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JUNO Awards 2019: How Music Canada is working to strengthen Canada’s music ecosystem

JUNO Awards week is here and Music Canada is gearing up for another spectacular few days celebrating Canadian music with our friends and partners in the music community.

Last year at the JUNOS we showcased how our advocacy work benefits artists at every stage of their career with our #EveryStage campaign. This year, we aim to highlight the ways we’re working to improve the music ecosystem in Canada. With the support of our members, Sony, Universal and Warner, we’re committed to building a framework where music businesses can thrive, and artists can have sustainable and prosperous careers.

Five major areas in which we are working to create a better Canadian music ecosystem are:

  • Improving Policy Frameworks,
  • Addressing the Value Gap,
  • Diversity and Inclusion,
  • Music Cities, and
  • Celebrating Success.

 

IMPROVING POLICY FRAMEWORKS

Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson testifies before the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology

A major pillar of Music Canada’s mandate is advocating for a functioning marketplace where music creators are paid fairly every time their work is used.

Copyright is the bedrock of remuneration for the creators of recorded music. It enables them to receive payment when their recordings are copied or played in public, including on the Internet. In the age of streaming, it’s vital that copyright legislation and institutions be adaptive and responsive so musicians and labels are paid whenever their work is commercialized by others. 

Some of the ways that we’re working to strengthen copyright and boost investment in music are: successfully championing reforms to the Copyright Board of Canada that will make the Board’s processes faster, more efficient, and more predictable; calling for the elimination of copyright exemptions that syphon value away from music, and; encouraging provincial government investment in regional music economies, such as the BC Music Fund and Ontario Music Fund.

 

ADDRESSING THE VALUE GAP

Music Canada has been a global leader in researching the Value Gap – its origins, the economic toll, and practical solutions the Government of Canada can implement to help fix the problem. Throughout the government’s current review of the Copyright Act, numerous music community representatives testifying before government committees referenced our report, The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach, and presented the same four recommendations to government. It was abundantly clear that the Value Gap is a real phenomenon that is hurting creators and that it needs to be addressed. Its harm is felt across the music community – everyone from publishers and composers, to labels, and especially artists, are at a disadvantage because of outdated copyright legislation.

Because artists are the motor that drives the music industry, and the storytellers that music fans fall in love with, they are best equipped to communicate the serious and erosive effects the Value Gap is having on their careers, their economic livelihoods, and the wider music community.

Music Canada is committed to supporting artist advocacy, because their stories truly resonate with the public and political decision-makers. We do this through support for discussions at music conferences, economic forums, and spreading the voices of artist advocates at our events and in our reports.

 

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

Dr Stacy L. Smith at the 2018 Global Forum

In 2017, Music Canada embarked on an exhaustive organizational review to provide recommendations on ways we could demonstrate leadership in inclusion and good governance. At our annual Playback event in October 2018, we announced preliminary results of this review, including the addition of two new independent member positions on our Board of Directors to bring representation of women on our Board to 40%. We look forward to announcing further details on ways we’re working to reflect the exquisite mosaic that is our Canadian music community in the coming days.

Bringing measurable inclusivity and accountability for the music industry was the topic of one of our major annual events in 2018 called the Global Forum at Canadian Music Week. We were proud to host Dr. Stacy L. Smith of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the leading think tank in the world studying issues of diversity and inequality in entertainment. Dr. Smith pioneered the now popular “Inclusion Rider,” and at the Global Forum, spoke to her organization’s research into inclusion in the music industry.

During JUNOS Weekend 2019, we’re pleased to be supporting CARAS’ Allies in Action event, focusing on action undertaken or underway in the Canadian music community to create safer and more inclusive workplaces and environments for industry members, artists and music fans.

 

MUSIC CITIES

The 2018 Music Cities Summit at CMW

Since the publication of our 2012 report Accelerating Toronto’s Music Industry Growth, Leveraging Best Practices from Austin, Texas, Music Canada has become an internationally renowned source for research into policies municipalities can implement, and actions they can take to activate the full potential of their music economies. Our leadership in Music Cities was further cemented with the publication of our groundbreaking The Mastering of a Music City report in 2015.

