Canadian Magazine Industry News
12 December 2008,     TORONTO
Magazines Ontario requests $20 million in government funding

Magazines Ontario has requested an annual investment of $20 million from the Ontario government in a pre budget submission. The government, Magazines Ontario suggests, should also offer tax credits to Ontario magazines on a title-by-title basis. The new funding would go towards:

  • Research, particularly in advertising trends
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Training
  • Collective programs and purchasing
  • Developing and implementing measurement tools of all kinds including tracking Internet usage
  • Gathering and disseminating information and expertise to support brand extension activities

The submission uses many of the arguments outlined in the Ontario Media Development Corporation's A Strategic Study of the Magazine Industry in Ontario, which was released in November. These include:

  • Lack of profitability
  • Lack of access to capital
  • Competition from the U.S.
  • The fact that there is no consensus about an Internet business strategy that generates revenue
  • Low profitability and uncertainty as to likely online revenues make it difficult for publishers to make the required heavy investments in digital media
  • Magazine publishing is the only cultural industry in Ontario that doesn't receive tax credits

Also included in the submission are recommendations that the government end subsidies to the LCBO's Food & Drink magazine and that foreign publishers pay their fair share of the blue box tax.

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