100 million more… 125 million less… and what else?

by Alain Brunet

What’s $100 million worth of help for traditional media ? What’s $125 million less at CBC / Radio-Canada worth?

This $100 million sum, recently obtained from Alphabet/Google in Canada and hard fought for by the web giant, is put into perspective by the $125 million in cuts at CBC/Radio-Canada. The public broadcaster ‘s annual budget was $1.3 billion before the cuts, which involved 800 positions across the corporation’s English and French services.

Do we compare apples with oranges? NO. Google’s tempting $100 million gift package is by no means a panacea, and allows us to assess the real size of the pie to be shared among all Canadian media, whose revenues are melting like snow in the sun. 

After the first slap in the face for the print media, the all-powerful traditional TV is now bending its knees. This fall, TVA drastically reduced its staff, the Coopérative nationale de l’information indépendante did the same a few weeks ago, and now it’s CBC/Radio’s turn to experience a black day on Monday, December 4. A 44% drop in revenues since last year has led managers to cut Anglos and Francos kif kif. Many experts consider this unfair, since Radio-Canada’s market share is 24%, while CBC’s is 4%. To this, CBC management retorts that the web reach of the two services is roughly equal. Basically… we can guess that CBC management couldn’t bear the political weight of admitting that CBC scores too low in the traditional sphere.After the first slap in the face for the print media, the all-powerful traditional TV is now bending its knees.

This fall, TVA drastically reduced its staff, the Coopérative nationale de l’information indépendante did the same a few weeks ago, and now it’s CBC/Radio’s turn to experience a black day on Monday, December 4. A 44% drop in revenues since last year has led managers to cut Anglos and Francos kif kif. Many experts consider this unfair, since Radio-Canada’s market share is 24%, while CBC’s is 4%. To this, CBC management retorts that the web reach of the two services is roughly equal. Basically… we can guess that CBC management couldn’t bear the political weight of admitting that CBC scores too low in the traditional sphere.

So let’s get back to Google, whose compensation to the web giants is far too meagre to reverse the trend. The GAFAMs’ monopolistic position is far, far from being shaken by this award, which is far too modest when put into perspective. According to American economists from Columbia University quoted on Monday by RDI, Google should be granting Canada $750 million rather than $100 million. Progressive hypothesis for now…. Because there’s a long, long way to go from the cup to the lip.So let’s get back to Google, whose compensation to the web giants is far too meagre to reverse the trend. The GAFAMs’ monopolistic position is far, far from being shaken by this award, which is far too modest when put into perspective. According to American economists from Columbia University quoted on Monday by RDI, Google should be granting Canada $750 million rather than $100 million. Progressive hypothesis for now…

Whether we like it or not, traditional media are moving less and less slowly and more and more surely towards this paradigm shift. Is the traditional media crisis an incurable cancer? To ask the question…Whether we like it or not, traditional media are moving less and less slowly and more and more surely towards this paradigm shift. Is the traditional media crisis an incurable cancer? To ask the question…

The decline of the traditional media ecosystem is inevitable, and the descent into hell is eerily similar to that of the music industry in the 2000s. Since then, music revenues have been progressively concentrated in the wallets of a tiny minority of pop stars who outrageously dominate the streaming platforms. The vast majority share the crumbs, and the music business has been stagnating for two decades… except for Taylor Swift and co, of course.The decline of the traditional media ecosystem is inevitable, and the descent into hell is eerily similar to that of the music industry in the 2000s. Since then, music revenues have been progressively concentrated in the wallets of a tiny minority of pop stars who outrageously dominate the streaming platforms. The vast majority share the crumbs, and the music business has been stagnating for two decades… except for Taylor Swift and co, of course.

With the increasingly severe traumas experienced by traditional TV, a comparable picture is emerging, and it’s far more considerable than that of music: unstoppable web giants, the collapse of the old giants of national ecosystems and… a host of small initiatives sprouting up on the web and seeking to oppose new models to the monopolies, most of them American. Needless to say, platforms like PAN M 360 are humbly part of the long-term solution.With the increasingly severe traumas experienced by traditional TV, a comparable picture is emerging, and it’s far more considerable than that of music: unstoppable web giants, the collapse of the old giants of national ecosystems and… a host of small initiatives sprouting up on the web and seeking to oppose new models to the monopolies, most of them American. Needless to say, platforms like PAN M 360 are humbly part of the long-term solution.

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