Since the release of these reports, we’ve seen phenomenal traction in Canadian cities like Smithers, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and 2019 JUNO Awards host city London. These cities have all formulated an official music strategy, and some have established a music office, or officer position, within their municipality.

In addition to presenting our research at Music Cities events across the globe , Music Canada will host its third annual Music Cities Summit at Canadian Music Week in May of 2019. Look out for details on the 2019 Music Cities Summit, including featured speakers and other program elements in the coming weeks.

 

CELEBRATING SUCCESS

Jessie Reyez receives a Double Platinum plaque with the Universal Music Canada team

Music Canada is proud to return as a sponsor of the Album of the Year category, as well as the Presenting Sponsor of the Chair’s and Welcome Reception on Friday, March 15. With our sponsorship of the category and continued partnership with the JUNO Awards, we join music fans across the country in celebrating the works from this year’s nominees – Hubert Lenoir, Jann Arden, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd, and Three Days Grace – and congratulate the dedicated label and production teams involved with each release.

Throughout the year, we also join fans in celebrating their favourite artists’ first certification milestones to a lifetime’s worth of achievements with our historic Gold/Platinum program, which was launched in 1975 to celebrate milestone sales of music in Canada. Today, artists can receive new certifications for the combined sales and stream equivalents of their singles and albums, and are often surprised with a tangible recognition of national success by their labels’ devoted teams. Certifications are shared on our Gold/Platinum Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts, and the latest Gold certifications are added to our #GoldinCanada playlist every Thursday.

Music Canada also presents two awards, our President’s Award and Artist Advocate Award, during Playback, our annual industry dialogue and celebration. So far, artists Miranda Mulholland (2017) and Loreena McKennitt (2018) have been honoured with the Artist Advocate Award in recognition of their outstanding advocacy efforts to improve the livelihoods of music creators. Meanwhile, the President’s Award, which is presented to an individual working outside the music community who displays a deep passion for music and the people who make it, has been received by Music Cities champions including former Toronto City Councillor Josh Colle (2018), and co-recipients Cory Crossman, London Music Industry Development Officer, and Chris Campbell, Director of Culture and Entertainment Tourism at Tourism London, who were instrumental in bringing the JUNOS to London this weekend for the very first time.

 

A full rundown of JUNOS Week events is available on the JUNO Awards website. Tickets to The 2019 JUNO Awards Broadcast are available online at budweisergardens.com, by phone at 1-866-455-2849 and in-person at the Courtesy Ford Box Office at Budweiser Gardens (Located at Gate 1).

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Drake named 2018’s best-selling global recording artist by IFPI

The IFPI revealed their Top 10 Global Recording Artist Chart today, naming Drake as the world’s best-selling artist of 2018. The Toronto hip hop sensation is the sixth recipient of the IFPI Global Recording Artist Award, and the only artist to ever hold this title multiple times, with his first being in 2016.

Drake earned the top spot following the global success of his fifth album Scorpion, which was officially certified Double Platinum in Canada in July 2018, and includes the hits “God’s Plan” (8x Platinum), “In My Feelings (5x Platinum), “Nice For What” (4x Platinum). The 25-track double album broke multiple global records in its first week of release, including being the first album to reach one billion streams across all platforms worldwide.

“Drake has had an incredible, record-breaking year, one that is more than worthy of the title of Global Recording Artist of the Year,” says Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI. “That Drake has won this award for the second time is testament to his continued global appeal and his ability to engage and connect with fans.”

Drake is the only Canadian artist to receive the prestigious award, with previous recipients including One Direction (2013), Taylor Swift (2014), Adele (2015), and Ed Sheeran (2017), who remains on this year’s list at number 3.   

“This year’s Top Ten artists reflect the global appeal of music” Moore continues. “From modern-day superstars like Drake, Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande, to the rise of genres such as K-Pop, to legacy acts like Queen, fans are exploring and enjoying music of all types and from all corners of the world.”

