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Industry Profile - Music

COVID-19 Update

  • The music industry is facing a number of significant obstacles as a result of COVID-19. These include the cancellation of live events and closure of live venues; restrictions on non-essential travel; and the difficulty or impossibility of performing some jobs while working remotely. Recovery efforts will be hindered by a major decrease in consumer confidence due to continued safety concerns.
  • It is predicted that global music revenue will drop by 25% this year due to COVID-related fiscal and operational challenges. The majority of this is tied to the live music sector, with earnings estimates dropping by over 75% from pre-pandemic projections. Publishing revenue is expected to drop by 5%, and recorded music revenue by 8%.[i]
  • In a Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) national survey of the music industry, over 96% of respondents indicated that COVID-19 was having a negative impact on their business, and of those, 78% indicated that they had unrecoverable expenditures in 2020 due to cancellations and postponements of industry events. Ninety-five per cent of CIMA member companies indicated that they have had or anticipated having reduced gross revenues in 2020, and 32.4% indicated an anticipated shortfall of 50% or more.[ii]
  • Artists, performers and music businesses overall have indicated being in a challenging financial situation, with only 13.5% of artists and 42.2% of companies able to sustain themselves on reduced or no income for over 3 months. Almost half of survey respondents who have staff said they anticipated reductions, and well over half of live music businesses have already laid off employees.[iii]
  • The Canadian live music industry is particularly struggling following shutdown of mass gatherings. A call for support from the Canadian Live Music Association indicated that 96% of responding live music companies are at risk of failure or have already failed. This is of particular concern as up to 70% of live music members have not been able to access federal programs due to eligibility criteria.[iv]
  • A study by Abacus Data indicates that COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on people’s comfort with going to public venues. Between 33-47% of Canadians said they wouldn’t feel comfortable going to a domestic live show depending on the type of venue, and up to a quarter said they will probably never feel comfortable doing so again.[v]
  • Streaming popularity has not been seeing the global uptick many expected during early days of social distancing. Experts theorize that the break in normalcy brought on by quarantine is affecting how and why people choose to listen to music, with occasions like commuting or getting ready for a night out no longer available. Lack of promotion of new releases may also be responsible, as artists are no longer able to give interviews or go on release tours.[vi]
  • In spite of this lack of broader uptick, however, Canadians report consuming more music and watching more music videos and online concerts than ever before, in numbers ranging from 245% to 35%, depending on the type of music media. Almost 80% also identify listening to music as a way to help relieve stress.[vii]
  • Please visit Ontario Creates’ website for more information on our COVID-19 response plan.

i Dylan Smith, “Goldman Sachs: Global Music Revenue Will Drop 25% in 2020,” Digital Music News, May 19, 2020.

ii Canadian Independent Music Association, Urgent COVID-19: Measuring Impacts on the Music Industry, March 2020, pp. 14-15, 17. Canadian Independent Music Association, COVID-19 Impact on CIMA Companies, April 2020, pp. 19, 24.

iii Canadian Independent Music Association, Urgent COVID-19: Measuring Impacts on the Music Industry, March 2020, pp. 22-23, 24, 27; Canadian Live Music Association, The Unimaginable is in Motion, May 13, 2020, p. 4; Canadian Independent Music Association, COVID-19 Impact on CIMA Companies, April 2020, pp. 25

iv Canadian Live Music Association, The Unimaginable is in Motion, May 13, 2020, p. 2.

v David Coletto, “The Locked-Down Blues: Canadians, Live Music, and the Pandemic,” Abacus Data, May 14, 2020.

vi Torsten Ingvaldsen, “Music Streaming Reportedly Declining Due to Coronavirus,” Hypebeast, March 19, 2020; Eamonn Forde, “Everyone’s stuck at home – so why are people streaming less music?” The Guardian, April 17, 2020.

vii David Coletto, “The Locked-Down Blues: Canadians, Live Music, and the Pandemic,” Abacus Data, May 14, 2020.

