Final Online Streaming Act policy direction to CRTC excludes podcasts and video games

The Online Streaming Act received Royal Assent on April 27th

CRTC logo

Canadian Heritage has released its final policy direction for the Online Streaming Act to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

This version specifies that social media creators, podcasts and video games are exempt from the regulation.

The CRTC is directed to impose requirements, both financial and non-financial, that ensure the broadcasting system supports Canadian programming and creators. Other directions include providing flexibility for broadcasters to meet requirements for expenditures and ensuring the creation of programming from Indigenous creators and ethnocultural groups.

“The Online Streaming Act is the result of years of work and collaboration between our government and the cultural sector,” Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage, said in a press release. She called the Act “transformative” and stated that it would level the “playing field.”

In a statement, CRTC Chair Vicky Eatrides welcomed the policy, stating it “enhances” the commission’s ongoing effort to modernize the subject.

The CRTC previously ordered all streaming services making more than $10 million annually to register their companies. The commission will also hold a public hearing on the framework starting November 20th.

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) also welcomed the policy direction.

“A stable foundation of a sound industrial policy for broadcasting in Canada must be a priority to support the public policy goals of the Online Streaming Act,” Kevin Desjardins, the president of CAB, said. “To continue their contributions to the creation of Canadian content, especially essential news and information programming, Canadian broadcasters must be provided with an equitable framework.”

Source: Canadian Heritage