Traditionally speaking, the US Active Rock radio chart had a huge influence on what was played on Canada’s Active Rockers. But in the 4th quarter of 2014, there is as big a disparity as we’ve seen in recent memory. As of this week’s chart (Nov 3rd) only 30% of the records on the USA Top 30 even appear on the Canadian Top 30. That’s 10 songs total that are crossing the border, and not surprisingly, they are songs that belong to some household names like Foo Fighters, AC/DC, Nickelback, Three Days Grace, Seether, Black Keys, Slash, Bush and Weezer. Really, the only outlier is UK newcomer Royal Blood with their breakout single “Figure It Out.”
At a glance, it might seem preposterous for that to be the case, but upon further review the pieces fit together pretty well. For starters there are some songs that are simply transitioning their way to the Canadian chart. Godsmack, Vance Joy and [Read more…]
It’s the question I’ve been asked at least once a week for the 15+ years I’ve been in the promotion game. “Is my single Can-Con?” The answer I generally give is. Possibly.
The reason I’m always hesitant to simply concede an affirmative Can-Con status based on the loose information a manager or label provides me stems from a general misunderstanding of how that status is reached within the music industry. My misgivings are generally rebutted with “it’s close enough, no?” But in the Con-Con game, close enough doesn’t cut it. Here’s why. If you tell a radio station that a song is Can-Con and they play it under that guise, they’ll count it as such in their “promise of performance” report to the CRTC. As you know, the very existence of the Canadian Content law is for radio stations to play a minimum of the percentage of Can-Con they promised in their broadcast license application to the CRTC (which is renewed, on average, every 7 years). If a station fails to meet that clause in their license they face fines and possibly revocation. As you can imagine, like any of us with laws in society, stations generally play exactly the required amount of Can-Con, with perhaps a razor-thin buffer. Just like how you drive faster than the speed limit, but not quite fast enough to get you a ticket (hopefully).
Over the past year-and-a-half, we’ve thought — and written — about the then-impending ownership changes that were looming across the country (The Evolving Landscape of Canadian Radio Ownership from October 2013, along with the earlier February 2013 piece Changes Are Coming). Let’s have a look at how things played out.
First, a quick recap to freshen the memory: Bellmedia had paid $3.4-billion for the assets of Astral Media (various radio outlets & specialty TV channels) but needed to shed ten radio stations in order to stay within the CRTC’s market ownership guidelines, while Newcap Radio announced their plans to sell off their Alberta-based holdings during the same time-frame. The fates of dozens of stations (and their staff) were up-in-the-air.
Even though Newcap Radio eventually mothballed their Alberta divestiture plans (reportedly unable to find interested buyers), they did become a major participant in the Bell asset sell-off, picking up five properties in Toronto and Vancouver for the tidy sum of $112-million. The big question now becomes, what are they going to do with their new assets? [Read more…]
The 2014 Polaris Music Prize Long List was announced in Calgary on Thursday. Congrats to all of our clients who made the list of 40 albums, which were narrowed down from 189!
Basia Bulat performed her nominated album Tall Tall Shadow live at the event. It’s the third album by the Toronto singer-songwriter and her most personal to-date. The ten songs from the album tell the story of a very hard year in the artist’s life and all the love that helped her through it. Chromeo‘s fourth album release, White Women marks the tenth anniversary of their debut album She’s in Control. The record’s cover art, featuring the duo walking a veiled bride, serves to represent this long musical union. Also on the list are Mounties, a super-trio made up of members [Read more…]