ARCHIVED - Public Notice CRTC 2000-14

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Public Notice CRTC 2000-14

Ottawa, 28 January 2000
Revised content categories and subcategories for radio
In Public Notice CRTC 1999-76, the Commission called for comments on its proposals for revisions to the music categories contained in the appendix to Public Notice CRTC 1991-19 entitled Implementation of the FM Policy. Music categories are used by the Commission and its radio licensees for the purpose of classifying musical selections and defining station formats.
The Commission received eight written submissions from interested parties concerning the proposed revisions. While one party expressed the view that music categories were unnecessary, the remainder supported the proposed revisions in principle. The general view was that they would add clarity to the music definitions and promote the emergence of musical styles that are not widely programmed by radio. Several parties took the opportunity to propose additional changes to the definitions, the main ones being the addition of various new and emerging genres of music as subcategories of Category 2 (Popular Music); further broadening and clarification of the Folk and Folk-oriented, and the Jazz and Jazz-oriented subcategories; and a broadened definition of world beat music.
This document concludes the review announced in Public Notice CRTC 1999-76. The content categories and subcategories appended to the present notice, including the revised definitions for Category 2 and Category 3 (Special Interest Music), will replace those set out in the appendix to Public Notice CRTC 1991-19. In the following sections of this notice, the Commission outlines the changes it has made to the definitions as originally proposed, and examines the implications of the revised music definitions for the radio industry.
Changes made in response to comments received


The changes proposed by the Commission to the music definitions in Public Notice CRTC 1999-76 include placing all folk and folk-oriented music into Category 3 (Special Interest Music); placing all jazz and jazz-oriented music into Category 3 and; adding World beat and international music as a new subcategory of Category 3.


In the Commission's view, it is appropriate to place World beat and international music in its own subcategory of Special Interest Music for three main reasons. First, the inventory of world beat and international music is vast and its popularity is growing in Canada. In addition, although PN 1999-76 included world beat music in the Folk and Folk-oriented subcategory, much of the world beat music that is programmed by radio and sold in stores is not folk music, but popular music and music from the classical music traditions. Further, the creation of the World Beat and International Music subcategory may be helpful to ethnic stations in describing their music programming.


The Commission has considered a proposal that the number of music genres identified in the definitions be expanded, and acknowledges that some music genres have been omitted from the revised musical categories. Nevertheless, the Commission is satisfied that the revised categories provide a comprehensive and flexible framework for identifying the music genres that are generally played by radio stations. Moreover, the Commission is confident that these new definitions will solve many of the difficulties that broadcasters have encountered in determining whether selections fall into Category 2 or Category 3.


Whether from a musicological or programming perspective, it is inevitable that some selections will not fall clearly into a single category. In such cases, as proposed in PN 1999-76, the Commission will consider factors such as the context of the program within which a selection is played to determine whether it falls into Category 2 or Category 3. For example, a musical selection that does not fall clearly into either Category 2 or Category 3, but which is played during a block program that features a specific Category 3 genre such as Jazz, would generally be considered to be a Category 3 selection.
Implications of the revised music definitions


The Commission considers that the revised definition of Category 2 music will not significantly alter the number of Canadian selections that are available to commercial broadcasters that program pop, rock, dance or country music. In this regard, the Commission notes that only minimal changes have been made to the Pop, rock and dance subcategory, the Country and country-oriented subcategory, and the Easy listening subcategory - these being the three music subcategories that commercial broadcasters program almost exclusively.


On the other hand, the transfer from the Popular Music category (Category 2) to the Special Interest category (Category 3) of some music genres that broadcasters generally do not program will result in an increase in the number of both Canadian and non-Canadian musical selections available to broadcasters that program Category 3 music.
Implications for campus and community stations


In separate notices issued today (Public Notices CRTC 2000-12 and 2000-13) the Commission sets out its revised policies for campus radio and for community radio. Both policy documents take into account the various changes to the music definitions set out in the present notice.


