New Changes to Modernize the Canada Periodical Fund in the Digital Age

The federal government has recently announced new changes that will modernize two components of the Canada Periodical Fund, including Aid to Publishers and Business Innovation, to further support the Canadian magazine industry in the digital age.

The new modifications address the changing landscape of the publishing industry to help Canadian publishers and content creators adapt and thrive in the years to come. With the new amendments, magazines and community papers will be compensated not only for print circulation but also for their content creation. The fund will further introduce a new, digital-only magazine component for the Aid to Publishers fund which was previously not available. As well, the Business Innovation component will garner a $1 million increase in its budget going from $1.5 million to $2.5  million starting 2021-22, and will additionally broaden the type of periodicals that can be eligible for the fund. 

Supporting Canadian Content

The $75 million Canadian Periodical Fund offers Canadian print magazines, non-daily newspapers, and digital periodicals financial assistance, with compensation, usually correlating to the number of print copies produced and the magazine’s contribution to creating Canadian content. The Aid to Publishers component provides financial support to publishers for investment in editorial content and success in reaching readers across all platforms, while the Business Innovation fund provides funding for small-mid sized publishers adapting to changing market conditions by supporting digital initiatives and innovative projects. 

The Business Innovation fund defines innovation as anything that may involve the adoption of new technologies or adapting your business model to changes in the environment to provide better services or products. The digitization of back issues, web design and development, advertising via social media, promotional campaign strategies to drive paid subscriptions, circulation consulting, or new software upgrades to manage your subscriber files and grow consumer revenue are just some of the ways the Business Innovation fund can be utilized. 

In 2019-2020, Aid to Publishers funding was granted to 403 magazines and 326 newspapers. While in 2018-2019 the Business Innovation fund supported 88 projects including 17 export projects, 8 digital startup publications, and 14 ethnocultural publications. 

Adapting to the Digital Era

According to Melanie Rutledge, executive director of Magazines Canada, the new changes will correctly address a shift in the reading habits of Canadian’s and the broader media sector. Any costs and expenses that are associated with anyone who touches the magazine content in the production phase, or the content creation phase, will be eligible to be factored into the contribution. 

The new additions to funding are a welcomed change as the magazine sector has continued to move content to where audiences are reading it whether it be web, email, print, or mobile, stated Rutledge. 

Reading digital or print is one of the top five spare-time activities across generations in Canada, according to a Neilson study. Additionally, the combination of digital and print drives brand awareness, purchase intent, and brand favourability amongst readers. With all-new formats and this multi-platform approach, the new changes to the Canadian Periodical Fund are critical to helping support publishers produce high-quality Canadian-focused content whether it be digital or print.  

Though these changes will come into place over five years beginning in the 2021-22 fiscal year, the gradual shift will give the publishing sector time to adapt business operations to meet the new criteria once it officially comes into play starting 2025-2026.

How We Can Help

At Inovva we have over 100 years of combined circulation and fulfillment experience in the publishing industry. Our team includes a highly experienced Fund Specialist that can assist you with the application process from start to finish. We have helped publishers across Canada successfully qualify for up to $50,000 and helped them formulate an action plan.  Our team has specifically helped clients with Circulation Consulting guidance and promotional campaign strategies to drive paid subscriptions. 

One of our biggest successes has been helping publishers move to our state-of-the-art system, Publisher Elements, the system provides additional revenue opportunities to easily integrate shopping carts, dynamic order pages, email marketing deployment systems, and management of My Account functionality, with all data centralized into one platform. 

In addition, we help many clients with our expert Digital Elements services which include Social Media Marketing, Content Creation, SEO optimization, Paid Advertising and Website Design.

If you are interested in applying for funding and need help formulating an Action Plan we are here to help! Get in contact with our Fund Specialist at info@inovva.com 

Those interested in applying can do so via the links below:

Aid To Publishers: 

https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/funding/periodical-fund/aid-publishers.html

Business Innovation: 

https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/funding/periodical-fund/business-innovation.html

Visit the Inovva Website:

https://www.inovva.com/en/