Interim Update to September 2019 Profile

August 2020

  • On-demand audio and video song streams increased dramatically in Canada in 2019, with the number of audio streams increasing by 31.2% and video streams increasing by 59.7%. In contrast, sales declined almost across the board, with physical album sales declining by 23.3%, digital album sales by 24.5%, CD sales by 26%, and digital track sales by 27.6%. The only medium to see a sale increase was vinyl LPs by 2.2%.a
  • Video music streaming is becoming increasingly popular in Canada. In 2019, the average music listener spent 33% of their 30 hour weekly listening time streaming, marking a 5% increase from 2018. Twelve percent said they were likely to buy into a subscription service within the next month, and 52% said they are willing to watch ads in exchange for free videos, suggesting that there is continued profit to be gained from these audiences.b
  • Internationally, both video and audio streaming are increasing, with 89% of respondents to a 2019 ifpi survey indicating that they listen to music through on-demand streaming, for an average of four hours per week for audio streaming and 3.5 hours for video streaming. While ages 16-24 are the most prevalent users of streaming platforms, the greatest growth can be seen in the 35-64 age brackets.c
  • Music piracy rates have dropped worldwide since 2018, with 27% of music listeners having accessed unlicensed music within the previous month, a significant decline from the 38% reported in 2018. Stream-ripping has also declined from 32% to 23% in 2019. One theory to explain this shift is that the increase in availability of legal streaming sites such as Spotify and Apple Music has made affordable or free listening more accessible.d
  • Younger audiences are more engaged with music than previous generations. A report by VICE Media on the consumption habits of Gen Z indicate that music is their primary focus for cultural content consumption, whereas it falls in second place for Millennials. Ninety-one percent of Gen Z youth interviewed said they listen to music on a weekly basis, and 54% identified it as a weekly activity, as opposed to 43% of Millennials.e
  • Indigenous music was a key contributor to the Canadian music industry in 2018, with a GDP contribution of close to $78M, and over 3,000 full time jobs supported nationally. The average income earned by Indigenous artists in Canada is $47,200, but almost half of this is non-music income. [Additional data available for longer bullet point if necessary]f
  • StubHub has been fined $1.3M by Canada’s Competition Bureau for deliberately deceiving consumers. StubHub was found to be advertising tickets for prices substantially less than the final charge, which often incorporated significant transactional fees only made known to the purchaser at checkout.g
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making inroads into the music industry in a number of ways. In spring of 2019, Warner Music signed a 20 album contract with Endel for AI-generated music, paving the way for a number of conversations about authorship, copyright, and creativity. In early 2020, iHeartMedia (parent company of iHeartRadio) laid off hundreds of employees, replacing them with AI and other technological investments.h
  • Music publishing, and particularly music publishing exports, have been an increasingly strong economic driver in Canada. Fifty-eight per cent of respondent organizations to a 2018 Canadian Music Publishers Association survey had headquarters in Ontario, and 92% of revenues generated by the industry are also based out of the province.i
  • Ontario was well represented in Grammy nominations at the 2020 Grammy Awards. Jessie Reyez (Being Human in Public) was nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album, Drake was featured on Best R&B Song nominated track “No Guidance” by Chris Brown and Best Rap Song nominee “Gold Roses” by Rick Ross, Shawn Mendes was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Señorita” with Camila Cabello, and Daniel Caesar was nominated for Best R&B Performance for “Love Again” with Brandy.
  • Ontario also performed extremely well at the 2020 JUNO Awards, which were presented virtually in June. Over half (24 of 42) categories were awarded to Ontario creators, including Best Pop Album (The Pains of Growing Up by Alessia Cara), Artist of the Year (Shawn Mendes),  Music Video of the Year (Iskwe) and Best Album awards in nine different genres, many of which were supported by the Ontario Music Fund.

Ontario Creates Industry Profiles receive a full update once per year. The interim update summarizes key changes approximately six months after the profile’s release.

a External Source, “By the Numbers: Canada 2019 Year End Music Report,” FYI Music News, January 9, 2020.

b FYI Staff, “Canada 360: Stats On Music Streaming Platforms,” FYI Music News, August 19, 2019.

c ifpi, Music Listening 2019, 2019, p. 9.

d Paul Resnikoff, “Music Piracy Rates are Plunging in 2019 – That’s Good News, Right?” Digital Music News, September 25, 2019.

e VICE Media, Gen Z: The Culture of Content Consumption, 2019, pp. 4-5.

f External Source, “Indigenous Music Contributed Almost $80M to Canada’s GDP in 2018”, FYI Music News, November 18, 2019.

g Marsha Silva, “Canadian Authorities Fine StubHub Nearly $1 Million for Deceiving Customers,” Digital Music News, February 18, 2020.

h Michael McCarty, “Is AI beneficial to music creators?” The Globe and Mail, July 4, 2019; Paul Resnikoff, “iHeartRadio Just Replaced Hundreds of Human Workers with ‘Technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI)’,” Digital Music News, January 15, 2020.

i Music Publishers Canada, “Music Publishers Canada and Minister MacLeod discus growing Ontario’s creative and export-focused music publishing industry,” Cision, December 16, 2019.

