or face any consequences. – David Beers, The Tyee

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Canada’s $600M ‘media bailout’: A guide to federal tax breaks for the news industry

Because the funding is aimed at bolstering the print news industry, CTV News and other major broadcasters will not qualify. – Nicole Bogart, CTV News

RAIN Summit Canada set for Oct. 16

The 2nd annual hosted by RAIN News czar Kurt Hanson (founder and CEO of top 10 Triton Digital ranked web streaming service, AccuRadio) is to be staged at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio. The final agenda has yet to be released, but initial details of the all-day summit include a major radio groups roundtable and first-release findings from the latest Audience Insights Inc. and Ulster Media’s The Canadian Podcast Listener survey. Register here

Executive sweep at Vista Radio

An internal Vista Radio memo, obtained by Broadcast Dialogue, suggests an inability “to stabilize an ongoing decline in revenues and resultant profitability” was behind the firing of four company executives on Friday. Included was company president Geoff Poulton.

Vista owns 43 radio stations and 35 digital news portals across B.C., Alberta, Ontario and the Northwest Territories. – Connie Thiessen, Broadcast Dialogue

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting calls for an end to tax subsidies for U.S. social media giants

It's estimated that more than 70 percent of all digital advertising in Canada goes to Facebook and Google.

According to the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, the loophole has caused "nearly $6 billion to leave the country, at the expense of Canadian journalism and democracy".

The loss of tax revenue alone is $1.6 billion, Friends says, because advertisers can write off messages on Facebook, Google, and Amazon. – Charlie Smith, Georgia Straight

Sun Life partners with Radio-Canada's 100 génies TV show

The Canadian financial services company has announced partnering with 100 génies, a new Radio-Canada quiz series hosted by Pierre-Yves Lord. The shows pit wits between one hundred bright 14-to-17-year-olds, with a chance to win $26,000 in contributions to a Sun Life Registered Education Saving Plan.

In May, 500 students from across Canada auditioned to become one of the 100 geniuses of the show. – CNW Media Group

Canada’s news media termed ‘complacent’ when discussing cultural identity

The media is a pillar of democracy. Numerous studies reveal how an erosion in local news weakens civic engagement. Research suggests people who consume local news regularly are more likely to vote and participate in public activities. But the spate of local publication closures in nearly 200 Canadian communities over the past decade has left a vacuum for misinformation to fill, compromised journalists’ ability to hold government accountable and resulted in more polarized communities where neighbours don’t trust each other.

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These studies focus on geographic communities. But there’s scant research into how news poverty impacts racialized communities or geographic communities that are majority-minority, such as Scarborough, a suburb of more than 600,000 in the Greater Toronto Area where people of colour make up 73 percent of the total population. – Anita Li, Policy Options

Google to pay US$1B in France to settle fiscal fraud probe

Google agreed to pay close to $1.10B to French authorities to settle a fiscal fraud probe that began four years ago in a deal that may create a legal precedent for other large tech companies present in the country.

French investigators have been seeking to establish whether Google, whose European headquarters are based in Dublin, failed to pay its dues to the state by avoiding to declare parts of its activities in the country. The settlement includes a fine and payment of additional taxes. – Simon Carraud & Mathieu Rosemain, Reuters

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Google collects face data now. Here's what it means and how to opt out

Google's latest smart display brings with it a controversial new feature that's always watching. Face Match, introduced on the Google Nest Hub Max, uses the smart display's front-facing camera as a security feature and a way to participate in video calls. It also shows you your photos, texts, calendar details and so on when it recognizes your face. – Dale Smith, CNET

Google ‘killing’ companies using ‘shakedown’ ad tactics

Business Insider reports that a number of business owners are speaking out against Google’s advertising practices as antitrust investigations into the Silicon Valley tech giant heat up. Specifically, a practice known as “conquesting” has been described by some business owners as “a shakedown” and “a ransom” by Google. Conquesting involves Google allowing competitors to buy ads specifically targeted at searches for company's names, resulting in ads showing up for their products above the organic search results Google users searched for. – Breitbart