The full Top 10 list, which was counted down by the IFPI on Twitter, is now available below.

Top 10 Global Recording Artists 2018

1 Drake
2 BTS
3 Ed Sheeran
4 Post Malone
5 Eminem
6 Queen
7 Imagine Dragons
8 Ariana Grande
9 Lady Gaga
10 Bruno Mars
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Spirit of the West Platinum plaque auctioned at ‘Spirit of John’ Alzheimer benefit concert in Toronto


Photo Credit: Alzheimer Society of Toronto

Last Thursday, dozens of artists and members of Canada’s music community gathered at Toronto’s Phoenix Concert Theatre for the annual Spirit of John concert benefiting The Alzheimer Society Music Project, which helps those suffering from dementia rediscover pleasure in the world through the power of music. The concert series began in 2015 when Spirit of the West singer and main song co-writer John Mann was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s.

The incredible evening of music featured a set of fan-favourites from Spirit of the West, and a second set of covers of some of John’s favourite songs, with artists like Serena Ryder, Jim Cuddy, Jessica Mitchell, Royal Wood, and many more exchanging vocal duties.

During the intermission and live auction led by the Alzheimer Society of Toronto, the band surprised fans with the news of their classic hit “Home For A Rest,” performed earlier in the evening with Damhnait Doyle, had now officially reached Platinum status in Canada. Members of True North Records’ team then brought an official custom Platinum plaque on stage, which the band members autographed and auctioned off.


L to R – Spirit of the West’s Tobin ‘The Gull’ Frank, Matthew Harder, Geoffrey Kelly, Hugh McMillan and Vince R. Ditrich. with True North Records’ Brad Machry, Layne The Auctionista, True North Records’ Jordan Percival and Eric Alper. Photo Credit: Adam PW Smith

“Home For A Rest” is the band’s first official Single Award certification. The classic barroom favourite is featured on the band’s 1990 album Save This House, which was certified Platinum nearly 23 years earlier in 1996.

On Friday morning, The Alzheimer Society of Toronto announced that this year’s event raised over $100,000 to benefit the Alzheimer Society Music Project, which will help provide personalized music players to people living with dementia. For those who were unable to attend the Spirit of John concert, donations can still be made to help offer support, information and education to people with dementia, their families and caregivers.

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2019 JUNO nominees announced at CBC headquarters in Toronto

The nominees for the 2019 JUNO Awards were announced earlier today from CBC’s headquarters in Toronto, hosted by CBC Radio personality Raina Douris.

Multi-Platinum star Shawn Mendes leads the pack of nominees with 6 nominations, followed by R&B superstar The Weeknd with 5. Loud Luxury and bülow, who will both perform at the 48th annual broadcast along with Corey Hart, both received 4 nominations. The full list of nominees can be viewed here.

12-time JUNO winner and Diamond-certified artist Sarah McLachlan, who was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2017, was announced as the host for this year’s awards, and was in attendance to reveal this year’s nominees.

Prior to announcing McLachlan as this year’s host, CARAS/JUNOs President & CEO Allan Reid took to the podium to welcome the industry guests in attendance, congratulate this year’s special award recipients, and reveal new details about the JUNO Week celebrations in London, ON. Reid also announced preliminary details on a new partnership with the National Music Centre, as well as an “Allies in Action” discussion panel in partnership with Women In Music Canada, Canadian Live Music Association, and PwC.

Music Canada is proud to work alongside the JUNOs and return as sponsor of the Album of the Year category, featuring the albums Darlène by Hubert Lenoir, These Are The Days by Jann Arden, Shawn Mendes by Shawn Mendes, My Dear Melancholy, by The Weeknd, and Outsider by Three Days Grace.

Fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite JUNO artists with the 2019 Fan Choice category, featuring nominees Alessia Cara, Avril Lavigne, bülow, Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, Killy, Loud Luxury, NAV, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd, and Tory Lanez. Fans can vote by sharing the official JUNO Fan Choice hashtag on Twitter or Instagram, or by including the hashtag in a comment on any post on The JUNO Awards Facebook Page. As well, fans can vote by listening to their favourite artists’ songs in the official JUNO Fan Choice Presented by TD playlist on Apple Music.

Tickets to The 2019 JUNO Awards are available online at budweisergardens.com, by phone at 1-866-455-2849 and in-person at the Courtesy Ford Box Office at Budweiser Gardens (Located at Gate 1).

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City of Toronto holding Public Consultation Meetings for Noise Bylaw Review

The City of Toronto’s Municipal Licensing & Standards (MLS) division is holding public consultations as part of its noise bylaw review. The review aims to introduce updates that reflect our growing and vibrant city, while enhancing the noise standards that protect the residents of Toronto.

Public consultations will take place during a series of five meetings between January 28 to February 06, 2019 that aim to present and seek feedback on developing Noise Bylaw updates.

The third meeting will be centered around the topic of ‘Amplified Sound’, and will be highly relevant to the music community in Toronto. Artists, venue operators, festival and music event organizers, and many other members of the live music industry are invited to attend and contribute to the process. The meeting will take place on January 30th at the Scadding Court Community Centre (707 Dundas St. West), from 6-8 p.m.

The music industry has played an important role in helping to influence policy-making at the City. In particular, the Toronto Music Advisory Council (TMAC) has had a significant impact on the development of various noise bylaw-related initiatives. Indeed, one of TMAC’s major accomplishments was its role in endorsing the adoption of a version of the ‘Agent of Change’ principle in Toronto – a landmark policy decision that will go towards helping protect live music venues in the city.

To see the full schedule of meetings: Noise Bylaw Review Public Consultation Schedule

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New RIAA-commissioned report examines how record labels are amplifying talent in the modern music market

A comprehensive new report highlighting how record labels have transformed in response to the digital and streaming age was recently released. The study was conducted by NYU Professor Larry Miller (who also hosts the popular Musonomics podcast) and was commissioned by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The report – entitled Same Heart. New Beat. How Record Labels Amplify Talent in the Modern Music Marketplace – features in-depth interviews with 50 company executives at both major and independent record labels. The study also incorporated revenue data from the RIAA on the music industry over the last several decades. The RIAA’s Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier discussed the impact of the study in a recent op-ed.

The report examines many different components of the relationship between labels and artists. In particular, it outlines: the evolution of label efforts to discover and market musical artists; how marketing plans differ and enhance opportunities for artists in a streaming world; the increasing role of data in label strategies; approaches undertaken by labels to build artist branding, and more.

As Professor Miller describes, just as in the past, “labels work to discover and develop artists, connect them with creative collaborators and make great records, promote and position them in the media or wherever fans go to get music, and reward successful outcomes. But how labels do their job is nearly unrecognizable from just a decade ago.”

Some of the key findings of the study include:

Data analysis has become a crucial tool for record labels: a variety of techniques and algorithms have been developed by labels in order to ingest the huge amounts of data available, in order to quickly produce actionable insights. Data has become king.

Labels are transitioning from B2B businesses to direct-to-consumer businesses, with a particular focus on building strong relationships with fans: As Professor Miller describes, the shift from the ‘access-based’ model of today has meant that artists often release a continuous flow of new content, rather than the traditional every-other-year album release cycle. The structure and promotional capacity of record labels has rendered them the most effective body to undertake these marketing necessities. Indeed, the report outlined how the labels’ promotional ‘machines’ are best equipped to release a steady flow of singles, EPs, and albums and videos and maximize the impact of each, while the social media departments are able to support this promotion through various social media platforms.  

The digital transition has had a profound impact on the modus operandi of record labels, due to the prevalence of massive amounts of real-time discovery and consumption data: Staff at labels now analyze thousands of global inputs, such as: Twitter, Facebook followers, YouTube views, Instagram interaction, Shazam queries, Wikipedia searches — and more. This is in addition to the daily analysis of streaming and download figures on numerous music services, often globally. All this data is then consolidated and utilized to develop highly customized plans for artist releases.