September 2019 Profile


Ontario’s music industry is the largest in Canada, and is made up of a wide range of participants in all parts of the value chain involved in the creation, writing, production, publishing, distribution and presentation of original music. The industry includes musicians, songwriters, record labels, managers, agents, music publishers, concert promoters, presenters and more. The sound recording and music publishing landscape in Canada is dominated by large foreign-owned companies but has a strong independent sector comprising mainly small- to medium-sized companies. The vast majority of Canadian content is commercially released by Canadian-owned and controlled independent music companies.

Industry Size and Economic Impact

The following information on revenue, employment, and the consumer market should be considered a snapshot of activity in the industry based on the best available information.

Employment and Wages

  • In 2017, the Ontario music publishing and sound recording industry generated almost 4,000 jobs, accounting for 42% of industry jobs nation-wide. This figure is approximately on par with the number of jobs generated in 2016.[1]
  • In 2017, the sound recording studio industry spent $18.5 million on salaries, wages, commissions and benefits, and the record production and distribution industry spent $59.1 million.[2]
  • A report commissioned by (opens new window)Music Canada estimates that in 2013, Ontario’s live music industry generated 7,300 direct impact FTEs (Full Time Equivalents), 2,200 indirect impact FTEs, and 1,000 induced impact FTEs, for a total of 10,500. The live music industry also generated $152 million in direct labour income, $105 million in indirect labour income, and $48 in induced labour income for a total of $305.5.[3]

Revenues and Related Figures

  • In 2017, Ontario exported close to $226 million in music publishing and sound recording internationally, up 11% from the previous year. This accounted for slightly over 60% of Canadian music publishing and sound recording international exports.[4]
  • In 2017, music publishing and sound recording generated $362.2 million in provincial GDP, up 5% from 2016. This accounted for 57.8% of the Canadian total GDP generated by this sector.[5]
This is a horizontal bar chart showing the GDP of the sound recording and music publishing industries in Canada and the provinces and territories in 2017. Ontario makes up a bit over half of the national GDP, followed by Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, and all other provinces and territories combined.
  • In 2017, the Ontario record production and distribution industry had an operating revenue of $432.3 million, with an operating profit margin of 4.7%. The sound recording studio industry had an operating revenue of $64.9 million, with an operating profit margin of 14.4%.[6]
  • Between 2017 and 2018, the Canadian total recorded music revenue increased by 9.2% from US $639 million to US $698 million, and is projected to increase at a 6.0% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2018 and 2023. The total live music revenue is also projected to increase, at a CAGR of 3.3%.[7]
  • Recorded music revenues in Canada have grown by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6% from 2014 to 2018. Streaming revenues have grown significantly more in the same time period, with a CAGR of 58.7%. However, this may be levelling off in recent years with only a 31.9% increase between 2017 and 2018 compared to over a 100% increase between 2014 and 2015, and 2015 and 2016.[8]
  • In 2018, the global music market saw a 9.7% revenue growth for in the 4th consecutive year of global growth, and the highest rate of growth since IFPI began tracking this data in 1997. The total global recorded music market revenue was US $19.1 billion. A significant portion of this increase can be attributed to the 21.1% rise in digital revenue, and particularly the 32.9% rise in paid streaming. In contrast, download revenue fell by 21.2% and physical format revenue fell by 10.1%.[9]
  • Consistent with this growth, digital music now makes up 58.9% of the global revenue, 37% of which is subscription audio streams, 10% ad-supported streams, and 12% downloads and other digital formats.[10]
  • It is estimated that by 2030, global music revenues will have reached $131 billion. Of this amount, $80 billion will be from recorded music, $38 billion from live music, and $12.5 billion from music publishing. This estimated increase is attributed to the increased spending of millennials and Generation Z over that of previous demographics.[11]

