CANCON Regulations Continue to Favour 'Top 40'

Published: 2006-12-22
Despite pleas from Canadian independent music organizations such as the Canadian Independent Recoding Artists Association (CIRAA) the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) did not change the way they measure Canadian content to include more emerging artists.

Canadian content or Cancon rules were created in the 1970s to help Canadian artists grow in an industry that was predominantly filled with Americans. Beginning at 25% of the Canadian radio play the percentage has grown to 35%.

However in recent years independent artists (those not signed to major labels, or signed to indie labels) have protested that stations were primarily playing the same, more established artists over and over again, like Shania Twain, Celine Dion and Bryan Adams, rather than give a chance to emerging Canadian talent. Independent artist associations began to argue that a certain percentage of the Canadian content played should be by emerging artists.

In spite of arguments made by independent artists, last week the CRTC voted 3-2 not to change the current state of Cancon regulations. In a statement released to the public the CRTC said that the album sales for Canadian artists had risen from 16% in 1998 to 25% in 2003, implying that the increase in sales figures didn't indicate a demand for increased airplay of emerging artists. There was no statistic on how much of that increase in sales was by emerging artists.

In another statement Gregg Terrence president of the CIRAA says, "By no means does this mean we are giving up. CIRAA is growing and will continue to press the CRTC and others to modernize in order to meet the realities facing today's music industry".

Writer: Michelle Garcia



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