It is true that the music industry has experienced extreme disruption brought on by the birth of digital services. Yet despite the impressive success of many DIY self-released artists, Professor Miller concludes in the report that “labels remain the key enabler for artists to maximize their creative vision and achieve their dreams for global visibility.”

Read the full report: Same Heart. New Beat. How Record Labels Amplify Talent in the Modern Music Marketplace.

 

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Corey Hart announced as 2019 inductee to Canadian Music Hall of Fame

On Sunday, March 17, Corey Hart will be officially inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame during the 2019 JUNO Awards broadcast at Budweiser Gardens in London, ON. To celebrate the induction, Hart will take to the stage to perform on live television for the time in 20 years.

“We are proud to welcome Corey into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame,” said Allan Reid, President & CEO, CARAS/The JUNO Awards & MusiCounts. “He was one of the biggest Canadian success stories of the eighties and nineties and even though he stepped back from the spotlight, he remained active in writing and producing for other artists.  We look forward to celebrating him at The 2019 JUNO Awards in London.”

Hart has sold over 16 million records around the world, with his 1985 album Boy In The Box receiving a Canadian Diamond certification, and his debut album First Offense, featuring the iconic lead single “Sunglasses at Night,” reaching Triple Platinum status.

“I am deeply humbled by this invitation into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame,” said Hart. “It’s an incredible honour to be acknowledged alongside so many other talented and venerable Canadian artists. My career goal since the beginning has always been to remain one hundred percent authentic to my artistic vision while embodying the highest respect and dedication towards the craft I love so much. It’s even more symbolic to receive this recognition as I release my first collection of new studio music and prepare to embark on my first national Canadian tour in over 20 years – these are indeed …very exciting times for me.”

A new exhibition honouring Hart, in partnership with CARAS, will launch at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre in Calgary. Milestones: Corey Hart, which captures the stories behind some of Hart’s biggest career breakthroughs and features memorable artifacts from the singer-songwriter’s past, opens on March 22, 2019 and will run until October 2019. Some of these items include handwritten lyric books and the signature Wayfarer sunglasses that he wore in his “Sunglasses at Night” video. Bonus fan messages provided by Hart will be sprinkled throughout the exhibition and can be viewed using interactive “sunglasses.”

Fans from across the world can tune-in to this special performance as part of The 2019 JUNO Awards broadcast live on CBC, CBC Radio, the free CBC Gem streaming service in Canada, and globally at cbcmusic.ca/junos.

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Nielsen Music Canada identifies top industry trends in 2018 Year-End Report

On Tuesday, Nielsen Music Canada released their 2018 Year-End recap and key insights. According to Nielsen, the music industry experienced significant overall growth, with total album equivalent audio consumption up 21% over 2017, driven by a 47% increase in on-demand audio song streams compared with last year.

“The music industry in Canada is thriving following yet another year of tremendous growth and engagement,” said Paul Shaver, VP of Nielsen Entertainment Canada, in the report. “Canadians are listening and engaging with more music than ever before and we’re seeing an increased diversity of taste among listeners.”

The album with the highest total consumption is Drake’s Scorpion, which features “God’s Plan,” the most consumed song of the year. As Music Canada reported in the 2018 Gold/Platinum Year-End RecapScorpion was also highest certified Canadian album released in 2018, while “God’s Plan” was the highest certification in 2018 for a Canadian artist at 8x Platinum.

In addition to soaring vinyl sales (up 25%) and digital consumption (up 22%), 2018 was also a significant year at home and abroad for Canadian artists, emerging domestic and international female artists, blockbuster movie soundtracks, and K-Pop.

Click here to view Nielsen’s full 2018 year-end recap.