Consumer Market

  • Canada is 9th of the top ten music markets of 2018, after the US, Japan, UK, Germany, France, South Korea, China and Australia, and followed by Brazil.[12]
  • Listening to music is a regular pastime for a significant number of Canadians. In a 2019 study by (opens new window)BookNet on leisure activities of Canadians, 51% of survey participants indicated that they listened to music at least once a day.[13]
  • An analysis of 2016 Census data recently published found that 91% of interviewed Ontarians listened to recorded music in some format. Fifty-seven percent listened to music on CD or vinyl, and 81% listened to digital music. These numbers are close to the national averages, with CD and vinyl being 3% lower nationally, and digital being 2% higher. Additionally, 46% of Canadians listened to live music, with 42% listening to pop music and 16% to classical.[14]
  • Spotify has become the first online music service to reach 100 million paid subscribers. It added 4 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2019, more than the 3.3 projected, and expects a further 7-10 million this quarter. Active users (both paid and unpaid) fell slightly short of the 218.3 million projection, at 217 million.[15]
  • Amazon has over 32 million music subscribers across Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited. At 70%, Amazon music services also have a much higher rate of growth than Spotify’s 25%.[16]
  • The (opens new window)Nielsen CanadaMusic 360 Report: 2018 found that 91% of all Canadians say they listen to music. In comparison, 97% of Canadian teens and 96% of Canadian millennials report listening to music. Streaming is particularly taking off with Canadians, with 71% of Canadian music listeners streaming music online. Even more significantly, 93% of teens and 91% of millennials are listening to music online, indicating a further upward trend going forward. Playlist use also seems to be on the rise, with 98% of teen streamers and 96% of millennial streamers engaging with playlists, as opposed to 84% of all Canadian streamers.[17]
A pie chart that shows the ways in which Canadians listen to music on a weekly basis. AM/FM broadcast and over-the-air radio make up a combined total of 37%, streaming music and videos makes up 24%, and physical music such as CDs or vinyl makes up only 11%.
  • Statistics show a trend towards consumers listening to individual songs, rather than complete albums. In 2017, the number of total songs consumed increased by 40.1% from 2016. However, the total number of albums consumed only increased by 3.2%. This is likely due to the increase in stream usage, with subscription streams increasing by 85.6% between the two years, and ad-supported streams increasing by 30.0%.[18]
A bar graph that shows the methods of music consumption that grew or decreased in Canada in 2017. The greatest growth was in Subscription Streams, followed by Overall Audio Streams. The greatest decline was in CD sales, followed by Overall Physical Album Sales.
  • In 2018 in Canada, there were over 59 billion audio song streams, a 47% increase from 2017. The volume of on-demand music streaming including videos also increased, by 45%. Digital consumption increased by 22%, and vinyl by 25%. Total album equivalent audio consumption (which consists of albums, track equivalent albums, and on-demand audio streaming equivalent albums) has increased by 21%.[19]
  • Live music makes up 57% of total annual music spending for Canadians. More than half of Canadians (58%) attend at least one live music event per year, presenting significant opportunities for brands to engage with concertgoers.[20]
  • MTM released its Music Streaming Services report in October 2018. The report noted that one-third of Anglophone Canadians now listen to a streaming service, and that the groups most likely to use a music streaming service are Gen Zs (age 18-28), Gen Ys (age 29-37), and students. The most popular service among streamers is YouTube (93%), but other options are showing potential for growth.[21]

Trends and Issues

This section provides information on industry growth rates, trends, and burgeoning issues for the Canadian music industry.

