Music Industry

The Taxman Cometh

The Canadian government is again considering a digital services tax on foreign services like Google Play, Netflix, Prime Video and Spotify, whose operations are not based in Canada.

Unlike Cineplex and Apple/iTunes, these companies are not compelled by law to collect taxes on their services because they have no physical presence in the country, no Canadian subsidiary, and simply broadcast services to Canada.

The CRTC had ruled against a Netflix Tax in March 2015 and in June 2018 the federal government had passed on implementing the tax. But the provincial governments of Quebec and Saskatchewan have collected provincial sales tax on these services since January 2019 and British Columbia followed suit in July 2020, setting a precedent that could ease the introduction of a federal tax.

Monthly subscriptions could get costly for some but I suspect these services will continue offering incentives and promotions to keep their clientele.

Discounts and bonus rewards are usually offered on gift card purchases throughout the year, some of which are considerable.

For example, Shoppers Optimum points users will get 7500 points when they purchase $50 iTunes cards from select Shoppers Drug Mart stores until December 11th, 2020. And the same offer will be made available to some users who purchase $50 iTunes gift cards at select Real Canadian Superstore locations from December 10th to December 16th, 2020.

I occasionally encounter similar offers for discounts and bonus points for Google Play, Netflix and Spotify gift cards. And in regards to Prime Video and Prime Music, these services are made available free to Amazon Prime members.

Apple TV is also offered free for a year on new Apple product purchases so some relief can be had on some digital purchases and subscriptions. But I don’t think the tax will be implemented for some time.

The provinces that have yet to implement a provincial sales tax on these services will likely wish to discuss the possibility of a Harmonized Sales Tax so I suspect our foreign digital services won’t be taxed until July 1st, 2021 or January 1st, 2022.

Fall Conventions Cancelled

Record conventions in Ontario that were scheduled for the Fall are being cancelled due to COVID-19. These include:

  • The Guelph Record and Music Collectible show (09/20)
  • Newmarket Vinyl Record & Collectibles Show (10/20)
  • The St. Catherines Record Show (11/08)
  • Toronto West Vinyl Record & Collectibles Show (12/8)

Unfortunately, these events are dependant on crowds and safety could therefore not be guaranteed at these events.

I suspect events outside of Ontario will also be concerned over these concerns. Please contact the convention operators for details.

RIP Gerry McGhee 1962-2020

Brighton Rock lead singer and record executive Gerry McGhee has passed away from cancer at age 58.

Known primarily for ’80s glam rock singles “We Came To Rock“, “Can’t Wait For The Night” and “One More Try“, Brighton Rock had disbanded shortly after the release of their third studio album, 1991’s “Love Machine. But had occasionally regrouped for concerts and tours in England and Canada from 2001 to 2014, releasing a live album entitled “A Room for Five Live” in 2002.

In 1996, Gerry McGee had founded music distributor Isotope Music Inc and in 2016 became vice-president of Precision Records, North America’s second-largest vinyl pressing facility.

Record Store Day Update

Several Record Store Day events will occur at participating retailers, starting at the end of this month.

On August 29th, 2020, this first of three series of limited-edition recordings will be made available, followed by a second series on September 26th and third series on October 24th.

These releases were spread out to limit the crowds at these participating retailers, in response to COVID-19. And masks and social distancing will be required to enter these establishments.

For your information, disposable face masks are available from Amazon.ca, Living.ca and your local Giant Tiger, Rexall Pharmacy, Canadian Tire and Shoppers Drug Mart stores.

http://www.entertainmentearth.com/cjdoorway.asp?url=hitlist.asp?company=Funko

Juno Awards – Live Tonight

The Juno Awards will air tonight at 8 pm Eastern on the CBC web site, CBC Television and GEM web site, minus the audience, of course.

Click here for additional details.

Retail Slowly Adapting

As you can see by my lack of posts the industry is pretty much at a standstill, a few retailers choosing to re-open with strict measures against COVID-19.

Sunrise Records has decided to open a few of its stores, with reduced hours, payments limited to credit card/debit and limited staff, with a maximum occupancy rate of 10 people including staff. And in Quebec, Archambeault stores have also opened with reduced hours, reduced staff and is also asking people to use credit and debit for their purchases, asking their customers to handle merchandise as little as possible.

These rules, along with the use of masks and physical distancing, are likely going to be adopted by the independent chains and stores through-out Canada, adapting to municipal and provincial guidelines as we progress into the summer. But if you can order it online and/or pick it up at the store, I’d advise you to do that to save yourself some time.

Some The Source electronic store locations are open but like Best Buy Canada and The Brick, they also prefer their customers to shop online and pick up their pre-purchased items in-store or curbside. And in regards to book stores, Chapters/Indigo stores have opened but are also following the above-mentioned guidelines, offering contactless curbside purchasing to their customers.

Amazon.ca has also relaxed its essential goods shipping so more entertainment products have been made available without the associated delays. And if you’re looking for home entertainment accessories like cables or mounts Prime Cable and Newegg Canada iconare taking online orders with slight delays, the latter also offering electronics and components.

By the way, you can order disposable masks from Living.ca or have reusable, machine washable antibacterial masks delivered to you if you reside within 10 kilometres of a Kardish Health Food store, the latter also offering curbside purchasing.

Enjoy the warmer days. And stay safe.

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