Read Music Canada CEO Patrick Rogers' Remarks to the TRCM Senate Committee on Bill C-11 (The Online Streaming Act)
On Wednesday, Sept. 21, Music Canada CEO Patrick Rogers delivered his prepared remarks to the TRCM Senate Committee with respect to the study of Bill C-11, commonly referred to as the Online Streaming Act. The bill, which has passed through parliament, aims to bring on-demand audio and video streaming service, such as Spotify, YouTube, and Netflix, under the regulation of the CRTC and apply a new version of CanCon rules to the streaming industry. Music Canada has shared Rogers' official remarks with Canadian Musician:
Patrick Rogers: It’s a pleasure to be here to discuss Bill C-11.
Music Canada is the trade association for Canada’s major labels: Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada.
Canada’s majors, with offices in Toronto and Montreal, sign and partner with French and English Canadian artists - helping them achieve commercial success in Canada and export that music abroad.
Overwhelmingly, it is Canadian and international artists partnered with major labels that Canadians listen to on the radio, stream, or hear synched in their favourite tv show. And Canada’s majors distribute many of the top indie labels - providing the opportunity for their artists’ careers to reach the global tier and achieve success around the world.
Canadian content rules for radio, developed 5 decades ago, were integral to today’s successful Canadian music industry. Those rules opened new opportunities for careers and professional development for artists, labels, studios, managers, venues and an entire emerging Canadian music industry. That commercial success in turn enabled businesses to reinvest in the next generation of talent.
That’s why my members support Bill C-11’s core principles of accessing and showcasing Canadian content in the digital marketplace.
In a global digital marketplace, success in Canada is a stepping stone to international success. As you know, Canada is home to some of the world’s most recognizable names in music. But there are many names who are finding success in streaming who you maybe haven’t heard of – yet.
That next generation includes Ali Gatie, Savannah Ré, Tate McRae, Forrest Blakk, Eli Rose, Charlotte Cardin, SORAN, Rêve, and others. Their success is from their talent and hard work - and also the investments made by their labels and the reach of streaming platforms who license their music and deliver it to the fans around
the world who want to hear it.
These artists are finding success in streaming that may not be realized in radio alone.
Regulations affecting how their music is shared need to reflect differences in the digital market compared to radio.
This bill needs to ensure that those opportunities for Canadian artists continue and grow – and that the listening experience that Canadians have come to enjoy on streaming platforms is maintained. Because if that experience is unduly interrupted, listeners will go elsewhere, including unlicensed platforms where artists aren’t paid for their music. That flies in the face of everything this bill aims to achieve.
Ultimately, we hope that the work of the committee will help bridge the gap between how the Minister describes the bill and the text itself.
The Bill needs some minor amendments to ensure that its outcomes match what is intended.
● The Government has said that the CRTC should not regulate the algorithms of streaming services. We agree. But there’s wiggle room in the actual text of the Bill.
Minor changes to the wording at s. 9.1(8) of the bill would make that clear. We’ve put those forward.
● We agree with the Minister when he says that user generated content shouldn’t be regulated. We recommend that the concerns and recommendations of the platforms be heard on this point.
And while it is not the work of this committee, we would also support a Policy Directive that
included the following:
● Confirmation that algorithms should not be interfered with by the CRTC
● User choice on platforms should not be interfered with
● The scope of the bill should relate to professional content, and not UGC
● CRTC regulation should take into account the unique qualities and differences between platforms
All of this is because we know that when music fans around the world are given the best of Canadian music, they want to hear more.
This is an important bill with real world goals and very real consequences if regulation doesn’t get it right. Your review today can help ensure the bill achieves its aims and shine a spotlight on Canada’s incredible talent for generations to come. Thank you for your close study and the opportunity to answer your questions.