Among the winners and losers of yesterday’s CRTC pay radio decision, there is little doubt that Canadian artists emerged as the big winners. How big? Between the Siruis and XM bids, they’re in line to receive $40 million in funding for various artists programs in Canada over the next seven years.
Moreover, there is a strong commitment to airplay for Canadian music that does not make it onto conventional radio, even with current Canadian content requirements. The CRTC mandated that both satellite providers ensure that between 6 a.m. and midnight each week on each Canadian music channel, a minimum of 25 percent of the musical selections broadcast will be new Canadian musical selections, and a minimum of 25 percent will be Canadian selections by artists who have not had a musical selection that has reached a position on one or more of the music charts.
Given this unprecedented opportunity for Canadian musicians, it should come as little surprise to find that Indie Pool, which represents 20,000 independent Canadian artists, says that the decision went beyond their hopes.
Amazingly, not everyone in the music industry is celebrating though. As Mark Evans points out, the Canadian Recording Industry Association has criticized the decision as being "short-sighted" and undervaluing Canadian musical talent. Evans says it is the music industry that has itself been short sighted over the past six years. Maybe so, but the real story here isn’t the reluctance to embrace the Internet; it is the reluctance to actually support Canadian artists.