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Spotify complains about potential mandatory CanCon contributions. Canadian radio: “Boo-hoo.”

The streaming music services, led by platform, are funneling millions of dollars out of Canada through subscription fees. They don’t even have to charge sales tax on those subscriptions. And there is no requirement for them to put money back into the system when it comes to supporting Canadian talent beyond the standard performance rights fees.

Meanwhile, Canadian radio is compelled to invest pre-tax dollars into all sorts of Canadian talent initiatives. That includes FACTOR, Starmaker, and something called Canadian Content Development. Radio believes that if they’re going to use Canadian music as part of its business plan to make money, then it’s in their best interest to keep the flow of quality music coming. And performing rights fees? Canadian radio pays those, too–even more than what US radio pays.

Bill C-11, otherwise known as the Online Streaming Act, will compel streamers to support Canadian talent in some form. Exactly how is still to be determined.

Spotify has told the CRTC that any requirement to make contributions to supporting Canadian talent could force them to cut back on its existing investments. They’re worried about their financial viability.

Cry me a f***ing river.

Spotify’s market cap is US$35.7 billion, larger than the rest of the music industry combined. Compared to traditional terrestrial radio (and SiriusXM satellite radio, for that matter), Spotify’s investment in Canadian music is miniscule. Hardly seems fair, does it?

Spotify seems to be concerned that if they give into Canadian demands, other countries will ask for the same thing.

Hearings on C-11 will continue for the next few weeks.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37808 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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