Music Industry

Ed The Sock Returns With New Channel

FYE Expands Into Canada

Entertainment retailer FYE has just opened a store in the Rideau Centre in Downtown Ottawa.

They offer film and music on various formats, as well as memorabilia from film, television and music. But it should be noted that FYE’s current American web site does not yet ship to Canada.

This American retailer had been purchased from Trans World Entertainment by Sunrise Records in February 2020 for 10 million dollars according to Billboard.

Great News For Newfoundland Collectors

Record Fair NL has been scheduled for May 16th, 2021. Click here for details.

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.