As noted above, the changes to the music definitions will result in an increase in the number of selections, both Canadian and non-Canadian, in a variety of subcategories, that will now fall into Category 3. Campus and community stations should thus be able to meet their Category 3 requirements more easily.
Implications for stations operating in the Specialty format


Musical subcategories are currently used to define the Specialty station format. Accordingly, the definition of the Specialty format will be changed to reflect the new music categories. In particular, the third criterion will be changed to read: "less than 70% of the music broadcast is from Category 2 (Popular Music)."


The Commission is satisfied that the proposed changes to the music categories should not affect the ability of a licensee operating in the Specialty format to meet its commitments. Accordingly, commercial stations whose commitments include the programming of more than 30% Category 3 music will not be invited to submit revised commitments during their existing licence term.
Implications for ethnic stations and ethnic program periods


As noted above, the Commission considers that the creation of a subcategory for world beat and international music will enable ethnic stations, or stations programming ethnic program blocks, to describe their music programming with greater ease.


The Commission notes in this regard that, while the Canadian content requirement for Category 3 music in each broadcast week is 10% (12% in the case of campus and community radio stations, in accordance with today's revised policies for those types of stations), the Canadian content level for an ethnic programming period is 7%. World beat and international music selections will be considered in most instances to be Category 3 music and subject to the weekly Canadian content requirement. Nevertheless, stations that broadcast ethnic programming periods will continue to have the option to program Canadian content at the lower level of 7% during ethnic programming periods. Further clarification of the Canadian content requirements for ethnic broadcasters and others broadcasting ethnic program periods is contained in the Commission's Ethnic Broadcasting Policy (Public Notice CRTC 1999-117).


The Commission considers that the changes to the music definitions should not affect the abilities of ethnic stations and stations that broadcast ethnic program periods to meet their existing commitments. Accordingly, they will not be invited to submit revised commitments in these areas during their existing licence term.
Changes to the Regulations


The content categories and subcategories contained in the appendix to this notice, including the revisions to Category 2 and Category 3 music discussed herein, will replace the content categories set out in the appendix to Public Notice CRTC 1991-19 entitled Implementation of an FM Policy. The Commission will propose amendments to the Radio Regulations, 1986 for the purpose of removing all references to the appendix to Public Notice CRTC 1991-19, and replacing them with references to the appendix to the present notice. The new music categories will apply once the proposed regulatory amendments mentioned above come into force.
Related CRTC documents

Public Notice CRTC 1991-19 - Implementation of an FM Policy

Public Notice CRTC 1998-41 - Commercial Radio Policy 1998

Public Notice CRTC 1998-80 - Proposed Regulations Amending the Radio Regulations, 1986 -Commercial Radio Programming

• Public Notice CRTC 1999-30 - Call for comments on a proposed new policy for campus radio

Public Notice CRTC 1999-75- A proposed policy for community radio

Public Notice CRTC 1999-76 - Call for comments on proposed revised music categories

Public Notice CRTC 1999-117 - Ethnic broadcasting policy

Secretary General
This notice is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be viewed at the following Internet site: 

