North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Canada 2017 Version 3.0

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51 - Information and cultural industries

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in producing and distributing (except by wholesale and retail methods) information and cultural products. Establishments providing the means to transmit or distribute these products or providing access to equipment and expertise for processing data are also included.

The unique characteristics of information and cultural products, and of the processes involved in their production and distribution, distinguish this sector from the goods-producing and services-producing sectors.

The value of these products lies in their information, educational, cultural or entertainment content, not in the format in which they are distributed. Most of these products are protected from unlawful reproduction by copyright laws. Only those possessing the rights to these works are authorized to reproduce, alter, improve and distribute them. Acquiring and using these rights often involves significant costs.

The intangible nature of the content of information and cultural products allows for their distribution in various forms. For example, a movie can be shown at a movie theatre, on a television broadcast, through video on demand, or rented at a local video store; a sound recording can be aired on radio, embedded in multi-media products or sold at a record store; software can be bought at retail outlets or downloaded from an electronic bulletin board; a newspaper can be purchased at a newsstand or received on-line. In addition, improvements in information technology are revolutionizing the distribution of these products. The inclusion in this sector of telecommunications services providers reflects the increasingly important role these establishments play in making these products accessible to the public.

The main components of this sector are the publishing industries, the motion picture and sound recording industries, the broadcasting industries, the telecommunications industries, and the data processing and hosting services industries.

There are establishments engaged in culture-related activities that are classified in other sectors of NAICS. The most important are listed as exclusions below.

  • Exclusion(s)

    • design activities (See 54 Professional, scientific and technical services)
    • duplicating information or cultural products in print form, or in the form of optical or magnetic media (See 31-33 Manufacturing)
    • performing in artistic productions, and creating artistic and cultural works or productions as independent individuals (See 71 Arts, entertainment and recreation)
    • preserving and exhibiting objects, sites, and natural wonders of historical, cultural and/or educational value (See 71 Arts, entertainment and recreation)
    • producing live presentations that involve the performances of actors and actresses, singers, dancers, musical groups and artists, and other performing artists (See 71 Arts, entertainment and recreation)
    • retailing information and cultural products such as newspapers, books, software and sound recordings (See 44-45 Retail trade)
    • wholesaling information and cultural products such as newspapers, books, software, videocassettes, DVDs and sound recordings (See 41 Wholesale trade)

519 - Other information services

This subsector comprises establishments, not classified to any other industry, primarily engaged in providing other information services. The main components are news syndicates, libraries and archives, Internet publishing and broadcasting, and web search portals.

5191 - Other information services

This industry group comprises establishments, not classified to any other industry, primarily engaged in providing other information services. The main components are news syndicates, libraries and archives, Internet publishing and broadcasting, and web search portals.

51913 - Internet broadcasting, and web search portals

This industry comprises establishments exclusively engaged in broadcasting content on the Internet or operating web sites, known as web search portals, that use a search engine to generate and maintain extensive databases of Internet addresses and content in an easily searchable format. The Internet broadcasting establishments in this industry provide textual, audio, and/or video content of general or specific interest. These establishments do not provide traditional (non-Internet) versions of the content that they broadcast. Establishments known as web search portals often provide additional Internet services, such as e-mail, connections to other web sites, auctions, news, and other limited content, and serve as a home base for Internet users.

519130 - Internet broadcasting and web search portalsCAN

This Canadian industry comprises establishments exclusively engaged in broadcasting content on the Internet or operating web sites, known as web search portals, that use a search engine to generate and maintain extensive databases of Internet addresses and content in an easily searchable format. The Internet broadcasting establishments in this industry provide textual, audio, and/or video content of general or specific interest. These establishments do not provide traditional (non-Internet) versions of the content that they broadcast. Establishments known as web search portals often provide additional Internet services, such as e-mail, connections to other web sites, auctions, news, and other limited content, and serve as a home base for Internet users.

  • Illustrative example(s)

    • Internet broadcasting (e.g., television, video)
    • Internet search portal and websites, operating
    • web broadcasting
    • web search portals, operating

    All examples

  • Exclusion(s)

    • developing databases for the purpose of credit reporting (See 56145 Credit bureaus)
    • providing Internet access (See 517 Telecommunications)
    • publishing databases (See 511140 Directory and mailing list publishers)
    • retailing new and used goods using the Internet (See 44-45 Retail trade)
    • traditional or combined broadcasting (See 515 Broadcasting (except Internet))
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