So Here’s A Bad Idea That Won’t Make Anything Any Better

Majority of Canadians say music streaming services should support CanCon: CRTC survey
I find this somewhat surprising and more than a little stupid. Not the Canadian content bit so much, that I somewhat understand. I don’t think content quotas ought to be dictated to global services by any country’s government, but the desire to hear your region represented in what you’re listening to does make sense and it seems like a good business move for those services to do it on their own. They already have everyone’s location data anyway, so using it to surface tracks based on it shouldn’t be that hard.

But this stuff about streaming services being made to financially support the Canadian broadcast industry? That shit can bugger off back into whatever pit of hell it crawled out of and feel free never to be heard from again. That’s the sort of idea that could only be supported by people who work in the industry or who have been heavily lobbied and donated to by people who do. Not only would a scheme like that make your favourite service more expensive, it wouldn’t fix anything about what drove you into the arms of that service in the first place.

No matter what the big companies that dominate the broadcast space in this country say, the challenges they face are in no small part challenges of their own making. They’re so focused on increasing revenue and providing shareholder value that they’ve forgotten what it is that they actually are supposed to be doing. Instead of investing in good talent and quality listening experiences to set themselves apart, they’ve created cheap sounding products that do the bare ass minimum they can while still qualifying for licenses.

Music radio is largely pitiful. It’s the same 27 songs over and over again with very little in the way of personality to fill in the gaps. Talk radio is somewhat better, but it’s still filled with reruns and syndicated programming. Why would any business want to buy ad time on a random episode of the Jim Smith show from last Wednesday now that it’s Sunday and everyone has already heard the thing five times?

The industry is being automated to death, and your Bells and Rogers’s and Corus’s have no desire to fix it. If they did, they would already be doing it. Fixing it takes creativity, which it’s pretty clear they don’t have. It also takes money. That they do have, but the layoffs upon layoffs that we’ve been seeing for years now in spite of huge numbers for the parent companies shows they’re in no hurry to put it where it’s needed. Shaking down Apple or Spotify or whoever and forcing them into what’s essentially corporate welfare isn’t going to magically change that.

Fifty-three percent of Canadians believe music streaming services should be required to financially support the Canadian broadcast sector.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has released the findings of a survey soliciting attitudes and opinions towards commercial radio in Canada.
The survey found that although the majority of Canadians support requiring music streaming services to contribute financially to the Canadian broadcast sector, 68 percent of respondents believed that any future regulations should not interfere with their ability to choose the content they want.
Further, the survey found that half of the respondents believe music streaming services should ensure a minimum amount of Canadian content is included in their playlists on a weekly basis.

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