Today, Music Canada filed our submission to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for its “Call For Comments: The Path Forward – Working towards a modernized regulatory framework regarding contributions to support Canadian and Indigenous content.”
For more than five decades, Canada’s commercial radio regulatory framework has been integral to the success of our music industry. But today, music fans overwhelmingly discover and listen to Canadian artists on streaming platforms. This new reality necessitates a new regulatory framework. With this call for comments, the CRTC requested that industry weigh in on this new framework for contributions – both financial and otherwise – that traditional and online broadcasters will be required to make to support Canadian and Indigenous content.
As outlined in our submission, Music Canada, alongside our major label members – Universal Music Canada, Sony Music Entertainment Canada and Warner Music Canada – strongly believe this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to leverage the power of streaming to create new and meaningful opportunities for Canadian artists and the businesses that invest in them.
To do so, we offered the below guiding principles to the CRTC:
- Policies for the promotion and discovery of music must not restrict user choice on streaming platforms. If this new regulatory framework impedes the listening experience, users will be driven to unlicensed music and VPNs. Infringing services don’t pay artists. If we drive listeners to illegitimate sources, that outcome will fly in the face of everything that the Broadcasting Act sets out to achieve.
- Contribution requirements must not drive out industry investments by platforms. In recent years, the largest music streaming platforms have increased their presence and investments in Canada, creating meaningful impacts on artists and domestic music companies. Financial contribution obligations must not disincentivize and potentially jeopardize these investments. Instead, we have an opportunity here to help grow investments.
- This new framework offers an opportunity to examine our funding programs and how to best support and grow our domestic marketplace. A review of existing funds along with consideration of independent new funds for music (with new eligibility and criteria) will help ensure that we not only build measurable commercial success and export opportunities for Canadian artists, but that we also support diverse voices and emerging talent.
To read Music Canada’s entire submission, click here.