Magazines Ontario has requested an annual investment of $20 million from the Ontario government in a pre budget submission. The government, Magazines Ontario suggests, should also offer tax credits to Ontario magazines on a title-by-title basis. The new funding would go towards:
- Research, particularly in advertising trends
- Marketing and promotion
- Collective programs and purchasing
- Developing and implementing measurement tools of all kinds including tracking Internet usage
- Gathering and disseminating information and expertise to support brand extension activities
The submission uses many of the arguments outlined in the Ontario Media Development Corporation's A Strategic Study of the Magazine Industry in Ontario, which was released in November. These include:
- Lack of profitability
- Lack of access to capital
- Competition from the U.S.
- The fact that there is no consensus about an Internet business strategy that generates revenue
- Low profitability and uncertainty as to likely online revenues make it difficult for publishers to make the required heavy investments in digital media
- Magazine publishing is the only cultural industry in Ontario that doesn't receive tax credits
Also included in the submission are recommendations that the government end subsidies to the LCBO's Food & Drink magazine and that foreign publishers pay their fair share of the blue box tax.