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Canada Mobile Carriers Market Share

Market share of Canadian mobile network operators in Q3 2011. (CWTA)
The Canadian mobile network race shows Bell, Telus, and Rogers pushing to obtain the top position in the market.

CRTC Releases Canada Media Consumption Report

It’s always interesting to see how people continue to consume media.  Today’s media report from the CRTC details how many Canadians are using media and the cost of their monthly cell phone bills.  The most interesting thing about Canada is that media consumption, specifically radio and television, continues to increase despite the fact that there are multiple outlets for such content.


Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued its annual Communications Monitoring Report providing an overview of the Canadian communications sector. In 2011, the average Canadian family spent more than $180 per month on communications services.

“This report is used to gauge whether the communications industry is meeting the needs of Canadians as consumers, citizens and creators,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. “The information it contains will help them make more informed decisions in the marketplace and enhance their participation in our public proceedings.”

Canadians are consuming more content

In 2011, 1,183 radio services and 702 television services were offered to Canadians. Despite the availability of content on digital platforms, Canadians spent more time watching television and listening to the radio.

On a weekly basis, they watched an average of 28.5 hours of television, up from 28 hours in 2010, and listened to an average of 17.7 hours of radio, up from 17.6 hours the previous year.

Canadians also actively consumed digital media content. Typical users watched 2.8 hours of Internet television per week, an increase from 2.4 hours in 2010. Four per cent of Canadians report only watching television programming online, while 4% watched programming on a smartphone and 3% on a tablet. Additionally, 22% of anglophones and 17% of francophones streamed the signal of an AM or FM station over the Internet.

“Canadians are enthusiastic consumers of creative content, whether it is offered on television, radio or through digital platforms. The fact that they are spending more time watching or listening to programming is good news for Canadian creators,” Mr. Blais added.

In 2011, the broadcasting industry contributed $3.1 billion to the creation and promotion of Canadian programming, an increase of $132 million from the previous year.

Canadians are more connected

Seventy-eight per cent of the 13.4 million households in Canada had an Internet subscription. Canadians continued to migrate to faster Internet services: the percentage of households with download speeds of at least 5 megabits per second rose from 51% in 2010 to 54% in 2011. The average monthly bill for broadband Internet services increased by $1.80, or from $36.99 in 2010 to $38.79 in 2011.

By the end of 2011, the number of Canadians subscribing to wireless services grew by 6% to 27.4 million. Newer competitors, who offered their services to more than half of the population, doubled their market share from 2% to 4% of subscribers. At the same time, the larger companies introduced faster wireless networks, also known as Long Term Evolution or LTE networks, to 45% of the population. In 2011, Canadians paid on average $57.98 per month for wireless services, which was roughly the same amount as the previous year’s monthly total of $57.86.

The number of subscribers to home telephone services in Canada continued to decrease in 2011, falling by 2.7% to 12.2 million. The average monthly bill of a telephone line was slightly lower, from $31.35 in 2010 to $31.23 in 2011.

The number of Canadian households that subscribe to basic television service increased by 2.2% to 11.8 million, equivalent to 89.6% of all households. Cable companies served the majority, or 69.9% of subscribers, while satellite companies served 24.5% and companies that deliver television programming through telephone lines (known as an Internet Protocol Television service) served 5.6% of subscribers. The average television subscriber paid $61.86 per month, an increase from $59.73 in 2010.


Pretty Canadian Girl Shows Love for

Luxie is a pretty young woman in Canada that sent supports our mobile marketing site.  Luxie’s employer had some great success with using 84444 for her business.

Mobile marketing in Canada is in its infancy so few customers are receiving many text message promotions on their Blackberry’s and other cell phones.  That really helps the messages stand out, said Luxie.  We agreee that Luxie is a standout.

Luxie and her company had some great success with mobile marketing platform


Is That Ringing in Your Ears Due to TV Commercials?

If you are like me, you turn down the sound, or worse yet, mute it, during television commercials.  That’s because the volume of the television advertising is incredibly high so if you would like to talk, you almost have to.  Finally, the CRTC is doing something about it.  Canadian television stations will need to tone down their advertisements come September.




The CRTC hears you (barely) and is moving to lower the sound of TV commercials.

OTTAWA-GATINEAU — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) published the final regulations requiring Canadian broadcasters and broadcasting distributors to control the loudness of TV commercials by September 1, 2012.

“The rules we published bring us a step closer to our goal of eliminating loud TV ads,” said Leonard Katz, Acting Chairman of the CRTC. “We have every expectation that the industry will take the necessary steps to meet our deadline and provide relief to viewers.”

The regulations require Canadian broadcasters to adhere to the Advanced Television Systems Committee’s (ATSC) standard for measuring and controlling television signals. Adherence to this standard will minimize fluctuations in loudness between programming and commercials. The ATSC is an internationally recognized body that sets technical standards for digital television.

In December 2011, the CRTC published draft regulations for comment after responding to Canadians’ concern that commercial advertisements were too loud.

Broadcasters are also responsible for maintaining the volume of programs.

They must follow these rules and ensure that both programs and ads are transmitted at the same volume by no later than September 1, 2012.

Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2012-273


Percent of Smartphone Audience that Scanned a QR Code

During 2011, QR codes came onto the scene as a way to tie mobile and traditional marketing. According to comScore MobiLens (3 months average ending December 2011);  during 2011 it was found that among the smartphone audience, 20.3% of the United States, 16.1% of Canada, 15.6% of Germany, 12.6% of France, 12.3% of the UK, 11.9% of Spain, and 10.1% of Italy scanned a QR (Quick Response) code.


Pound Codes in Canada

Pound codes utilize short code dialing whereas the mobile phone user can hit the # sign plus a short code number and then dial a standard rate phone call or a premium rate phone call.

The standard rate phone call is free to the consumer and the premium rate phone call will cost the consumer, much like calling a 900 number from a landline phone does.

While starting a pound code number is not cheap (the initial investment is $3000), it is a way to access cell phone only households with your voice information.  Plus, its an easy way to charge the consumer for your premium information.

Most important, it’s a great way to charge your consumer that is on the go, like the billboard below that I saw while vacationing in Florida.


Canada 900 Market Heats Up

Canada 900 numbers

Lobbying for more improvements for Canadian 900 numbers.

World Telemedia published an article about the red hot Canadian 900 number market and its opportunities for international customers.  Advanced Telecom Services’ efforts to further improve the market are discussed.

The Canadian 900 number market has shown significant growth over the past two years due in part to deregulation of the industry and the opportunities created from it.


Telemedia 360 Review

Liverpool, England – There’s a brand new show on the European audiotext scene.

Almost 300, mostly British, members of the telemedia industry converged on Liverpool’s Albert Dock for the first annual Telemedia 360 on October 20-21, 2009. And, if the business done at this first ever Telemedia 360 is any indication, the

Liverpool's Albert Dock hosted Telemedia 360

Liverpool’s Albert Dock hosted Telemedia 360

show will be around for a long time.

The show was sponsored by the same folks who put on the annual show, World Telemedia, which has been held in fun places such as Malta, Budapest, Prague, Amsterdam, and London in recent years. Industry veterans Jarvis Todd and Annika Micheli were on hand to make sure that everything ran smoothly and that everybody had a good time and that the sponsors were pleased with their investments.

It was hard not to have a good time at Telemedia 360. The event got off to a quick start with a sponsored party at Alma de Cuba—a converted church that now makes a fun bar and restaurant. Lots of telemedia veterans were there early and did their part to show that the British are some of the hardiest drinkers in the world. The party didn’t close until after 2 am at which time some energetic, unnamed souls continued partying while watching native Liverpudlians dance in g-strings.

The crowd was mostly male and certainly showed an aging business population than was present at past Telemedia shows; 45 seemed to be the median age of attendees. Telemedia veterans continue to show that there is significant money to be made in pay per call and the vast breadth of billing mechanisms and exciting new mobile applications that were displayed. Nevertheless, it is clear that the industry could use some new and younger blood and some greater female participation.

The crowd arrived early the next morning and the trade show and presentations got under way at 9:30. Those who stayed out late the night before were there and ready to do business, as any professional would, although some ended up telling the same stories that they did the night before, thankfully at a lower volume.

Mark Challinor, European director of INMA, made the opening welcome address to the attendees. The presentations had two tracks representing moving the media to a cross-platform pay for content model and generating traffic for premium rate content across multiple platform. A total of 16 presentations were made with 64 industry leaders speaking.

The lone negative of the show was the complimentary lunch that was served which my British colleagues described as “rubbish.” Nevertheless, lunch time was a good way to meet others in the industry given the small second floor venue that hosted it. Certainly, nobody had to worry about the bad manners of talking with their mouths full.

Advanced Telecom Services’ president Bob Bentz was there along with the operating partners of the ATS-London service bureau, Ian Scott and Cindy Aspland.

Advanced Telecom Services presented the Canadian 900 number market as: “the best premium rate market in the world.” Advanced Telecom Services’ theme for the show was “Mount Your Next Program in Canada” with a sexy female Canadian Mountie as the mascot. Signage and the Telemedia 360 power point touted some of the features of the newly de-regulated Canadian premium rate market including lower fees, less content restrictions and an improved ability to control chargebacks that had previously plagued the Canadian 900 number industry.

In the afternoon, Toby Padgham of AIME spoke to us about the possibility that British Telecom will be raising its claw back on uncollectible billing. Currently, BT takes 3.04% for chargebacks from all service bureaus. This in itself seems unfair as some companies in the more liberal IVR categories are probably under-assessed based on this process. Padgham indicated that BT has talked about increasing its claw back to 9% and stressed the importance of the industry banding together to fight this unwarranted increase.

The conclusion of the show was highlighted by an auction of several autographed football items, including autographed jerseys of the Chelsea and Arsenal teams, donated by O-bit Telecom. Proceeds from the auction were donated to an organization that fights breast cancer, Her Breast Friends.

But, activity was not completed from Telemedia 360. An evening dinner at Pan Am on Albert Dock had outstanding food that redeemed the rubbish served at lunch. The final evening of musical entertainment from The Cheatles highlighted the Liverpool event. It was easy to find the few 20-somethings in the audience as they were the only ones not mouthing the words to the songs made famous by Liverpool’s and the world’s most famous band ever.

As the delegates began to say good-bye, many wondered where we’d see each other next as the location for World Telemedia 2010 has yet to be confirmed. A reliable source said that Copenhagen, Denmark had the inside track to hosting the April event.

Regardless of where World Telemedia is held, however, this group knows how to do business, yet also knows how to have a good time simultaneously.

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