Commercial radio industry remains healthy: CRTC

While younger Canadians are increasingly adopting alternative listening methods, Canada’s commercial radio industry remains healthy, says a senior official with the federal broadcast regulator. In a speech before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage last week, Scott Hutton, the CRTC’s executive director of broadcasting, said preliminary results indicate that Canada’s commercial radio industry “maintained the […]

While younger Canadians are increasingly adopting alternative listening methods, Canada’s commercial radio industry remains healthy, says a senior official with the federal broadcast regulator.

In a speech before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage last week, Scott Hutton, the CRTC’s executive director of broadcasting, said preliminary results indicate that Canada’s commercial radio industry “maintained the course” in 2013, with revenues of $1.6 billion and pre-tax profits of $331 million.

That was essentially unchanged from 2012, when the sector recorded revenues of $1.62 billion and profits of $323 million.

The fact that the federal regulator has issued almost 50 new licenses in the past two years is additional evidence of the sector’s continued vitality, said Hutton.

There are some obstacles to overcome for radio, however. Hutton cited the CRTC’s “Communications Monitoring Report 2013,” which indicated that Canadians are consuming audio across multiple platforms:

• 20% stream an AM or FM station over the internet
• 14% stream audio on a tablet
• 13% stream a personalized internet music service
• 8% stream via a smartphone

While noting that younger Canadians have been adopting these platforms in growing numbers, Hutton said that radio remains an attractive medium “for many.”

He cited a 2013 Nielsen report that found 61% of Canadians tune in to radio stations to discover music new to them, and that almost half of all music they encounter comes via radio, eclipsing all other sources, including YouTube, the iTunes store and social media.

While indicating that radio’s relatively stable situation does not warrant a comprehensive policy review, Hutton said the CRTC believes the sector would benefit from an update of certain regulatory and policy elements.

The CRTC issued a call for comments on a targeted policy review for the commercial radio sector last October, with the first phase coming to a conclusion in January. The second phase is currently underway, although Hutton said it is too early to provide updates since the record is still open.

“We are sensitive to the issues facing both the radio and music industry in this fast-changing environment,” said Hutton. “We continue to work in conjunction with the radio sector and government to further strengthen Canada’s music industry.”

Media Articles

WestJet’s expert social media response to bomb hoaxes

The airline's transparent approach has helped calm nerves

New survey tracks the divide between online and broadcast

Many find their faves online and show little knowledge of the new fall schedule

Lexus gets Maclean’s cover treatment

Automaker gets in early on cover/table of contents offering

Bell Media strikes with Women’s World Cup

Canada's five matches average 4 million viewers

Canadians continue ‘tuning out’ of traditional TV: MTM

Study shows slow, steady shift to smart devices and new media

PR agency leads should only follow on Twitter (column)

Veritas' Krista Webster says PR agency bosses have 'absolutely no right' to tweet

How VW gets beyond TV to connect with drivers

Can an industry built on TV advertising find relevance online?

Microsoft strikes deals with AOL for display ads

Street image mapping service sold to Uber

Mobile made up a quarter of Canada’s online spend in 2014

IAB annual revenue survey shows gap widening between digital and TV