CRTC maintains support for Canadian artists on commercial radio

News release

December 7, 2022 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

Today, the CRTC updated its commercial radio policy to better support Canadian artists and provide flexibility to help the radio industry remain competitive in a changing environment.

To support Canadian artists, the CRTC is:

  • upholding requirements for Canadian content and French-language vocal music
  • ensuring that Canadian and French-language vocal music requirements can no longer be circumvented through montages of popular non-Canadian songs
  • setting an expectation that commercial stations play at least 5% of songs from emerging Canadian artists, and
  • launching, in the near future, a consultation that will examine the approach to Canadian content development (CCD) contributions by commercial radio broadcasters and ensure that funding reaches diverse initiatives.

To provide more flexibility to the radio industry, the CRTC is:

  • moving towards new criteria to determine if a song is Canadian, and refining some content categories that will broaden the eligible songs that stations can play to meet their Canadian content requirements
  • working to implement a new digital monitoring system and open music database that will reduce the regulatory burden on broadcasters
  • eliminating the “hits policy” in Montreal and Ottawa-Gatineau; and
  • allowing broadcasters to operate one more FM station in the same market, under certain conditions.

To increase support for Indigenous content and voices within mainstream radio, the CRTC also expects commercial radio stations to include Indigenous music in their playlists and to report annually on the amount of Indigenous content aired. Additionally, the Commission intends to gather information on the different funds and initiatives that help support, promote and ensure the sustainability of the Indigenous content through the launch of a follow-up proceeding.

Meanwhile, the Commission continues the co-development of a new Indigenous broadcasting policy with Indigenous Peoples of Canada. Some of the outcomes from that process may have an impact on commercial radio stations, as well as other sectors of the broadcasting industry.


“The radio industry is in a transition period and is competing with digital services for listeners. A flexible approach will help it remain competitive, while ensuring that Canadians continue to have access to the content that serves their needs and interests. Radio is a very important medium to entertain, inform, discover new artists and ensure that local voices are heard.”

– Ian Scott, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, CRTC

Quick facts

  • Canada’s commercial radio sector includes all AM and FM radio stations, except those owned and operated by the CBC/Radio-Canada or licensed as campus, community, Indigenous or ethnic stations.

  • In 2020, the CRTC initiated a proceeding to assess the relevance and effectiveness of the rules currently governing commercial radio in Canada. 

  • Throughout the proceeding, the CRTC heard how commercial radio is valued by Canadians and how they support the promotion of Canadian artists. 

  • In a follow-up proceeding, the CRTC will seek comments on multiple elements related to Canadian content development, including how to ensure better contributions to Indigenous and diversity initiatives.

  • The CRTC will also examine whether broadcasters should collect gender and race-based data about Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities and people who identify as 2SLGBTQI+ from the initiatives benefiting from their contributions.

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