This is a once in a generation regulatory process: Music Canada CEO
The Online Streaming Act, which would require streaming giants to make financial contributions towards Canadian content, provides an opportunity to ensure Canada’s music artists continue to thrive in the digital age, according to the CEO of Music Canada.
“This is a once-in-a-generation regulatory process,” Patrick Rogers told BNN Bloomberg in a television interview Monday morning.
The act, commonly known as Bill C-11, is now in its consultation phase, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) begins in-person meetings with streaming industry stakeholders this week.
“Now that we look to get online streaming regulated, the CRTC has to make a lot of decisions here to get it right,” Rogers said. “A lot of big questions were asked during the legislative process, and they were punted to the regulatory process, and now here we are.”
Some of those questions include how the new regulations will be enforced, and the level at which the major streamers will be required to contribute to Canadian content.
Rogers said that while the focus has mainly been on visual streaming giants such as Netflix, the music industry, which has become increasingly reliant on streaming, will also be affected.
“Streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon Music, they're all going to face this level of regulation,” he said.
STREAMING PRESENTS NEW CHALLENGES
Rogers said that existing CRTC regulations around Canadian content could not simply be applied to streaming services, as the online consumption of content is “totally different” than traditional broadcast radio and television.
“One has a finite number of hours, the other has unlimited listening and watching. One is particularly national, while the other is global in nature,” he said.
“So, if we want Canadian artists to succeed, both here in Canada and around the world, we really need to make sure that the CRTC takes a global approach to these decisions.”
Currently, the CRTC mandates that at least 50 per cent of annual programming broadcast by television stations must be Canadian content, while radio stations must ensure the same for 35 per cent of their weekly broadcasted music.
HELPING CANADIAN ARTISTS SUCCEED
Rogers said that ultimately, he aims to ensure the new regulations help Canadian artists succeed in Canada first, adding that “success at home is the first step to global success in the streaming world.”
“Because artists and their songs here in Canada aren't just in competition with each other, they're in competition with every artist and every song from around the world,” he said.
“We should be doing everything we can in order to help Canadian artists succeed in the global market.”