[acc-cca-l] The Canadian Media Concentration Research Project's tenth edition of its Growth and Upheaval in the Network Media Economy in Canada, 1984-2020

Daniel Paré daniel.pare at uottawa.ca
Tue Nov 23 08:18:55 MST 2021


Forwarded on behalf of Prof. Dwayne Winseck

Dear Collegues

Today, we released the first report<http://www.cmcrp.org/growth-and-upheaval-in-the-network-media-economy-in-canada-1984-2020/> in our annual two-part series on the state of the communication, Internet and media industries in Canada, now under the banner of the Global Media and Internet Concentration (GMIC) project, a new SSHRC-supported project directed by Dwayne Winseck bringing together fifty scholars in forty countries.

With mobility restricted amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians leaned more than ever on internet access for work, school, play, and connecting with one another, enlarging the importance of major digital companies in each of our lives. Accordingly, the pandemic had major effects on the twenty sectors of the communication, Internet and media industries examined in this report and listed in the figure below.

The Network Media Economy in Canada, 2020
In a year uniquely focused on the technologies and companies that connect us, several developments in Canada’s communications, Internet and media sectors stand out for 2020:

  *   Average mobile data use rose to 3.4 GB per month, a year-over-year increase of nearly twenty percent, while average household Internet use also rose to an estimated 330 GB per month. Despite these modest improvements, Internet usage in Canada still lags its international counterparts by a large margin.
  *   Total revenue across the network media economy stayed flat at $91.1 billion the year prior. While the Big 5 Canadian communications, Internet and media conglomerates saw their combined revenue slip by $831 million year-over-year (a 1.3% decline), they still raked in $28 billion in profit before taxes on $63.1 billion in revenue, thereby upholding profit margins before taxes of over forty percent—an enviable amount well above most sectors of the Canadian economy.
  *   Broadband household Internet service saw industry-wide revenue rise from $12.8 billion to $13.9 billion, a year-over-year increase of nine percent; subscriber numbers were also up across the board for all the major ISPs.
  *   Mobile wireless revenue was down by a billion dollars to $28 billion, a decrease of four percent, the first year-over-year loss since the introduction of retail mobile wireless services in the early 1980s. Losses fell mainly on the Big 3 carriers, Bell, Rogers and Telus, while Shaw, Quebecor and Eastlink—regional competitors to the Big 3—continued to gain subscribers, revenue and market share. Canadians benefitted modestly as a result from more affordable services and better mobile data plans.
  *   Losses were steep for television distribution services (i.e. cable, satellite and IPTV) as subscribership dropped below 70% and revenue fell year-over-year by two percent to $8.1 billion, suggesting Canadian households ramped up cord-cutting during the pandemic.
  *   Advertising spending across all media fell by half a billion dollars, to $15.2 billion, a modest year-over-year decline of four percent. This masks the severity of the losses experienced by four traditional media sectors, however: broadcast television, radio,newspapers and magazines. Revenue for these sectors plunged by $1.2 billion last year, a twenty percent loss; combined, revenue for these four traditional media sectors has dropped by $6 billion since 2008.
  *   In stark contrast to the state of traditional advertising-supported media, online advertising spending continued to soar, rising from$8.8 billion to $9.7 billion (an eleven percent increase year-over-year), 80% of which went into the coffers of Google and Facebook.

