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Canadians have paid Netflix nearly $800M so far this year – CBC.ca

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Netflix pulled back the curtain on new financial details Monday that reveal how many Canadians subscribe to the service and how much they pay the streaming giant.

The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company raked in $780 million Cdn of revenue from Canada during the first nine months of the 2019 financial year, according documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

That compares to Canadian revenues of $835 million in the full 12-month period of 2018, and $668 million during 2017.

Those figures could add heat to the debate over Netflix not paying domestic revenue taxes. Some critics have argued Netflix is drawing viewers away from homegrown TV programming while injecting very little cultural content into the media landscape.

Under the current laws, foreign digital services, which include the streaming platform, also do not collect federal goods and service tax (GST) or the combined federal-provincial sales tax (HST). One exception is Quebec where a sales tax was enacted earlier this year.

The documents filed by the streaming company also show 6.5 million paid subscribers were using its services in Canada as of Sept. 30 — an increase of 200,000 paid accounts from the end of 2018.

Viewership numbers 

In 2017, Netflix committed to spending $500 million over five years on TV and film productions in Canada, a pledge the company said earlier this year it has already surpassed.

Netflix has vowed to be more forthcoming with quarterly details of its business as it expands its presence globally. The company’s fuller disclosures could also assure investors of its competitiveness in the increasingly crowded streaming market.

The company intends to report quarterly revenue and membership figures by region starting with its fourth-quarter earnings report in January. The markets will be divided into four regions — Asia-Pacific; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East & Africa; and U.S. and Canada — with Canadians representing roughly 10 per cent of its North American business.

“Under this new reporting format, we’ll only provide membership guidance for global paid memberships for the next quarter with each earnings report,” it said in a statement.

Netflix also plans to offer internal viewership figures on more of its original film and TV projects, which include Stranger Things, The Irishman and Marriage Story.

Those details will come in handy as prognosticators consider the dominant streaming company’s position against some of its biggest rivals, including Amazon Prime Video, and the newly launched Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus.

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From GameStop to Blackberry, here's why the shorts are getting squeezed: Morning Brief – Yahoo Canada Finance

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The Canadian Press

Review: Ani Di Franco makes the political personal on album

Ani Di Franco, “Revolutionary Love” (Righteous Babe Records) Pioneering folkie activist Ani Di Franco is a standout instrumentalist whose guitar could kill fascists. Alas, on “Revolutionary Love,” her six-string doesn’t play a major role — or many notes. Not that Di Franco has gone mellow. With characteristic passion on her first studio album since 2017, she makes the personal universal, and the political personal. Her title cut is a seven-minute pledge to propel social movements with love and forgiveness, the message underscored by a slow-burn soul groove. Elsewhere Di Franco quotes Michelle Obama, skewers an ex-president and calls for resilience in the wake of depressing news headlines. Such topics are mixed with couplets about personal pain and bliss, sometimes within the same song. The best of “Revolutionary Love” is very good. Di Franco’s acoustic guitar is most prominent on “Metropolis,” and it’s beautiful — a love ballad with shimmering reeds that evoke her description of “fog lifting off the bay.” The equally compelling “Chloroform” laments domestic dysfunction as a string quartet creates dissonance of its own. Elsewhere Di Franco blends elements of folk, jazz and R&B, and makes music suitable for a rally. She’s at her most politically vociferous on “Do or Die,” singing about “Yankee Doodle Dandy” to a Latin beat. Di Francophiles will find it positively patriotic. Steven Wine, The Associated Press

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Merck ends development of two potential COVID-19 vaccines – The Globe and Mail

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Merck said on Monday it would stop development of its two COVID-19 vaccines and focus pandemic research on treatments. Reuters

Drugmaker Merck & Co said on Monday it would stop development of its two COVID-19 vaccines and focus pandemic research on treatments, with initial data on an experimental oral antiviral expected by the end of March.

Merck was late to join the race to develop a vaccine to protect against the coronavirus, which has so far killed more than 2 million people and continues to surge in many parts of the world including the United States.

The company will record a pre-tax discontinuation charge in the fourth quarter for vaccine candidate V591, which it acquired with the purchase of Austrian vaccine maker Themis Bioscience, and V590, developed with nonprofit research organization IAVI, Merck said in a statement.

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In early trials, both vaccines generated immune responses that were inferior to those seen in people who had recovered from COVID-19 as well as those reported for other COVID-19 vaccines, the company said.

The announcement is a setback to the fight against the pandemic and comes a month after Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline delayed launch of their shot to late 2021, underscoring the challenges of developing vaccines at record speed.

Tens of millions of doses of vaccines from rivals Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech as well as from Moderna Inc have so far been administered globally.

Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca Plc and others are also racing to develop safe and effective vaccines to protect against the virus.