Growth Rate and Industry Trends

  • Despite streaming’s continuous rise in Canada, radio remains the number-one source for music discovery, with 66% percent of Canadian music listeners reporting discovering new music via the radio, 43% via streaming services, and 36% from friends/relatives.[22]
  • PwC predicts that the global music market (including live and recorded music, performance rights and synchronization revenues) will continue to see growth at a CAGR of 3.9% from 2017-2023, growing from US $53.8 billion to $65.2 billion over this period. North America will continue to be the largest regional market, accounting for about 40% of the total music market.[23]
    • The majority of this growth will be fueled by music streaming revenue, which grew by 28.8% in 2018, and is predicted to continue rising at a 12.2% CAGR between 2018 and 2023. Conversely, the revenue for physical recorded music is expected to decline, showing -8.5% CAGR over the same time span. Music downloading revenue has been hit even harder, dropping by 56.3% between 2013 and 2018, and is expected to continue to decline at -22.7% CAGR between 2018 and 2023.[24]
  • For Canada specifically, PwC predicts that the fastest growing segments will be digital music streaming at 13% CAGR, music synchronization at 2.1% CAGR, and digital recorded music at 8.9% CAGR. Segments expected to decline are digital music downloading (-26.8% CAGR predicted) and physical recorded music (-11.7% CAGR predicted).[25]
  • Audio stream consumption in Canada saw dramatic growth in 2017, increasing by almost 16 billion streams to 38 billion. Subscription streams have also increased their share of audio streaming, up to 78.9%.[26]
  • Multiplayer video games are emerging as a virtual concert venue. In February 2019, musician Marshmello hosted a concert in the popular online game Fortnite. It was attended by over 10.7 million people in real time, with additional tens of millions viewing it later on YouTube.[27]
  • Independent Canadian EDM record label Monstercat is pioneering a new alliance between the music and video game industries. The label signs artists on a track-by-track basis rather than album-by-album or longer, and then makes those tracks available to video game streamers to play in the background of their videos for a $5 per month subscription fee.[28]
  • WINTEL 2018 reported that 2017 was a very successful year for the global independent industry. Independent labels saw 11.3% year-over-year revenue growth, in comparison to 10.2% growth for the rest of the market. Independent labels saw a 1.5% increase in market share, to 29.9%. Additionally, independents experienced a 46% increase in streaming revenues, suggesting that discoverability algorithms on streaming services are positively impacting smaller creators.[29]
  • Independent labels are underperforming slightly in Canada compared to global averages, with 54% of artists choosing to renew their contracts with independent labels as opposed to 77% globally. Independent record labels also make up only 25% of the Canadian market share, as opposed to 40% globally. However, this number is up 5% from 2016, whereas the global percentage has only increased by 2%.[30]
  • In a 2014 survey of live music in Ontario, 34% of respondent music companies said they had been in business for more than 20 years, with the same number having been in operation for six years or fewer. With only 6% still in the start-up phase (in operation for less than a year) and 12% in the 1-3 year range, this could suggest a dropping off of the development of new companies.[31]
  • Sony Music Entertainment has announced that they will be adding two new payment features: “Real Time Royalties” and “Cash Out.” The former will allow artists to get immediate updates about royalty earnings and account balances on a monthly basis, removing the need for artists to wait for periodic reporting cycles. Analytic tools will also be available to help artists interpret the data from their Real Time Royalties portal. “Cash out” will allow artists to withdraw any amount of their payable balance on a monthly basis.[32]