  *   The online video market grew swiftly from $2.7 billion to $3.2 billion, a twenty-five percent year-over-year increase). Netflix had an estimated year-over-year average of 7.2 million        subscribers, half of all households in Canada, and $1.1 billionin revenue. Its share of the online video services market has fallen in recent years, however, as Bell’s Crave, Canada’s second largest online video service with 2.7 million subscribers, Google’s YouTube Premium & YouTube TV, Disney+, Apple TV and iTunes, and Amazon Prime Video and others continue to gain ground.
  *   Similar growth was also seen across a wide range of digital media, including online music services, digital games, apps and app stores. Combined revenue for these sectors reached $7.1 billion in 2020, a year-over-year increase of sixteen percent. Add online advertising, and Internet-based digital media services had a combined revenue of $16.8 billion. This amounted to close to 18% of revenue across the network media economy.
  *   Major international Internet giants such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Netflix (i.e. GAFAM+ Inc.) have become significant figures on the media landscape. Combined, they had an estimated $10.9 billion in revenue last year from their Canadian operations, a year-over-year increase of sixteen percent, and a collective market share of 12%.  Yet to keep things in perspective, Canada’s Big 5 communications and media conglomerates took in seventy percent of the $91 billion in revenue across the network media economy last year.
  *   Last year was especially active on the legislative front, beginning with the publication of the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review panel’s Canada’s Communication Future report early in the year, followed by the introduction of Bill C-10, theBroadcasting Act reform bill in November. The policy agenda has expanded since to include ongoing consultations with respect to online harms and making the “web giants” pay news media organizations for the news content they use as part of their search and social media services.

About the Canadian Media Concentration Research (CMCR) Project and the Global Media and Internet Concentration (GMIC) Project

The CMCR and GMIC projects are directed by Professor Dwayne Winseck, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University. TheCanadian Media Concentration Research <http://www.cmcrp.org/> 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 provided bridge funding for the next two years of the project. In 2021, the Canadian version of this project was folded into the 40 country GMIC Project, a project that is also funded by SSHRC and directed by Professor Winseck and which involves 50 scholars and a dozen external partners from civil society, Canadian and international policy departments and regulatory agencies, and industry in its work. The aim of both projects is to developa comprehensive and long-term analysis of the communications, Internet and media industries in Canada and internationally 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 and GMIC Project Data

Data for both projects 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 with a permanent DOI<https://doi.org/10.5683/SP3/VLZXZY>through the Dataverse, a publicly-accessible repository of scholarly works created and maintained by a consortium of Canadian universities. This report is also available with a permanent DOI<https://doi.org/10.22215/gmicp/2021.1> in Dataverse as well. 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.


Special thanks to Ben Klass and Han Xiaofei,both doctoral candidates in the Ph.D. program at the School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University, for helping with the annual data collection and preparation of this report. Ben wrote parts of the wireless section and helped immensely with the online games, gaming downloadsand apps and in-game purchasessection of the report. Agnes Malkinson, also a      Ph.D. candidate in the same program, is responsible for the look and feel of the reports, does all the visuals, and keeps the project’sdatabasein good workingorder. Miaoran (Blue) Dong, also a Ph.D. student in the Communications and Media Studies program at Carleton, has helped redesign the new data management system for the GMIC Project. Keldon Bester, an independent researcher and consultant working on issues of competition and monopoly power in Canada, has also helped by bringing the prose to life while offering insights and advice on the issue covered in the following pages. Without their help, and the insights from several other trusted colleagues who I turn to for advice, our reports would never see the light of day.

Recommended citation:
Winseck, Dwayne, 2021, “Growth and Upheaval in the NetworkMedia Economy, 1984-2020”, https://www.xyz.ca<https://www.xyz.ca/>. Global Media and Internet Concentration Project, CarletonUniversity.

best wishes,

Professor, School of Journalism and Communication and Director of the Canadian Media Concentration Research Project and the Global Media & Internet Concentration Project,
Interim Graduate Student Supervisor, Communications and Media Studies (COMS)
Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
Phone: 613 520-2600 x.7525
Mobile: 613 769-7587
Follow me on Twitter: @mediamorphis
Visit my blogs: http://www.cmcrp.org/; https://dwmw.wordpress.com/

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Daniel J. Paré, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor / Professeur agrégé
Department of Communication<http://arts.uottawa.ca/communication/en>,
School of Information Studies (ÉSIS)<http://www.sis.uottawa.ca/>, and
Institute for Science, Society and Policy (ISSP)<https://issp.uottawa.ca/>

Graduate Program Co-ordinator, ISSP<https://issp.uottawa.ca/en/education/master>
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