Appendix / Annexe

Content categories and subcategories
Category 1 - Spoken Word
This category includes the following two subcategories:
Subcategory 11: News
The recounting and reporting of local, regional, national and international events of the day or recent days, with particular emphasis on the topicality of the events or situations selected, or on the constant updating of information, or both as well as background material about current events when included in newscasts but excluding weather, traffic and sports and entertainment reports.
Subcategory 12: Spoken word-other
All programming with the exception of material falling under subcategory 11-News and categories 2, 3, 4 and 5 (Popular Music, Special Interest Music, Musical Production and Advertising).
Category 2 - Popular Music
This encompasses musical selections in the genres or groups of genres set out below:
Subcategory 21: Pop, rock and dance
This refers to music from the entire pop, rock and dance music spectrum. Examples include all types of rock music, including soft rock, hard rock, classic rock, heavy metal, modern rock, alternative rock, jazz rock, folk rock, and blues rock. It also includes pop, rock & roll, rhythm & blues from the fifties and sixties, soul, dance, techno, rap, hiphop, urban, and contemporary rhythm & blues. This includes musical selections listed in charts such as AC (Adult Contemporary), Hot AC, Pop Adult, AOR (Album-Oriented Rock), CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio), Alternative, Modern, Adult Alternative, Active Rock, Dance, R&B, Urban, and Techno, compiled and published by music trade publications.
Subcategory 22: Country and country-oriented
This includes country & western, country music recorded since the 1950s, new country, and other country-oriented styles. It includes musical selections listed in Country charts compiled and published by music trade publications.
Subcategory 23: Acoustic
This refers to music performed in an acoustic style that draws largely from Category 2 Popular music genres.
Subcategory 24: Easy listening
Easy listening includes easy listening instrumentals, adult standards, middle-of-the-road and beautiful music.
Category 3 - Special Interest Music
This encompasses musical selections in the genres or groups of genres set out below:
Subcategory 31: Concert
Concert music includes the whole spectrum of the "classical" music traditions, including opera and operetta. It also includes extended dramatic excerpts of popular musical theatre when performed in a full-cast version. It does not include orchestrations of "popular music", however classical in form.
Subscategory 32: Folk and folk-oriented
This genre includes authentic, traditional folk music, as well as contemporary folk-oriented music, that draw substantially on traditional folk music in style and performance. It includes old-time country music recorded before the 1950s, and traditional bluegrass.
Subcategory 33: World beat and international
This genre includes world beat music that draws heavily from the traditional music styles of countries throughout the world. It also includes music from the popular, folk and classical music traditions of countries throughout the world that are played in instrumental form or sung in languages other than English and French.
Subcategory 34: Jazz and blues
This includes both historic and contemporary music in the jazz and blues traditions. Examples of music in the jazz tradition include ragtime, Dixieland, "golden age" swing, modern swing, bebop, "cool" jazz, modern, avant-garde, Latin-oriented jazz, jazz-funk, soft contemporary jazz, contemporary jazz fusion and other contemporary and emerging jazz styles. Examples of music in the blues tradition include classic blues, delta blues, Chicago blues, and contemporary blues music.
Subcategory 35: Non-classic religious
This refers to music of religious faiths. It also includes gospel music, hymns, and contemporary Christian music.
Category 4 - Musical Production
Musical matter broadcast by a station to identify itself or any of the components of its programming, including musical linking devices used to highlight elements of the broadcast service. For greater particularity, this category includes the following five subcategories:
Subcategory 41: Musical themes, bridges and stingers
Musical selections used to identify particular program segments, or to extend programming segments to the end of their allotted time as well as applause, brief musical and other sound effects intended to punctuate the presentation of other broadcast matter, where this matter is less than one minute in duration.
Subcategory 42: Technical tests
Broadcast matter intended to be used for the purposes of technical tests by the station or its listeners.
Subcategory 43: Musical station identification
Short musical selections designed to identify the station by call letters or frequency.
Subcategory 44: Musical identification of announcers, programs
Musical material identifying and accompanying the use of specific announcers, programs or programming elements.
Subcategory 45: Musical promotion of announcers, programs
Musical material promoting increased listening to specific announcers, programs or programming elements.
Category 5 - Advertising
Broadcast matter intended to promote services or products offered to the public by persons normally advertising in the course of their business. For greater particularity, this category includes the following three subcategories:
Subcategory 51: Commercial announcement
A commercial announcement for a business, product or service, presented in return for consideration.
Subcategory 52: Sponsor identification
Identification of the sponsor of a program or program segment other than under subcategories 51 and 53.
Subcategory 53: Promotion with sponsor mention:
Verbal or musical material promoting increased listening to the station or to specific announcers, programs or programming elements, when accompanied by the identification of a sponsor.
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