Building Media Empires

Is it possible to build a new Canadian media empire?

I’m not even sure what a media empire looks like. People still want content. And content needs distribution. It feels like the majority of distribution in Canada is controlled by a small number of players:

  • Postmedia
  • Torstar Corporation
  • Rogers Media
  • Corus Entertainment
  • Astral Media
  • St. Joseph Media
  • Now Communications
  • Blue Ant Media
  • DHX Media (thanks @johntoryT0 for the correction)
  • plus more

I still don’t really understand the economics of distribution and monetization of traditional media. But this seems like a start to understanding about the Canadian landscape. In 2014, there was a lot of VC money (yes, yes, VC dollars is not the only metric of success) going into journalism companies (I  really like the CB Insights description of fat content companies): Buzzfeed, Vice, Huffington Post, First Look Media, Pando Daily, Vox and others. Canada seems to be stuck in the online properties of traditional media outlets.

We produce interesting/engaging content including YouTube stars:

I want to build a better understanding about content creation, distribution and monetization in Canada. Where should I start?

/me goes to spend more time consuming CANADALAND.



2009 Canadian TMT Predictions


Deloitte has made their Technology Media and Telecom Predictions for 2009. The session was streamed on The photostream is up on Flickr. You can find feedback on Twitter. The predictions aren’t really all that insightful, they don’t prescribe any solution or advice for companies whether they be large, medium or small. It’s a very good job summarizing the weak signals and trends from 2008 moving into 2009.

The most interesting commentary (other than Simon Avery inappropriately calling for the demise of the National Post before 2010) was during recessions that larger companies look strongly at ROI (Return on Investment) and that because of zero-based budgeting that companies are looking at spending $0 on innovation and research. Given the history of big companies failing on their investment on innovation, there is a huge need to change innovation by building a culture of execution, aka, getting shit done. And for startups where the investment in the right thing is even more important.  

  1. Make every electron count: the rise of the SmartGrid – Transforming our electrical network to be as smart as our telecommunications network.
  2. Disrupting the PC: the rise of the netbook – They’re cheap, they’re small, they’re cute…did we mention they’re cheap.
  3. Downsizing the digital attic: when infinite storage is a bad thing – Don’t hit that save key…when cheap storage ain’t so cheap
  4. Social networks in the enterprise: Facebook for the Fortune – Enterprise 2.0 is affordable and no training wheels are required
  5. Putting print out of peril may require stopping the pressess – 4 sale: 1 major city nwspaper – $20 obo (or best offer)
  6. Rising stars take on the megastars: Indie is the new mainstream – Be like Feist: 1, 2, 3, 4…smaller acts pack the floor
  7. The dawn of WIFI radio: 10,000 radio stations in your pocket – It lets you listen while you travel, but knows where you are.
  8. Mobile advertising finds its meaning: cell phone ads are the new billboards – Monetizing the screen you look at 50 times a day.
  9. Smart phones: how to say clever in a downturn – It’s not dumb to pay a premium for a smart phone.
  10. Digital communication loses its message: no email Fridays – When a productivity tool starts impairing productivity.
  11. The mobile broadband accident in slow motion: traffic jams on cellular networks – Netbooks and smartphone are chewing up bandwidth.
  12. One for all and all for one: no more redundant fibre optic network – Sharing the cost of fibre means more speed sooner.
  13. The browser becomes the operating system: changing of the guard? – Better living through better browsers.

The reports are available for perusal: