Founded upon the invention of the telephone and initially owned by the father of Alexander Graham Bell, Bell Canada has been involved in the Canadian media industry since the 1870’s. Since then, the company has gradually expanded its offerings into other sectors such as cellular networks, television, and internet services. In 2018, Bell Canada accumulated over 23 billion Canadian dollars in revenue, with a large share of this coming from its Bell Wireline internet segment. Initially serving as the company’s key product, local telephone subscriptions have experienced large declines in recent years, but as this segment has fallen into decline, Bell’s subscription numbers for its wireless communications, high-speed internet, and television segments have all increased.
While Bell Canada is the market leader in most of eastern Canada, Shaw Communications is perhaps the biggest name in the country’s western provinces. Another well-established Canadian company, Shaw Communications has been involved in the media industry for over 50 years. Generating over 5 billion Canadian dollars in revenue in 2018 and serving as a provider of internet, telephone, and fiber optic networking, Shaw has remained a relatively stable fixture in the industry. Corus Entertainment is a spinoff of Shaw Communications that once served as the company’s media division. Now reporting billions of dollars’ worth of revenue each year, Corus has become a major player in its own right. Other companies in the industry include Rogers Communications, Quebecor, and Cogeco, all of which provide internet and television services, and bring in billions of Canadian dollars in revenue each year.
Aside from these large multi-platform mass media providers, companies such as TC Transcontinental, Postmedia Network, and Torstar work primarily in the media publishing market, while companies like CBC mainly focus on radio and tv broadcasting. Although the market for print media is shrinking, Canadian publishers have managed to remain relatively competitive by slowly branching out into other areas such as digital offerings and even packaging. In similar fashion to the print media market, the radio market has suffered due to the increasing popularity of digital options. Despite this, the state-owned CBC continues to generate hundreds of millions of Canadian dollars in advertising revenue each year.
All in all, Canada’s media companies are performing well, however it is clear that some companies will have to enter new markets and diversify their offerings in order to stay competitive. Despite the fact that the industry is dominated by just a few large companies, it remains seemingly healthy and competitive.