Category Archives: Media Releases

SOCAN Names McCarty Chief Membership & Business Development Officer

TORONTO – SOCAN – the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada – has announced that Canadian music industry leader Michael McCarty has been appointed to the position of Chief Membership & Business Development Officer, and that Irene Zeltway has been promoted from Director, National Member Operations, to become Head of Membership.

In the newly-created position, McCarty will play a key role in ensuring that SOCAN extends its place as a vital leader among global music rights organizations and the choice of songwriters, composers and music publishers. He will be responsible for leading innovation in the Membership department of 40 full time employees to envision, create and deliver cutting-edge 21st century services to current and future SOCAN members.

McCarty has more than 25 years’ experience in the music industry, including 18 as President of EMI Music Publishing Canada. He was most recently President of Canadian rights management company, ole. As a passionate advocate for Canadian talent, he played a key role in the development and international success of many notable Canadian artists and songwriters, such as Sum 41, Three Days Grace, City and Colour, Montreal-based Sky, Billy Talent, Matthew Good, Moist, and many more. McCarty has also worked with renowned international artists such as Timbaland and Michael Jackson.

Among his other achievements are terms as a member of the Board of Directors for SOCAN, the Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA), the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA), as well as a founding director of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. He has also been a strong proponent of copyright reform, appearing as an expert witness before the Canadian Parliament and Senate.

Additionally, Irene Zeltway has been appointed Head of Membership, and will report to McCarty. As Head of Membership, Zeltway continues her 21-year career at SOCAN (and its precursor, CAPAC), where she has played a significant role in expanding the organization’s Membership department, most recently as Manager, and then Director, of National Member Operations. Over her 36 years in the Canadian music industry, Zeltway has worked in several roles, including Vice-President and General Manager of Music Manufacturing Services, and General Manager of Power Records Inc.

“Mike McCarty is one of the Canadian music industry’s major players, and SOCAN is honoured to have him on our team,” said CEO Eric Baptiste. “Mike’s extensive experience and passion for the industry, and his deep understanding of and respect for all regional and linguistic contributions to our unique Canadian culture, will be vital additions to SOCAN’s leadership team, bolstering SOCAN’s ability to retain and grow its business as the music industry continues its exciting transition into the digital future. Working in tandem with Irene Zeltway, herself a proven industry leader, SOCAN will continue to expand its role on the national and world stage in serving, protecting and promoting the rights of our more than 115,000 members.”

Both appointments were prompted by the retirement of France Lafleur as Vice President, Membership, who concludes her career with SOCAN after more than 30 years at SOCAN and one of its predecessors, CAPAC, in various positions, including guiding Membership and, before that, SOCAN’s Licensing department, to consistent and substantial success.

About SOCAN

SOCAN is a not-for-profit, member-based organization that represents the Canadian performing rights of more than three-million Canadian and international music creators and publishers. SOCAN is proud to play a leading role in supporting the long-term success of its more than 115,000 Canadian members, and the Canadian music industry overall. SOCAN licenses more than 125,000 businesses in Canada, and distributes royalties to its members and music rights organizations around the world. SOCAN also distributes royalties to its members for the use of their music internationally in collaboration with its peer societies. www.socan.ca

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Media Contact:
Andrew Berthoff
VP Communications & Marketing
Tel: (416) 442-3836
E-mail: berthoffa@socan.ca

Canadian Music Growing in Global Popularity

Toronto – The success of Canada’s music creators on the world stage continues to grow, and Canadian music is proving to be a hot export commodity.

So much so that new figures from SOCAN – the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada – found a continuing trend over the last five years, where the international earnings of its more than 115,000 members increased from $39-million in 2007 to $47-million in 2012, and an increase of 21 per cent in the past year alone.

Moreover, the number of SOCAN-member songwriters and composers who received royalties from outside of Canada doubled from 2007, growing to 20,425 at the end of 2012.

When original music is played on TV, radio, online, or performed live, royalties are generated for those who composed the work. This revenue is tracked and collected by SOCAN, which then distributes it to members who have earned fair compensation for their music.