Global and Domestic Issues

  • In August 2018, the CRTC announced that from 2019 to 2022 major television groups in both language markets will be required to allocate an average of $5.5 million per year to support the production of musical programs by FACTOR and MusicAction.[33]
  • On the basis that it would have been unenforceable, in April 2019 the Ontario government abandoned a proposed amendment to the Ticket Sales Act designed to make scalping less profitable by capping ticket resale prices at 50 per cent above original face value.[34]
  • The 2019 Provincial Budget included a significant cut to the Ontario Music Fund (OMF), reducing the fund from $15 million to $7 million per year. Industry consultations will be held to determine how the OMF should be changed going forward to reflect these cuts.[35]
  • A coalition of 42 music community groups formally signed “The Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct,” which aims to combat harassment, discrimination, violence and bullying within the Canadian music community. An Education, Training and Safe Support Committee has been formed by members of the coalition to provide training and resources to music industry professionals in these areas.[36]
  • The (opens new window)Canadian Live Music Association established a national training program to teach live music industry professionals about ensuring safe spaces and practicing harm reduction to reduce overdose, harassment, assault and discrimination.[37]
  • Toronto record label (opens new window)Royal Mountain Records announced an initiative to better serve the mental health of the acts it signs, allowing a stipend of $1,500 to be spent at the discretion of the artist or band on mental health related expenses.[38]
  • In February, the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board officially published a 44% increase to royalty rates for songwriters and publishers. However, the increase was challenged by Spotify, Pandora and Google, supported only by Apple. David Israelite, president of the American National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) accused the streaming companies of “declaring war” on songwriters by challenging the increase.[39]
  • (opens new window)Music Canada released a report which discusses further steps in addressing the “value gap,” namely the divide between artistic content creators and companies who profit from the distribution of the content. “Value gap” is calculated by comparing the inflation and real GDP growth since 1997 with reported music revenues. This study finds that the value gap for Canadian recorded music since 1997 is $19.3 billion, with $1.6 billion in 2017 alone.[40]
  • As part of the federal review of the Canadian Copyright Act, the (opens new window)Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage released its report, Shifting Paradigms, which looks at remuneration models for artists and creative industries. The report calls attention to failings in Canada’s safe harbour laws, recommends combating modern forms of piracy, and suggests removing from the Act exemptions that limit fair compensation for creators.[41]
  • Concluding the Copyright Act review, the (opens new window)Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology released its report, Statutory Review of the Copyright Act. The report made 36 recommendations related to radio royalty exemptions, safe harbour provisions, copyright terms, private copying, and other issues.[42]
  • Streaming services are improving discoverability for bands in secluded regions such as many parts of Northern Canada. However, as a result of increased streaming, these bands are forced to rely on touring and live shows as their major source of income rather than album sales.[43]
  • A 2019 report about representation of gender, race and ethnicity in music recording released a number of findings about the presence and absence of minority demographics in the industry.
    • Across 600 examined songs between 2012 and 2018, no more than 28.1% were by female artists, with an average per year of 21.8%, and a low of 16.8% in 2017. The representation of women in non-performing roles was even lower, with 12.3% female songwriters and only 2.1% female producers.[44]
    • A higher percentage of artists were members of what the report refers to as “underrepresented racial/ethnic groups,” with a low of 30.7% in 2013 and a high of 55.6% in 2018, with a yearly average of 44%.[45]
  • Apple announced that it will be shutting down its 18-year-old iTunes in favour of creating separate apps for music, TV and podcasts on Apple devices. iTunes will continue to function as it is on Windows PCs.[46]

Government Support and Other Funding

  • The Canadian 2019 federal budget released in March committed $20 million over two years to the Canada Music Fund. This initiative, along with the aforementioned CRTC funds, will result in a total of $40.7 million in new investments at the federal level by the end of a five year period.[47]
  • The federal government also announced $50.25 million in support for festivals and series presenters over two years, 2019-20 and 2020-21: $16 million through the Canada Arts Presentation Fund, $14 million through the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program, and $20.25 million through the Celebration and Commemoration Program.[48]
  • The Ottawa municipal government has approved a $25,000 Ottawa Music Development Fund to build and support the local music industry. This is the first step in a three year $300,000 music strategy.[49]
  • (opens new window)FACTOR has added a new funding component to its Support for Eligible Music Companies program, called Songwriter Support for Music Publishers. This new component provides grants for Music Publishers, with up to $10,000 for publishers rated 2 or $20,000 for publishers rated 3. The program will begin accepting applications in fall 2019, for a Nov. 21, 2019 deadline.[50]
  • The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) committed an additional $900,000 over three years to its Emerging Artists Project, following up on the 2018 launch of the MVP Project grant for the creation of music videos in partnership with and administered by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. The first round of the MVP Project opened in October, and the majority of the 300 applicants were from Ontario. Twenty-two percent of the applicants in this first round were in the pop genre, 12% were rock, 10.5% were R&B, and 10.2% were hip hop.[51]
  • The Ontario Music Fund (OMF) is a $7 million fund administered by Ontario Creates and designed to strengthen the Ontario music industry and to enhance Ontario's position as a global music leader. The OMF has four streams: Music Company Development, Music Industry Development, Music Futures, and Live Music.

Industry Recognition

Ontario’s music industry produces a number of critically acclaimed and best-selling artists, labels, and events:

