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SOCAN Confirms Record-setting Royalty Collections and Distributions to Music Creators and Publishers

Toronto – SOCAN confirmed today at its annual general meeting in Toronto that a record $352-million[1] in total royalties from the use of music by its songwriter, composer, and music publisher members were collected in fiscal year 2017, continuing a seven-year trend, surpassing the previous record set in 2016 by eight percent.

Highlighted by a 44 percent increase in revenue from Internet sources to just less than $49-million, and a 13 percent surge of $76-million in royalties from countries outside of Canada, a record $295-million was distributed to music creators and publishers.

SOCAN 2017 Financial Highlights:

  • Record total revenue – approximately $352-million in overall revenue in 2017, an 8% year-over-year increase.
  • $49-million from Internet collections – while growing with the popularity of music from digital sources, the reality is that because of the dynamics of digital services and the relatively poor discoverability of Canadian content, the average SOCAN creator-member who earned royalties from digital sources collected only a few pennies more than $37 in 2017.
  • Nearly $300-million sent to members – SOCAN’s administration rate is one of the smallest of the world’s top-10 performing rights organizations.
  • A 48% increase in foreign royalties[2] since 2013 – royalties identified, collected and distributed to SOCAN members from international radio, television, online, on-stage and other public performance uses came to $76-million, an all-time high and SOCAN members’ #1 royalty source.

“We are delighted to deliver to our members a record overall amount of royalties in 2017, but there is still much work to be done to ensure that Canada’s music creators and publishers receive what they rightfully have earned and deserve a larger piece of the pie for their extraordinary work,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “Today, SOCAN is accessing, creating and harnessing technology so that we can even more fully and completely identify, license, track, match and distribute more for our members. SOCAN continues to fight for the rights of our members to receive a fair portion from businesses that use music to help their bottom line.”

An example of SOCAN’s increasing use of technology is the company’s work with the University of Toronto’s Department of Computer Science & Innovation Lab. At the annual general meeting, SOCAN Vice President of Information Technology Janice Scott led a special session with Adjunct Professor of Music Technology & Digital Media Catherine Moore. The technology leaders discussed the two organizations’ exclusive work together, including in artificial intelligence and machine learning, providing a snapshot of technology-driven projects designed to find and match more music performances with even better volume and accuracy.

At the meeting, SOCAN also announced that it surpassed the 150,000-members milestone when songwriter Ariel Gold of Toronto joined Canada’s largest organization in the Canadian music ecosystem. This summer, Ariel is planning to release her next single, “Weather,” from her upcoming album of the same name.

The company also introduced its Board of Directors for the 2018-21 term. The new 18-member SOCAN Board now counts eight women, improving gender balance, reflecting the balance and diversity long enjoyed in the organization’s management team and overall staff.

For full financial statements and an overview of 2017, please visit www.socanannualreport.ca.

About SOCAN
SOCAN connects more than four-million music creators worldwide and more than a quarter-million businesses and individuals in Canada. More than 150,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers are its direct members, and more than 100,000 organizations are Licensed To Play music across Canada. With a concerted use of progressive technology and unique data as well as a commitment to lead the global transformation of music rights, with wholly-owned companies Audiam and MediaNet, SOCAN is dedicated to upholding the fundamental truths that music has value and music creators and publishers deserve fair compensation for their work.

SOCAN: Andrew Berthoff, (416) 442-3836, Andrew.Berthoff@socan.com


[1] As always, SOCAN’s revenue information is subject to pending decisions of the Copyright Board and the courts and such potential changes are discussed in SOCAN’s audited financial statements in accordance with applicable accounting standards. 

[2] SOCAN is one of very few music rights organizations worldwide that returns 100% of royalties collected from international sources to its members, with no administration percentage applied.