SOCAN writers’ market share of distributions on media platforms declines – SOCAN

SOCAN writers’ market share of distributions on media platforms declines

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Lowest numbers in eight years make our advocacy at the CRTC more crucial than ever

In late 2023, SOCAN appeared before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission (the “CRTC”) on the implementation of contribution requirements for online platforms under the Online Streaming Act. As part of that consultation, SOCAN provided market share figures for SOCAN writer members on traditional and digital platforms up to 2022. These distribution numbers showed that there was a stark difference between the percentage of distributions going to SOCAN writer members on traditional media (around 30%) versus online platforms (about 10%). With the latest figures for 2023, the picture is even more concerning for the future of Canadian music in Canada.

As in the charts below, there’s a decline in both traditional and digital audio (music) media market share for SOCAN writer members in 2023. On traditional audio (like radio), the market share is now 29.1%, while on digital audio (streaming services like Spotify) the market share is 9.6%. These are the lowest market share numbers we’ve seen in the past eight years.

Meanwhile, on traditional audiovisual media (like network television) and digital audiovisual media (streaming services like Netflix), we also see a decline in the traditional share to 32.6% while the market share on digital stayed the same as 2022 at 5.9%.

Finally, when looking at the overall market share (inclusive of traditional and digital audio and audiovisual platforms), we see that Francophone SOCAN writer members remain at their very low 2022 market share figures of 7.3% and 1.4% on traditional and digital media respectively, while  non-Francophone SOCAN writer members have experienced a decline to 23.9% and 6.0% from their 2022 figures.

The CRTC is continuing its regulatory plan to implement the Online Streaming Act, with the decision on initial base contribution requirements expected this summer. The next phase of consultations –  looking at regulatory obligations for traditional and digital audio services in Canada, and how to support Canadian music on those services – begin in the Spring of 2025. Based on the updated figures above, it’s more important than ever for the CRTC to create appropriate regulations to ensure that Canadian music continues to have a platform to attract listeners and investment.