  • At the 2018 (opens new window)CCMA Awards, Ontario’s Shania Twain won the Apple Music Fans’ Choice Award, Meghan Patrick won the Female Artist of the Year award, The Reklaws won the Sirius XM Rising Star award and Single of the Year and Top Selling Canadian Single of the Year went to Chills, by James Barker Band.
  • For the second consecutive year, Drake took home the three largest BuzzAngle Music awards: Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Scorpion, and Song of the Year, God’s Plan.
  • At the 2019 JUNO awards, Avril Lavigne won the JUNO Fan Choice Award. Shawn Mendes won five awards, including Artist of the Year, Single of the Year for “In My Blood,” and Album of the Year for Shawn Mendes. The Arkells won the award for Group of the Year, as well as Rock Album of the Year for Rally Cry. A number of Ontario artists won Album of the Year awards, including Bahamas (Adult Alternative Album of the Year for Earthtones), Dizzy (Alternative Album of the Year for Baby Teeth) and Jeremy Dutcher (Indigenous Music Album of the Year for Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa).
  • At the 2019 Grammy awards, Drake won Best Rap Song for “God’s Plan.” Daniel Caesar won the award for Best R&B Performance for “Best Part,” a collaboration with H.E.R.
  • At the Prism Awards, the music video for “Work” by Charlotte Day Wilson (directed by Fantavious Fritz) won the Grand Prize. “Freudian, a Visual” by Daniel Caesar (video by Keavan Yazdani and Sean Brown) won the Audience Award.
  • Toronto-based artist Jeremy Dutcher won the 2018 Polaris Music Prize for his album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa.

