Data Dump:

Launching the Canadian Media Concentration Research Project: The Telecom-Media-Internet Industries in Canada by the Numbers

Welcome to the Canadian Media Concentration Research (CMCR) project website

The CMCR project offers an independent academic, empirical and data-driven analysis of a deceptively simple yet profoundly important question: have telecom, media and internet markets become more concentrated over time, or less?

This is a perennial and controversial issue, with some charging that a handful of media giants dominate telecoms, media and internet markets while the opposing side argues that the question is no longer even relevant in the age of the internet. However, while opinions are rife, high-quality data on the issue is remarkably scarce, both in Canada and indeed worldwide.

The Canadian Media Concentration Research (CMCR) project addresses this problem through its data-driven analysis of media concentration in more than a dozen sectors of the telecom-media-internet (TMI) industries in Canada:

  • Wireline Telecommunications
  • Wireless Telecommunications
  • Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
  • Cable, Satellite & IPTV Distributors,
  • Broadcast Television
  • Specialty and Pay television services
  • Radio
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines and Periodicals
  • Music
  • Film
  • Book publishing
  • Search Engines
  • Social Media

We will gather data on each of these sectors for the period from 1984 until 2016. Our goal is to create a systematic, comprehensive and long-term body of data that covers each of these sectors and the network media industries in Canada as a whole. We also want to understand the direction of trends one way or another, and the pressures and forces that are driving whatever changes are occurring.

We will not shy away from normative debates, but our priority is to encourage multiple perspectives on and debates about the meaning and significance of the data. Datasets will be made freely available on this site and through a regular stream of reports, briefs, scorecards, and so on published in each year during the project until 2016.

We use a quantitative approach to establish the total revenues for each sector. We then calculate the market share of each firm in each sector on the basis of annual revenues. Media concentration levels are subsequently analyzed on a sector-by-sector basis and across the TMI industries as a whole using three common analytical tools: concentration ratios (CR), the Herfindahl – Hirschman Index (HHI) and the Noam Index. Each sector is combined into three higher-level categories -- (1) the network infrastructure industries; (2) the content industries; (3) online media -- and then scaffolded upwards from there to give a portrait of the network media industries as a whole. We chart the direction of trends over time as well, and compare conditions in Canada with situations elsewhere in the world. A fuller discussion of methodology can be found here.

The Canadian Media Concentration Research (CMCR) project builds on work done by it’s principal investigator, Dwayne Winseck, since 2009 as the lead Canadian researcher in the International Media Concentration Research (IMCR) project. That study is led by Eli Noam, Columbia University, and includes thirty-plus researchers studying media concentration in as many countries around the world. This new phase of research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and will extend the coverage of trends in Canada up to 2016 and broaden the scope of media industries examined to include the film, music and book industries.

Project Team and Approach The CMCR project is led by Dwayne Winseck, Professor at the School of Journalism and Communication, with a cross appointment at the Institute of Political Economy, Carleton University, Ottawa. Team members include Caitlin Turner, Project Coordinator, Lianrui Jia, Research Assistant as well as two Research Associates: Adam Webb and Daniel Kosir.