Liberals propose new rules for streaming platforms like Netflix, Spotify

Click to play video: 'Liberals propose new Canadian Broadcast Act rules for online streaming platforms'
Liberals propose new Canadian Broadcast Act rules for online streaming platforms
WATCH: Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault delivered a press conference on Tuesday where he discussed the Liberals' proposed new policy changes to the Broadcasting Act, in order to protect Canadian content – Nov 3, 2020

Ottawa is proposing new policy changes – with monetary penalties — to ensure online streaming platforms experiencing booming revenues face as stringent rules as traditional broadcasters.

The regulations put forth by the Liberal government today in a new bill focus on clarifying that online streaming platforms like Netflix and Spotify will fall under the Broadcasting Act through a new category called online undertakings.

Click to play video: 'Guilbeault expects bill responding to telecom report to be tabled by June'
Guilbeault expects bill responding to telecom report to be tabled by June

The bill also proposes giving the CRTC new powers to require broadcasters and online streaming companies make financial contributions to support Canadian music, stories, creators and producers.

Story continues below advertisement

A government briefing note says if the CRTC applies the same requirements around Canadian content to traditional broadcaster and streamers, online platforms could contribute as much as $830 million in Canadian content by 2023.

Financial news and insights delivered to your email every Saturday.

The briefing note says the bill could result in the government asking the CRTC to look at which online broadcasters should be regulated and determine whether it is a good idea to give additional regulatory credits to broadcasters producing works about Indigenous peoples, racial communities or in French.

READ MORE: Canadian publishers call for collective bargaining with Google, Facebook

The briefing note says the CRTC may also be ordered to look into what qualifies as Canadian content and whether that definition takes into account ta credits or intellectual property.

Corus Entertainment applauded the “important first step.”

“Since the Broadcasting Act was enacted 30 years ago, the Canadian media industry has been turned on its head,” a spokesperson from Corus Entertainment said in an emailed statement.

Click to play video: 'Hollywood North gets boost from streaming giant'
Hollywood North gets boost from streaming giant

“Modern policy and regulatory approaches are desperately needed, and COVID-19 makes them even more urgent. The future of local news particularly hangs in the balance.”

Story continues below advertisement

Corus, the parent company of Global News, aid it had urged the Canadian government to “level the playing field” with a “lighter regulatory burden,” which it said would allow the organization compete in a global environment.

“We agree with the Government that ‘further reforms will be required’, and look forward to sharing our views in that process. Change cannot come soon enough,” the statement read.

Bell media told Global News they are “studying the text of the legislation.”

Sponsored content