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Playback 2018: Keynote Address from Debora Spar, Professor and Author

On Tuesday, October 16, Music Canada hosted Playback 2018, our annual industry dialogue and celebration. The event featured an  annual review from Music Canada Executive Vice President Amy Terrill, a panel discussion on how to help music creators living in the Value Gap, followed by a ‘fireside’ chat with Cary Sherman, the Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

One of the highlights of the event was the keynote address delivered by Debora Spar, who first spoke at Music Canada’s Global Forum event ten years ago about her book Ruling the Waves: From the Compass to the Internet, a History of Business and Politics along the Technological Frontier.

In her remarks at Playback 2018, Spar took a look back at how predictive her groundbreaking 2001 book was – particularly when applied to the evolution of the recorded music industry. The central theme of the speech was a reflection on what progress has been made in applying rules to the wave of commerce and chaos that the internet has brought.

As Spar describes,

“My thesis was that the Internet – despite all the hoopla surrounding it; despite the vast fortunes already being made and the even greater fortunes being foretold – was part of a long chain of communications technologies that began with the printing press; and a technology whose development needed to be seen as part of this broader historical evolution… I argued that the Internet, like the printing press and the telegraph and the radio, was destined to go through four major stages of political and commercial evolution.”

After outlining each of the four phases (innovation, commercialization, creative anarchy, rule-making), Spar drew a parallel to the evolution of the music industry, with the ‘innovation’ stage occurring in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. 

Spar went on to trace how the major developments of the music industry corresponded to the four phases described in her 2001 book – pointing to government initiatives like Canada’s ongoing Copyright Act Review as evidence we are in the final ‘rule-making’ stage.

To watch Debora Spar’s full remarks below, check out the video below.

To view more moments from Playback 2018, a photo gallery can be found on Music Canada’s Facebook page.

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ADISQ Gala celebrates 40 years in Montreal

Music Canada would like to congratulate all of the nominees at the 40th ADISQ Gala, which took place Sunday night at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier in Montreal’s Place des Arts. 11 Félix trophies were handed out at the Gala, which was hosted by comedian Louis-José Houde, while 20 more were awarded on Wednesday, October 24 at the ADISQ Industry Gala.

The evening featured performances by 2Frères, Andréanne A. Malette, Isabelle Boulay, Ludovick Bourgeois, Roxane Bruneau, Galaxie, Lydia Képinski, Pierre Lapointe, Hubert Lenoir, Loud and Tire le coyote. To celebrate the 40th edition of the Gala, Mario Pelchat, Martine St. Clair, Guylaine Tanguay and Maxime Landry performed a medley of the top songs from the previous 39 years. As well, multi-Platinum rock band Harmonium were honoured with a star-studded musical tribute by by Marie-Pierre Arthur, Philippe Brach, Catherine Major, Patrice Michaud, Ariane Moffatt and Yann Perreau, accompanied by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.

Hubert Lenoir, the 24-year-old breakthrough artist from Quebec City, took home a leading three awards from Sunday’s Gala. Lenoir was also nominated for the country’s top album at the 2018 Polaris Music Prize for his Félix-winning debut album Darlène.

Congratulations to ADISQ on 40 dynamic years of supporting, promoting, and celebrating Quebec’s music industry. The full list of winners from Sunday’s Gala can be viewed below.

Album of the Year – Adult Contemporary 
La science du coeur – Pierre Lapointe

Album of the Year – Hip-Hop 
Une année record – Loud

Album of the Year – Pop 
Darlène – Hubert Lenoir

New Artist of the Year
Hubert Lenoir

Concert of the Year – Singer-songwriter 
Le silence des troupeaux – Philippe Brach

Concert of the Year – Performer 
Demain matin, Montréal m’attend – Artistes variés

Composer of the Year
Philippe Brach/Philippe Brach, La Controverse pour Le silence des troupeaux, Philippe Brach

Group or duo of the Year
2Frères

Female Artist of the Year
Klô Pelgag

Male Artist of the Year
Patrice Michaud

Song of the Year 
Fille de personne II – Hubert Lenoir

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