Speaking about the global success of Canadian music, SOCAN’s CEO, Eric Baptiste said, “The growth in international royalties underscores the increasing popularity of Canadian music, where we continue to formulate relationships and introduce policies beyond our borders to improve fair licensing of music for use in business. Some of Canada’s strongest opportunities lie abroad and SOCAN continues to foster international collective management relationships that benefit our members, the music industry, and the Canadian economy overall.”

International revenues have increased in large part because of strong SOCAN-member activity. On behalf of its members, SOCAN collects royalties from countries with which it has it agreements in Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, Africa and South America.

Europe has traditionally been the largest contributor to international royalties, accounting for 57 per cent of the total international revenues identified by SOCAN last year. France represented the largest market for Canadian music in continental Europe, where collections amounted to $7.3-million. Revenues grew by 17 per cent from 2007.

As in previous years, North America continues to be a steady revenue generator, with royalties totalling $14.8-million in 2012. Eighty per cent of royalties collected in this region were attributed to traditional media sources like radio and television – consistent with global figures, where radio and TV remain the dominant category for royalties.

The rising success of Canadian music is also evident in the Asia-Pacific and South America regions, where revenue collections doubled in the last five years.

International Royalties Highlights

  • Following France, the United Kingdom continues to be a hotbed for Canadian musicians, with collections totalling $5.1-million last year, followed by Germany ($2.4-million), Italy ($2.2-million), and the Netherlands ($2.2-million).
  • Members have seen their music grow in popularity in Argentina, with an annual growth rate of 25 per cent.
  • The Asia-Pacific regions collections doubled to four per cent during the same five-year period, with Australia leading the regions collections at $1.7-million in 2012.
  • In 2012, Brazil accounted for 80 per cent of total revenues in South America, compared with 68 per cent in 2007.
  • In 2012, South America represented nearly three per cent of total foreign revenues, an increase from 0.5 per cent in 2007.
  • SOCAN distributes 100 per cent of international revenue collections back to its members.

SOCAN works with affiliated music rights organizations around the world to drive home the message on behalf of its members that, wherever their music is played, they will receive fair rates for their work. Musicians representing Canada are adding positively to Canada’s international “brand” and in so doing, are creating opportunities for touring, marketing and industry development.

The vast majority of SOCAN’s more than 115,000 members are small business entrepreneurs, honing their songwriting talent to develop a career in music creation.

About SOCAN
SOCAN is a member-based organization that represents the Canadian performing rights of more than three-million Canadian and international music creators and publishers. SOCAN is proud to play a leading role in supporting the long-term success of its more than 115,000 Canadian members, and the Canadian music industry overall. SOCAN licenses more than 125,000 businesses in Canada, and distributes royalties to its members and music rights organizations around the world. SOCAN also distributes royalties to its members for the use of their music internationally in collaboration with its peer societies.

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Media Contacts
Leigh Kenderdine, 416-445-8700, ext. 3618, kenderdinel@socan.ca
Amal Yassir, 416-445-8700, ext. 3747, yassira@socan.ca

Mo Kenney Wins 2013 SOCAN Songwriting Prize

Toronto – After a month of voting, Nova Scotia singer-songwriter Mo Kenney of Halifax is the winner of the 2013 SOCAN Songwriting Prize for her song “Sucker.” Kenney takes home $5,000, a Gibson Les Paul Studio guitar with Min-ETune, and a $3,000 gift certificate towards Roland products.

“I am honoured to receive the SOCAN Songwriting Prize,” said Mo Kenney. “I wrote ‘Sucker’ in my first apartment in Halifax after getting dumped, I never dreamed back then that I’d win a prize for it. Thanks, SOCAN, and thanks to all the other nominees and the people who voted for me!”

Close to 14,000 votes were cast online for the English and French nominees, who represent the best of independent songwriting as determined by a panel of Canadian music experts. Fans could vote once a day from June 3 to July 3 atwww.socansongwritingprize.ca for one of the five nominated songs in each of the English- and French-language contests.

