Canadian government group calls for better, nimbler regulations for streaming and digital media

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has published a report calling for new government tools and federal regulations to support a healthy digital media market. The report suggested that future policies should focus on producing and promoting high-quality content by Canadians and encouraging rapid adaptation as technologies change.

In terms of more immediate steps, the CRTC recommended that prescriptive licensing be replaced by comprehensive and binding service agreements for all audio and video platforms operating in Canada and collecting revenue from Canadian audiences. It also suggested a restructured funding strategy to enable more sustainable support for content production and promotion. Finally, it called for the government to craft national and cross-sectoral strategies for the industry.

“Canadians have access to a wide range of content on multiple online platforms, as well as through traditional radio and television services. While this evolution is a good thing, it has an impact on the traditional model that was designed to provide support for programming made by and for Canadians,” CRTC Chair and CEO Ian Scott said. “At the government’s request, we have looked at how our stories can continue to be told and our broadcasting system can remain vibrant. Our digital-first report identifies possible options for a future where high-quality Canadian content continues to be produced, promoted and discovered.”

Anna Washenko