Media Beat: September 16, 2019

Media Beat: September 16, 2019

By David Farrell

Super Channel sues four retailers over piracy boxes

Premium TV network Super Channel has filed a lawsuit against four Canadian retailers for allegedly selling "pirate devices" and educating customers on how to use them to watch TV without paying for it. 

In a court document filed in Federal Court last week, Super Channel accuses Best Buy, Staples, Canada Computers and London Drugs of copyright infringement, claiming their employees are "urging" customers to pirate online content using streaming devices that are sold in store. ­— CBC News

Canada’s fastest-growing Marketing & Media companies

The 46 Marketing & Media companies on the 2019 Growth 500 grew their revenues an average of 1223.66% between 2013 and 2018. Collectively, they employed 2580 full-time equivalent employees in 2018. — Canadian Business


How to get Apple TV+ free for one year in Canada

If you want to get one year of Apple TV+ for free, all you have to do is “purchase any new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch starting September 10,” and you’ll get one year of the service included, effective Nov. 1. —  Gary Ng, iPhone in Canada

Marilyn Denis celebrates her ongoing career

Ten seasons into her talk show and more than 30 years into her broadcasting career, Canadian daytime television queen Marilyn Denis has no plans to give up her throne.

Today, CTV’s “The Marilyn Denis Show” enters its milestone 10th season, kicking off a week of special segments and interviews, including a sit-down with two-time Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda and fan-appreciation events in Vancouver and Banff, Alta. — Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

Tom Goodwin added to OAB convention lineup

The EVP Head of Innovation for Zenith Media and the author of Digital Darwinism takes a starring role in the annual Connection confab Nov. 7 at the Marriott Toronto Airport Hotel.  

ON campus stations threatened with closures

NDP MPPs Jessica Bell and Chris Glover are calling on the Ford government to reverse its attack on student unions and services, which has put campus and community radio stations across the province under threat.


“The private sector is aware of the vulnerability of campus and community station broadcast licenses, and they’re standing by like vultures, waiting for the opportunity to move in and apply to take those frequencies over,” NDP MPP Chris Glover says. — ON NDP

YouTube advertises big brands alongside fake cancer cure videos

In January, YouTube announced they would be "reducing recommendations of borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways—such as videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness."

But the company said the change would initially only affect recommendations of a very small set of videos in the United States, and does not apply in languages other than English.  — Flora Carmichael & Juliana Gragnani, BBC News

Vice Media in talks to acquire Refinery 29

Refinery29 is a women’s focused publisher, claiming to reach over 425 million readers globally, and is backed by the likes of ad network WPP, Hearst and Discovery. Last year it was forced to cut 10% of its workforce after its annual revenue fell 5% short of expectations

Vice Media has faced similar struggled in monetising its, largely male, audience. In the past year, its also made a global cull of staff while one of its biggest backers, Disney, made a $350M write-off on its investment. — Jennifer Faull, The Drum


Spotify diversifies with acquisition of SoundBetter

The dominant streaming firm took another step in its efforts to build out services for artists to help expand its business model by acquiring SoundBettetr , a music production marketplace for artists, producers, and musicians to connect on specific projects; and for people who are looking to distribute music tracks to those who want to license them. — Catherine Shu, Ingrid Lunden, TechCrunch

Deezer launches new payment system for artists

The streaming service calls this new system ‘User-Centric Payment’. The user-centric payment system will start in a beta stage in France next year (2020). Depending on the results, it will be fully implemented or left behind. In this new model, the subscription money you pay will only go to your favorite artists. Currently, users pay the artist per listen.


Other music streaming platforms, such as Spotify have the same policy. — Juan Carlos Gonzales, EDMTunes

James Cridland’s newsletter news

-- NPR says that they will earn more from podcasting in 2020 than from radio. (It’s not quite as easy as that, of course, since NPR is rather more in control of its podcasts than its content on member stations; but even so, that’s quite a claim.)

-- US radio advertising revenue to start contracting, says Magna. Mind, they’ve also taken the IAB/PWC’s data for podcasting and come up with a different conclusion than the IAB/PWC themselves, so not quite sure what’s going on. Radio companies shouldn’t worry, but should redefine radio, I’d argue.

-- In Australia, ABC Radio is now on the telly. Long overdue, particularly for the flagship services of Local Radio and RN, both of whom are stuck on AM here: and a welcome addition. New research shows that in the US, radio is the last choice for news. Ouch.

Margaret Atwood says thieves targeted Handmaid's Tale sequel

The author and her publisher were targeted by "fake emails" from "cyber criminals", trying to obtain the unpublished novel, she told the BBC.

She described the attempts as a "phishing exercise" that could have led to blackmail or identity theft.

Below, the author talks about how Trump’s election win changed the film

The New Yorker story that formed the basis for Strippers film

Based on a true story chronicled in New York magazine, "Hustlers" focuses on a group of exotic dancers in New York who began drugging their customers, running up vast tabs on the men's credit cards that their marks were too embarrassed to pursue. Of course, the fact we're watching a movie means they didn't entirely get away with it, but it's still fascinating to see how they sustained the plot. — Brian Lowry, CNN


Dua Lipa at the 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Arena on Feb. 4, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.
Gilbert Flores

Dua Lipa at the 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Arena on Feb. 4, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.

Music News

Dua Lipa Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza: ‘Burning Children Alive Can Never Be Justified’

"Please show your solidarity with Gaza," the pop star wrote.

Amid Israel’s intensifying military operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah — where dozens of Palestinian civilians have reportedly been killed in the past few days — Dua Lipa is once again calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire.

On Tuesday (May 28), the pop star shared an Artists for Ceasefire graphic with the hashtag “#AllEyesOnRafah” on her Instagram Story and wrote, “Burning children alive can never be justified.”

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