Profile current as of August 2, 2019


  1. ^ (opens new window)Statistics Canada, Table 36-10-0452-01 – Culture and sport indicators by domain and sub-domain, by province and territory, product perspective. (Accessed June 19, 2019).
  2. ^ (opens new window)Statistics Canada, Table 21-10-0055-01 – Sound recording and music publishing, summary statistics. (Accessed June 19, 2019).
  3. ^ (opens new window)Music Canada, Live Music Measures Up, December 2015, p. 27.
  4. ^ (opens new window)Statistics Canada, Table 12-10-0116-01 – International and inter-provincial trade of culture and sport products, by domain and sub-domain, provinces and territories (x 1,000,000). (Accessed June 19, 2019).
  5. ^ (opens new window)Statistics Canada, Table 36-10-0452-01 – Culture and sport indicators by domain and sub-domain, by province and territory, product perspective (x 1,000). (Accessed June 19, 2019).
  6. ^ (opens new window)Statistics Canada, Table 21-10-0055-01 – Sound recording and music publishing, summary statistics. (Accessed June 19, 2019).
  7. ^ (opens new window)PwC, Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2019-2023, “Music, radio and podcasts,” June 2019.
  8. ^ (opens new window)Music Canada, Closing the Value Gap: How to Fix Safe Harbours and Save the Creative Middle Class, June 2019, p. 24
  9. ^ (opens new window)IFPI, Global Music Report 2019, 2019, pp. 6, 12, 15.
  10. ^ ibid., p. 13.
  11. ^ Daniel Sanches, “Goldman Sachs Says Global Music Revenues Will Reach $131 Billion by 2030,” (opens new window)Digital Music News, June 5, 2019.
  12. ^ (opens new window)IFPI, Global Music Report 2019, 2019, p. 13
  13. ^ Shimona Hirchberg, “Canadians and their leisure time: Leisure study part 1,” (opens new window)BookNet Canada, April 2, 2019.
  14. ^ Hill Strategies, “Arts, culture, and heritage participation in Canada’s provinces and largest census metropolitan areas in 2016,” Hill Strategies, March 20, 2019.
  15. ^ Lucas Shaw, “Spotify tops estimates with 100 million paid users,” (opens new window)The Toronto Star, April 29, 2019
  16. ^ Daniel Sanchez, “Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music Have a Combined 32 Million Subscribers – And a 70% Yearly Growth Rate,” (opens new window)Digital Music News, July 11, 2019.
  17. ^ (opens new window)Nielsen Canada, Canada Music 360 2018: Report Highlights, pp. 4-5.
  18. ^ (opens new window)BuzzAngle Music, BuzzAngle Music 2017 Canada Report, January 2018, p. 8.
  19. ^ Nielsen Canada, “Total Album Equivalent Audio Consumption in Canada Increase 21% in 2018,” (opens new window)Nielsen Canada, January 8, 2019.
  20. ^ (opens new window)Nielsen Canada, Canada Music 360 2018: Report Highlights, p. 9.
  21. ^ (opens new window)MTM, Online Audio Redefined: Music Streaming Services, October 25, 2018.
  22. ^ (opens new window)Nielsen Canada, Canada Music 360 2018: Report Highlights, p. 7.
  23. ^ (opens new window)PwC, Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2019-2023, “Music, radio and podcasts,” June 2019.
  24. ^ ibid.
  25. ^ ibid.
  26. ^ (opens new window)BuzzAngle Music, BuzzAngle Music 2017 Canada Report, January 2018, p. 5.
  27. ^ Cherie Hu, “Why the music industry needs the video gaming industry’s help to scale virtual concerts,” (opens new window)Music Business Worldwide, April 8, 2019.
  28. ^ Emily Gera, “Record labels have a new target: streamers and gamers,” (opens new window)The Verge, July 26, 2019.
  29. ^ (opens new window)Worldwide Independent Network, WINTEL Worldwide Independent Market Report 2018, December 2018, p. 8.
  30. ^ ibid, p. 9; Worldwide Independent Network, WINTEL Worldwide Independent Market Report 2017, October 2017, p. 12.
  31. ^ (opens new window)Music Canada, Live Music Measures Up, December 2015, p. 14.
  32. ^ Tim Ingham, “Sony Music to Deliver ‘Real Time’ Royalty Data to Artists, and Enable Monthly Cash Withdrawals,” (opens new window)Music Business Worldwide, May 20, 2019.
  33. ^ Press Release, “CRTC Announces $5.5M Towards Canadian Musical Programs,” (opens new window)CIMA, August 30, 2018.
  34. ^ The Canadian Press, “Ontario just scrapped a ticket resale cap meant to keep scalpers’ profits down,” (opens new window)CBC News, April 15, 2019.
  35. ^ David Farrell, “Music Funding Halved in Ontario Budget,” (opens new window)FYI Music News, April 17, 2019.
  36. ^ Corey Poole, “Release: 42 Canadian music community groups commit to fostering safe and respectful workspaces,” (opens new window)Music Canada, March 16, 2019.
  37. ^ Raising the Bar, “Raising the Bar: Helping to Make Every Live Music Space a Safe Space,” (opens new window)Raising the Bar, 2019.
  38. ^ Ben Rayner, “Toronto indie music label Royal Mountain steps up with a first – a fund for artists’ mental-health needs,” (opens new window)The Toronto Star, February 5, 2019.
  39. ^ Paul Resnikoff, “U.S. Copyright Royalty Board Officially Submits a 44% Songwriter Streaming Royalty Increase – Publishers Say a Spotify Challenge Would be ‘Declaring War’,” (opens new window)Digital Music News, February 6, 2019; Daniel Sanchez, “NMPA President Says Spotify Treats Songwriters Like Uber Treats Drivers: ‘Is One Better Than the Other?’,” (opens new window)Digital Music News, May 13, 2019.
  40. ^ (opens new window)Music Canada, Closing the Value Gap: How to Fix Safe Harbours and Save the Creative Middle Class, June 2019, pp. 19, 18.
  41. ^ FYI Staff, “Music Canada Hails Parliamentary Report on Copyright,” (opens new window)FYI Music News, May 16, 2019.
  42. ^ David Farrell, Federal Report Pushes For Changes to Canada’s Copyright Act,” (opens new window)FYI Music News, June 5, 2019.
  43. ^ Jackson Weaver, “A problem of popularity: How Canada’s northern musicians are hurt by lack of access,” (opens new window)CBC, June 15, 2019.
  44. ^ Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Marc Choueiti and Dr. Katherine Pieper, Inclusion in the Recording Studio?, February 2019, pp. 2, 3.
  45. ^ ibid., p. 14.
  46. ^ Lanre Bakare, “Apple expected to close iTunes after 18 years,” (opens new window)The Guardian, June 2, 2019; Andrew Hayward, “iTunes shutting down: when and why it’s happening,” (opens new window)techradar, June 7, 2019.
  47. ^ Elise Roiron, “Today’s Federal Budget Amps Up Support for Canadian Music,” (opens new window)Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA), March 19, 2019.
  48. ^ Canadian Arts Presenting Association, “Additional Funding for Festivals and Series Presents On Its Way,” (opens new window)Canadian Arts Presenting Association, June 19, 2019.
  49. ^ OBJ staff, “Council Oks new fund to boost music industry,” (opens new window)Ottawa Business Journal, June 26, 2019.
  50. ^ External Source, “FACTOR Adds Songwriter Support for Publishers,” (opens new window)FYI Music News, August 9, 2019.
  51. ^ Karen Bliss, “Royal Bank of Canada Boosts Annual Funding to video Project for Emerging Artists,” (opens new window)Billboard, May 16, 2019.