New Canadian legislation to require cultural contributions from large foreign streaming services

Our Canadian members, Songwriters Association of Canada and Screen Composers Guild of Canada have been campaigning for a legislative change to the funding of domestic and indigenous content. The following update first appeared on the S.A.C. website.

Creators of Canadian and indigenous content to receive CAD $200 million boost as new legislation requires foreign-owned streaming giants to make cultural contributions

Toronto, Canada – 4 June 2024: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has announced changes that for the first time, require certain online streaming services to make contributions that support Canadian and Indigenous content. The decision came after a public consultation process which comprised more than 360 written submissions and public hearings with over 120 appearing parties including the Songwriters Association of Canada.

The new regulation requires online streaming services that are not affiliated with a Canadian broadcaster and that make $25 million or more in annual contributions revenues to contribute 5% of those revenues to certain funds. The Commission expects the ruling to take effect from 1 September 2024 and has estimated that some $200 million per year will be provided in new funding.

We applaud the recent CRTC decision requiring some online streaming companies to contribute to the Canadian cultural ecosystem. S.A.C. has been a vocal supporter of Canada’s Online Streaming Act and testified before the CRTC in November. It’s important for all Canadian music creators that these foreign-owned streaming giants contribute their fair share.”

– Arun Chaturvedi, S.A.C. President

The CRTC will direct contributions to “areas of immediate need” including local news, French-language and indigenous work. Content created by and for equity-deserving groups, official language minority communities (OLMC) and Canadians of diverse backgrounds are also accounted for.

For audio online undertakings, the contributions will go to the following funds:

  • 2% to FACTOR and Musicaction
  • 1.5% to a new temporary fund supporting local news production by commercial radio stations outside of the designated markets
  • 0.5% to the Canadian Starmaker Fund and Fonds RadioStar
  • 0.5% to the Community Radio Fund of Canada
  • 0.35% to direct expenditures targeting the development of Canadian and Indigenous content and/or a variety of selected funds
  • 0.15% to the Indigenous Music Office and a new fund to support Indigenous music

This modernization of the regulatory framework is a requirement of the new Online Streaming Act (formerly Bill C-11) which passed in April 2023. Read the CRTC’s full announcement here.

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