The report is financed by the CMF, the National Film Board of Canada and Telefilm Canada, with the support of CBC/Radio-Canada and their syndicated study – the Media Technology Monitor. Prepared by Danielle Desjardins of La Fabrique de sens, it provides an in-depth look at the building blocks that must be taken into account to build Canada’s future content discoverability strategy.
Resulting from the Let’s Talk TV process, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission noted that discovering Canadian programming has taken on increasing importance now that technological changes have transformed audience consumption behaviour and made it possible for content from any source to bypass the regulated broadcasting system. This phenomenon has created a new issue dubbed “content discoverability.” In the audiovisual production sector, it is often acknowledged as the top-priority challenge that the industry will continue to face over the course of the next decade.
Content discoverability can be addressed on several different levels, and implies two groups of players with different objectives. This report proposes to combine these levels into a relatively simple structure centered on content, the core element of all discoverability initiatives. This structure is divided into two elements: levers – the measures, initiatives, strategies, and tools that play a part in the development of discoverability, and players – the stakeholders directly concerned.
Levers include two main categories: institutional and industrial.
Institutional levers are introduced by government. They are the cultural policies adopted to support and protect the activities of the audiovisual production sector, the regulations established in support of those policies, and the various programs – managed by government institutions – that fund this production.
Industry levers are initiatives introduced by the industry. These are largely based on new digital technologies. They use specific materials – data – and a certain type of tool – algorithms – in multiple ways, including searches, personalized recommendations, and new forms of marketing.
As stakeholders in discoverability, the industry and the public have diverging objectives. The goals of the industry are well known, but those of the public are worth examining in greater detail. The general preferences of consumers and their willingness to adopt new technologies to access content when and where they choose have been acknowledged. However, less is known about how consumers find new content, their motivations, and experiences with discovery in the current media landscape. These aspects of the phenomenon of discoverability will be explored in the second part of this research project to be published in late-summer 2021.