[acc-cca-l] Canadian Media Concentration Research Project's 2019 Growth and Upheaval in the Network Media Economy in Canada, 1984-2019

Dwayne Winseck DwayneWinseck at cunet.carleton.ca
Wed Nov 18 07:58:08 MST 2020


Dear Colleagues,

I hope that you are well.

Yesterday, the Canadian Media Concentration Research Project published the first report in our annual two-part series on the state of the communication, Internet and media industries in Canada. You can find a downloadable PDF of the report here<http://www.cmcrp.org/growth-and-upheaval-in-the-network-media-economy-in-canada-1984-2019/>.

The report covers roughly a dozen-and-a-half sectors of the communication, Internet and media industries in Canada over a timespan of three-and-a-half decades. It brims with data, analysis and commentary on the fast-evolving place of Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Netflix, including the challenges they pose to Canadian players like Bell, Rogers, Telus, Shaw, Quebecor, and the CBC and their impact on the media landscape more generally. It also offers data, analysis and commentary that will be essential to understanding the heightened debates now taking place over proposals that, in effect, could usher in a new generation of Internet, audiovisual media as well as personal data and privacy regulation.

Here's a snapshot of what we cover:


Summary of the key findings and insights

  *   The network media economy has more than quadrupled in size, from $19.4 billion in 1984 to $91.3 billion last year, and continues to grow at a quick pace overall.
  *   Mobile wireless and Internet access services continue to grow swiftly, with revenues rising to $29.2 billion and $12.7 billion last year, respectively; while revenue for cable, IPTV and satellite TV continued to slide to $8.3 billion in 2019. These services are now the centre of network media economy, but Canada’s struggle to meet its targets for universal, affordable broadband internet access continues to be a significant issue.
  *   The growth of online advertising continued to surge ahead last year, rising to $8.8 billion from $7.7 billion, but with nearly all of the growth captured by Google and Facebook. Last year, their combined share of online advertising rose to 80% and to a little under a half of the $15.6 billion in annual advertising spending across all media in Canada (i.e. 45%).
  *   Regulators must contend with the ramifications this duopoly not only in online advertising, but also to curb their ability to leverage that dominance into adjacent media sectors. These realities are driving sweeping efforts to create a new generation of Internet regulation, some of which is justified and well-grounded but also much of which seems to be driven by poor evidence, misleading assertions about the state of the media, and a poor sense of the relative scale, scope and clout of different actors across the network media economy--hence the raison d'etre for this research and this report.
  *   Four media that have historically relied mainly on advertising funds have collectively lost $4.9 billion since 2008: broadcast TV, radio, newspaper and magazine sectors. As a result, eight local TV stations and two dozen daily newspapers have been closed since that time, while 4,000 full-time journalist positions have been cut across the country since 2013. This is a problem in need of serious public policy and public funding solutions.
  *   While Google and Facebook—and the GAFAM+ group of Internet giants—are commonly blamed for this allegedly dire state-of-affairs, this is misguided for the three reasons:

  1.  Advertising is in relative decline: advertising spending has remained fairly fixed relative to the size of the Canadian economy for decades, but over the past decade it has fallen by about 10% relative to gross domestic income, on a per capita basis and relative to the size of the media economy. Consequently, approximately $1.5 billion per year has vanished from the media economy. As a result, traditional broadcasting and publishing firms that have historically depended on advertising revenue are now battling internet giants like Google and Facebook for a share of a stagnant/shrinking pool of revenue.

  2.  Nearly all communication and media sectors that depend on subscriber fees and direct payments are thriving; there is no general crisis of the media.

Revenue from communication and media services supported by subscriber fees and direct payments now outstrip advertising by a nearly 5:1 ratio.

A fast-growing group of pay-per communication and digital audiovisual media services (AVMS) based on subscriber fees and direct payments are generally thriving.

The rapid growth of over-the-Internet video services over the last decade has led to a vibrant and more diverse TV marketplace with total revenues of $8.8 billion last year. Netflix had a year-over year average of 6.4 million subscribers and $1.1 billion in revenue in Canada in 2019.

Investment in television and film production in Canada continued its years-long streak of record-breaking levels, with total investments of $9.3 billion. This trend is not unique to Canada but can also be seen in the United States and the European Union.

Revenue for online video, music, gaming and app stores reached $5.6 billion last year.

In total, the content media sectors have grown greatly over time, rising from $18.7 billion in revenue in 2008 to $27.7 billion last year, a 50% increase driven by fast-growing pay-per communication and media services.

3.  Concern with the scale and scope of GAFAM’s “digital dominance” is justified but exaggerated.

Global actors like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Netflix (the so-called GAFAM+ group of Internet giants) have become central figures on the media landscape in Canada. Combined, they had $9.2 billion in revenue last year.

Communication and media companies in Canada are facing intensifying competition in some AVMS services as a result, but Bell, Rogers, Telus, Shaw (Corus) and Quebecor still account for nearly three-quarters of all revenue across the network media economy. In contrast, the GAFAM+ group’s combined market share is 10%. Bell’s revenue alone was close to three times the combined revenue of GAFAM+ in Canada last year.

The Canadian Media Concentration Research<http://www.cmcrp.org/> project is directed by Professor Dwayne Winseck, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University. The project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council between 2012 and 2018, after which the Faculty of Public Affairs at Carleton University stepped in to provide bridge funding for the next two years of the project. The overall objective of the CMCR Project is to develop a comprehensive, systematic and long-term analysis of the telecoms, Internet and media industries in Canada to better inform public and policy-related discussions about these issues.

Professor Winseck can be reached at either dwayne.winseck at carleton.ca<mailto:dwayne_winseck at carleton.ca> or 613 769-7587 (mobile).

Open Access to CMCR Project Data

CMCR Project data can be freely downloaded and used under Creative Commons licensing arrangements for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution and in accordance with the ShareAlike principles set out in the International License 4.0. Explicit, written permission is required for any other use that does not follow these principles. Our data sets are available for download here<http://www.cmcrp.org/about/archived-data/>. They are also available through the Dataverse, a publicly-accessible repository of scholarly works created and maintained by a consortium of Canadian universities. All works and datasets deposited in Dataverse are given a permanent DOI, so as to not be lost when a website becomes no longer available—a form of “dead media”.


Special thanks to Ben Klass and Han Xiaofei, both doctoral students in the Ph.D. program at the School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University, for helping enormously with the data collection and preparation of this report. Ben wrote key aspects of the wireless section and helped immensely with the online games, gaming downloads and apps and in-game purchases section of the report. Sabrina Wilkinson, a graduate of the MA Program at the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University and currently a Ph.D. candidate at Goldsmiths University in the United Kingdom, has also made valuable contributions to the sections on the news media. Agnes Malkinson, another Ph.D. candidate in the Media and Communication program at Carleton University, is responsible for the look and feel of the reports, does all the visuals, and keeps the project’s database in good working order.

Professor, School of Journalism and Communication and Director of the Canadian Media Concentration Research Project,
Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
Phone: 613 520-2600 x.7525
Mobile: 613 769-7587
Follow me on Twitter: @mediamorphis
Visit my blogs: www.cmcrp.org<http://www.cmcmp.org/>; https://dwmw.wordpress.com/

This email contains links to content or websites. Always be cautious when clicking on external links or attachments. If in doubt, please forward suspicious emails to phishing at carleton.ca.

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