[acc-cca-l] Just published: the CMCR Project’s tenth edition of its Media and Internet Concentration in Canada, 1984-2020

Daniel Paré daniel.pare at uottawa.ca
Tue Dec 7 07:56:06 MST 2021


Forwarded on behalf of Prof. Dwayne Winseck

Attention : courriel externe | external email
Dear Colleagues,

Today, we released the second report 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.

The purpose of the report is to investigate concentration trends across the communications, Internet and media sectors detailed below, and consider the implications for citizens, policy makers, and fellow researchers. You can access the report here<https://doi.org/10.22215/gmicp/2021.2> on Dataverse and on our website here<http://www.cmcrp.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/GMICP-Concentration-Report-Canada-2021-06122021-v2.3.pdf>.

The Network Media Economy in Canada, 2020

The following summary presents the major findings and policy proposals from this year’s report:

  *   Total revenue for the network media economy last year in Canada was $90.9 billion, with no overall year-over-year growth on account of COVID-19.

  *   The “Big Five” US-based Internet giants—Google, Facebook,Netflix, Apple, Amazon and Twitter—had combined revenues of $10.8 billion in Canada last year—roughly 12% of all revenue across the network media economy.

  *   With revenue of $23.2 billion and a 25.8% share of the networkmedia economy last year, BCE isthe biggest communications,Internet and media company in Canada—more than double that of the combined “Big Five” US Internet giants.

  *   The market share of Canada’s four major network media companies – Bell, Rogers, Shaw, and Telus – remains stubbornly highly, holding steady at 65% compared to 68% a decade ago.

  *   Mobile wireless remains very highly concentrated with Rogers, Telus and Bell accounting for 89.7% of the sector’s revenue last year and 87.3% of subscribers—figures that have stayed stubbornly stabledespite policy and regulatory measures ostensibly designed to address such conditions.

  *   New entrants Shaw (Freedom), Videotron and Eastlink’s share of the wireless marketrose to 7.9% in 2020 (based on revenue) and 10% based on subscribers. The  most competitive mobile wireless market is in Quebec, where Videotron had 20% market share based on subscribers at the end of 2020—a notable increase over the year. The fate of wireless competition now hangs on the outcomes of Rogers’ proposed acquisition of Shaw and whether regulators and policy-makers will have the fortitude necessary to ensure that advances made in recent years do not disappear in the days ahead.

  *   Internet access at the local level is even more concentrated, with incumbent telecoms operators and cable companies having 39% and 48% market share based on revenue, respectively. Independent ISPs’ share of revenue inched upwards last year to 14.1% (15.4% based on subscribers), but their modest gains over the past decade are now in jeopardy on account of incumbent intransigence, regulatory reversals by the CRTC and policy indifference by the Liberal government.

  *   Google and Facebook have locked in their dominance of Canada’s online advertising ecosystem for the better part of a decade, and now account for 50% and 30% of the $9.7 billion in online advertising revenue between themselves, while their combined share of the $15.2 billion in total advertising spending across all media in Canada in 2020 exceeded 50% for the first time.

  *   While many believed the Internet would be immune to high levels of concentration, only three digital media services can beconsidered have met that expectation: online video services, online news and digital games.

  *   Netflix is the biggest online video services operator with estimated revenue of $1.1 billion and 7.2 million subscribers in 2020, but its share of the market has slipped in the past three years with the quick rise of Crave (Bell), YouTube Premium and YouTube TV services (Google), Disney+, Amazon Prime, and others.

  *   Growing diversity in online video and pay and specialty television services has led to a more diverse television marketplace, with Netflix becoming the third ranked television ownership group in 2020 alongside Bell, the CBC and Rogers. The “big four” television ownership group’s combined share of the much larger and more diverse marketplace in 2020 had fallen to 61% from 81% in 2013.

  *   As the crisis of journalism deepens, Postmedia, Torstar and Quebecor have spun off daily and community papers while consolidating their activities on a regional basis. The top four firms’ share of revenue on a national basis has fallen from 83% in 2010 to 62% last year but rather than this being a gain for diversity, the decline reflects the fact that even leading newspaper groups are struggling to survive.
  *   Online, Canadians get their news from a wide plurality of news sources, both old (CBC, Postmedia, CTV, Toronto Star,) and new (National Observer), as well as domestic and foreign (CNN, CBS, BBC, NBC, Guardian, New York Times).
  *   This report concludes by sketching out a proposal for a new generation of Internet and communications regulation. In contrast to the tendency to take broadcasting regulation and media policy as a guide for such initiatives, and to emphasize questions of content moderation and the alleged harmful effects of entities such as Facebook and Google on individuals and society (i.e. online harms), the proposal sketched here:
     *   Turns to the history of antitrust and communications regulation for inspiration.
     *   Builds on four cornerstone principles from those traditions—structural separation (break-ups), line of business restrictions(firewalls), public obligations, and public alternatives—to offset the focus on content regulation and online harms, and the increasingly evident failures of conduct-based regulatory remedies that have been relied on as the core of communications, digital platform and broadcasting regulation for decades.
     *   Applies those cornerstone principles across the communications, Internet and cultural policy domains.
     *   Concludes with a proposal to expand the role of public alternatives to market forces by bringing Canada’s broadcasting policy closer in line with the EU’s audiovisual media services directive, greatly increasing funding for the CBC, supported in part by a levy applied to online advertising giants like Google and Facebook but also greater multiyear public subsidies, and the creation of the Great Canadian Communications Corporation, a new entity to be tasked with meeting the communication, information and cultural needs of Canadians and democracy in the 21st Century.

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 CarletonUniversity stepped in to provide bridge funding for the next three years of the project. In 2021, the Canadian version of this project was folded into the 40 country Global Media and Internet Concentration (GMIC) Project, a project that is also funded by SSHRC and directed by Professor Winseck. The goal of these projects is to developa compre hensive 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.

We endeavour to do our very best with these reports but if you find something that you believe to be in error, please let us know. We will investigate and make corrections where warranted, and thank you for your help.

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

Open Access to CMCR and GMIC Project Data

CMCR Project and GMIC Project data can be freely downloaded and used under Creative Commons licensing arrangements for non-commercialpurposeswith 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. 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 greatlywith the 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’s databasein 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, also offered keen insights and advice on the issue covered in the following pages while also helping to bring the prose to life.

Recommended citation:

Winseck, Dwayne, 2021, “Media and Internet Concentration in Canada, 1984-2020”, https://doi.org/10.22215/gmicp/2021.2. Global Media and Internet Concentration Project, CarletonUniversity.

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/

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>
University of Ottawa / Université d’Ottawa
55 Laurier Ave East, Rm 10154, Ottawa, ON, K1N 6N5, Canada
Tel: (613) 562-5800 ext/poste: 2052
Fax: (613) 562-5854
Twitter: @DJ_Pare
English Language Book Review Editor, Canadian Journal of Communication<https://cjc-online.ca/index.php/journal>

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