We want to take this opportunity first of all, to thank you. We launched CBC Music just over 2 months ago, with the goal of better serving the musical needs of Canadians, and the support from both artists and fans has been overwhelming.
We can’t tell you how much we’ve appreciated all of your positive e-mails, tweets, Facebook and blog posts — it lets us know that all of the hard work that went in to CBC Music has paid off and that you appreciate our efforts to give you the music (and stories behind it) you want, when you want it, on your desktop, laptop, mobile phone and on traditional radio. So thank you.
By now, you’ve probably read some of the stories that have been circulating regarding an application against CBC Music lodged with the CRTC, Canada’s broadcast regulator, by a private company. In their application they allege that CBC Music is somehow harmful to the competitive market for online music services, including their own online subscription service, due to what they claim is a “preferential” rights payment structure and the fact that we receive funding from the government which helps to partially fund our service. Their application asks the CRTC to order CBC to either shut down the CBC Music service or to substantially modify it.
When we look at the specific concerns they raise, there are a few things that we want to clarify, and as we move forward we’d like to ask you to lend your voice to the next step of the CRTC process.
First off, CBC Music does not receive any preferential treatment when we negotiate our rights deals. Just like everyone else, the nature of the services we offer are examined (either by the Copyright Board or the party we are negotiating with) and then rates are set – or negotiated – accordingly.
On the question of whether CBC Music should be “competing” in the same space as private broadcasters, I think it’s safe to say that each one of you knows CBC Music does not exist to compete, it exists to serve; Canadians, musicians and our cultural community.
We will be submitting a comprehensive response to the CRTC by May 17th and, that’s where you come in.
We think it’s important that Canadian artists, music labels and the people who use CBC Music every day write to the CRTC and tell them what they think about CBC Music — whether it be:
- The distinctiveness of the service (no other service features such a wide range of editorial content and context along with music);
- The importance of CBC Music in showcasing and promoting Canadian artists;
- The role we play in the Canadian music ecosystem; and
- The benefit of having Canadian music showcased alongside major artists from around the world.
If you are interested in submitting a comment to the CRTC on the Stingray application, you can do so by visiting the following website: https://services.crtc.gc.ca/pub/Intervention/Submission-Soumission.aspx?lang=e&EN=201204479&ET=A#SE0 (follow the steps and click Option 1, Submit an intervention/comment) before May 17th 2012.
One important thing to note, is that if you are submitting in support of CBC Music, you would be submitting comments in opposition to Stingray’s application (click the word “opposition” that you’ll see on your screen). Also, please ensure that Stingray (email@example.com) and CBC (RegulatoryAffairs@cbc.ca) are copied on your submission.
If you have any questions on how to submit a comment, please refer to http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/info_sht/g4.htm on the CRTC website, or contact Raj Shoan in Regulatory Affairs at the CBC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want to thank you for your ongoing support of CBC and specifically for CBC Music over the last few months, it’s truly meant a lot to each of us and our teams. Lending your voice to this process would be both greatly appreciated by us, and would help further bolster the strong case we’ll be making to the commission.
Chris, Mark & Steve
Executive Director, Radio & Audio at CBC
Director, Music Programming, CBC Music
Director, Digital Music, CBC Music