Merck said it would focus COVID-19 research and manufacturing efforts on two investigational medicines: MK-7110 and MK-4482, which it now calls molnupiravir.

Molnupiravir, which is being developed in collaboration with Ridgeback Bio, is an oral antiviral being studied in both hospital and outpatient settings.

Merck said a Phase 2/3 trial of the drug was set to finish in May, but initial efficacy results were due in the first quarter and would be made public if clinically meaningful.

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Merck said results from a Phase 3 study of MK-7110, an immune modulator being studied as a treatment for patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19, were expected in the first quarter.

Shares of Merck fell 1 per cent to $80.12 in trading before the bell.

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Canadian provinces push back vaccination plans as Pfizer deliveries grind to a halt – MSN Canada

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Some provinces were forced to push back vaccination for health-care workers and vulnerable seniors on Monday as deliveries from a major manufacturer ground to a temporary halt.



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© Provided by The Canadian Press


Canada is not due to receive any Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines this week as the company revamps its operations, and deliveries are expected to be slow for the next few weeks.

Ontario announced Monday that it was pausing COVID-19 vaccinations of long-term care staff and essential caregivers so that it can focus on giving the shots to all nursing home residents.

Premier Doug Ford said the delay has taught the province that it can’t take vaccine shipments for granted.

“I want to be clear: we’re using every single vaccine we can to protect our most vulnerable,” Ford told a news conference. “But delivery delays are forcing us to be careful and cautious as we plan, to ensure we’re able to offer second doses.”

The news came as more cases of the more contagious U.K. variant of COVID-19 were detected across Ontario, including in at least one long-term care home.

Some provinces have used up nearly all their vaccine supply and have been forced to push back their vaccination schedules.

Saskatchewan announced Sunday that it had exhausted all the doses it received. However, even after technically running out, the province still managed to vaccinate another 304 people as it continued to draw extra doses from the vials it received. It had administered 102 per cent of its allotted doses by Monday, and it expected the remaining excess doses to be gone this week.

Quebec has used up more than 90 per cent of its supply. It confirmed that the delivery delay would force it to postpone its vaccination rollout in private seniors’ residences, which had been scheduled to start Monday.

“Let’s be realistic: our vaccination momentum will be reduced as of this week,” Marjaurie Cote-Boileau, press secretary to Health Minister Christian Dube, said in a text message.

“Given the important reduction of Pfizer doses we’ll receive in the next two weeks, we have had to review our vaccination calendar.”

Quebec finished giving first doses to long-term care residents last week and has vaccinated some 9,000 seniors in private homes by using leftover doses. The province gave less than 2,000 shots Sunday, compared to an average of more than 9,600 a day over the previous week.

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In British Columbia, the provincial health officer said the government is extending the interval between the two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Bonnie Henry said further delays in the production and delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine over the next two weeks caused the time period between the shots to be extended from 35 days to 42.

She said about about 60 per cent of more than 119,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in the province so far have gone to protecting residents of long-term care homes.

The Manitoba government also said it may soon have to put off some second-dose vaccine appointments as a result of the disruptions to the supply of the Pfizer vaccine.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stressed that the delay is only temporary and that Canada is expected to receive 4 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of March.

As Parliament resumed Monday, Trudeau faced a barrage of questions from MPs of all parties as they blasted the Liberal government for what they described as a botched approach to rolling out vaccines.

Both Trudeau and Procurement Minister Anita Anand repeated the government’s promise that by the end of September, all Canadians wishing to be vaccinated will have received their shots. 

Trudeau added that the country is still receiving shipments of the Moderna vaccine.

Earlier Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said there is “tremendous pressure” on the global supply chain for vaccines that the government has tried to mitigate.

“We are working on this every single day, because we know how important vaccines are to Canadians, to first and foremost the lives of Canadians and also to our economy,” she told a news conference in Ottawa by video.

Despite the vaccine delay, some provinces continued to report encouraging drops in the number of new cases and hospitalizations. Ontario reported fewer than 2,000 cases, as well as fewer people in hospital. It was a similar story in Quebec, where hospitalizations dropped for a sixth straight day.

Newfoundland and Labrador also reported no new cases of COVID-19 for a third straight day.

Alberta reported only 362 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, compared with daily numbers peaking as high as 1,800 in mid-December. But the big concern for health officials was a case of the U.K. variant that could not be directly traced to international travel.

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro said that while it is one case, the variant could quickly overwhelm hospitals if not checked.

“There’s no question that this kind of exponential growth would push our health-care system to the brink,” Shandro told a news conference. “It would significantly impact the health care and the services available to all Albertans.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021.

— With files from Shawn Jeffords, Jordan Press, Dean Bennett and Stephanie Levitz.

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

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