Google to boost articles with 'original reporting' in search results

Google will start promoting news articles that feature original reporting in its search results in an effort to push users to more “authoritative” outlets, the company announced Thursday. – Harper Neidig, The Hill

Newspaper execs lobby Washington to fight duopoly

Publishing executives from seven newspapers gathered to meet with senators and representatives to encourage their support of the News Media Alliance's anti-trust safe harbor bill. The bill — originally introduced earlier this year — would allow newspapers to work together to negotiate with tech platforms “for better business arrangements.” – Sara Guaglione, MediaPost

Comcast, Fox, CBS, & Disney sue to block à la carte TV

Recently, the state of Maine passed a law requiring that cable operators offer an à la carte TV option. The new law says that “a cable system operator shall offer subscribers the option of purchasing access to cable channels, or programs on cable channels, individually.” This would bring à la carte TV, which many have hoped for, to the state of Maine.

Now Comcast, Fox, CBS, and Disney are suing saying that federal law supersedes the state law when it comes to TV services. – Luke Bouma, Cord Cutters News

Blackouts expected to impact AT&T subscription income

After lengthy blackouts of CBS and Nexstar stations, plus the impact of price increases, AT&T expects to lose about 300,000 to 350,000 subscribers in the quarter, CFO John Stephens said.

Earlier this week, the Walt Disney Co. began warning AT&T subscribers that a blackout of channels including ABC and ESPN loomed. – Jon Lafayette, Broadcasting + Cable

Who wants to watch radio?

Techsurvey data continues to remind us that radio listeners are far more likely to stream video than audio.  And video cameras, as well as skilled producers and editors have made their way into many clusters all over the country.

So, why not go a step further?  When I look at some of the impressive download data I've seen for daily morning show videos, like the type WMMR's Preston & Steve (“Daily Rush”) and WRIF's Dave & Chuck the Freak (“Peep Show”) post every weekday, I have to wonder why more shows aren't following suit.

There's nothing especially complicated – just a few cameras in the studio, capturing one of the show's best moments each morning.  And because the entire show is recorded, it begs the question why some haven't gone the (Don) Imus/MSNBC route of providing streaming on on-demand video for the entire show. – Fred Jacobs, Hypebot

Nike Kids campaign promotes ‘sisterhood’

Nike Kids has been made to promote the Nike Move initiative, which is encouraging activity among girls as a collective with the philosophy ‘The more we all move, the greater the power’. Other content created includes a selection of animated workout videos, social media challenges and live events across the US and EMEA. – Kate Deighton, The Drum

Guy who mauled Trudeau takes on the NRA

Patriot Act’s Hasan Minhaj examines the recent controversy surrounding the National Rifle Association’s leadership and non-profit status as well as the organizations powerful influence on politics at home and abroad. Take note, this episode of Patriot Act was aired May 19.

Ted Nugent on Alex Jones’ InfoWars

“I’m like Mother Theresa with a Glock. I’m here to purify your souls…” Show date: May 2019

A heart-tugging Cadbury’s chocolate ad

Bob Geldof on widowhood

(Sir) Bob Geldof on widowhood

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Nathan Ferraro
The Midway State, "Atlantic" music video

Nathan Ferraro

Country

Meet Nathan Ferraro, One of the Canadian Songwriters Credited on Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em"

The Ontario-born musician and producer was once the frontman for the band The Midway State, but he's spent the last decade behind-the-scenes between Canada and Los Angeles. He tells Billboard Canada about his writing team with fellow Canadians bülow and Lowell.

This week, Beyoncé became the first Black woman to top Billboard’s Country Songs chart with “Texas Hold ‘Em.” But many of the credited songwriters and promoters come from a surprising place – not Texas or Nashville, but Canada.

“Texas Hold ‘Em” is co-written by three Canadians: Nathan Ferraro (who also co-produced it), Elizabeth Boland (who has released music for the label Arts & Crafts as Lowell) and Megan Bülow (who makes music as bülow). The three of them are all credited on the song, with Ferraro also co-producing the song with Killah B and Beyoncé.

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