The other nominated English songs were:

  • “Baby’s Got it” – written and performed by Maylee Todd
  • “Devil’s Got a Gun” – written by Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland; performed by Whitehorse
  • “Fineshrine” – written by Megan James and Corin Roddick; performed by Purity Ring
  • “Mule in the Flowers” – written by Tamara Hope and Steven Lambke; performed by The Weather Station feat. Baby Eagle

“Congratulations to Mo Kenney for such a great song and her victory,” said Eric Baptiste, CEO of SOCAN. “Once again this year, the nominated songwriters are a tribute to the depth of the Canadian talent pool. The vast majority of SOCAN’s more than 115,000 members are songwriters and composers who work hard in their passion for making music, simply to create a career doing what they love. We are delighted with all of our members’ success, and celebrate and congratulate Mo on her tremendous achievement.”

The nominees for the SOCAN Songwriting Prize were determined by a panel of Canadian music experts, and the winner was decided by a 30-day online public voting process. SOCAN did not have a role in the selection or voting outcome.

“Mo Kenney is the perfect winner of this prize,” said Grant Lawrence, SOCAN Songwriting Prize panelist and host/producer, CBC Music. “She is a brilliant up-and-coming songwriter whose strong, mature voice and amazing knack for melody defy her young age. When I first heard Mo Kenney, my impression was, ‘she has the potential to be the next k.d. lang.’”

The winner of the French SOCAN Songwriting Prize was Keith Kouna of Quebec City for his song, “Batiscan.”

Émilie Myette of Quebec was the lucky winner of the iPad, and Lloyd Frangis of Ontario won the RH300 Roland headphones in the voter prize draw.

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About SOCAN

SOCAN is a member-based organization that represents the Canadian performing rights of more than three-million Canadian and international music creators and publishers. SOCAN is proud to play a leading role in supporting the long-term success of its more than 115,000 Canadian members, and the Canadian music industry overall. SOCAN licenses more than 125,000 businesses in Canada, and distributes royalties to its members and music rights organizations around the world. SOCAN also distributes royalties to its members for the use of their music internationally in collaboration with its peer societies.

Media contacts:

SOCAN: Michael Critchley, 416.445.8700 ext. 3784, critchleym@socan.ca
Touchwood PR: Alma Parvizian, 647.930.2090 ext. 202, alma@touchwoodpr.com
Mo Kenney: Grace Russell, 902.223.1460, gracelouiserussell@gmail.com

2013 SOCAN Songwriting Prize Nominees Announced

Toronto – SOCAN – The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada – today announced the five finalists for its eighth annual SOCAN Songwriting Prize (formerly the SOCAN ECHO Songwriting Prize) in English, and the nominees once again reflect the breadth and depth of Canada’s rich songwriting talent.

The nominees for the 2013 English SOCAN Songwriting Prize, as selected by an independent panel of music experts are:

  • “Baby’s Got it” – written and performed by Maylee Todd
  • “Devil’s Got a Gun” – written by Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland; performed by Whitehorse
  • “Fineshrine” – written by Megan James and Corin Roddick; performed by Purity Ring
  • “Mule in the Flowers – written by Tamara Lindeman and Steven Lambke; performed by The Weather Station feat. Baby Eagle
  • “Sucker” – written and performed by Mo Kenney

Fans can now vote once a day for the duration of the contest atwww.socansongwritingprize.ca. All eligible voters have the opportunity to win a new Apple iPad and Roland headphones just for voting.

The SOCAN Songwriting Prize honours the most creative and artistic songs – English and French – released by independent Canadian songwriters over the past year. The writer(s) of the winning song, as voted by the public between June 3rd and July 3rd, will receive a $5,000 cash prize, as well as a Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar with Gibson’s new Min-ETune technology (valued at $2,500) and a voucher from Roland Canada for $3,000 in Roland products.

The winner will be announced during the week of July 8, 2013.

The five nominated songs were compiled by a panel of music enthusiasts who were asked to select songs that they felt were the most artistic and creatively written independent compositions of the past year. All genres of music were considered.

SOCAN has no role in the selection of nominees or winners.

“The SOCAN Songwriting Prize honours the very best in Canadian independent music,” said Eric Baptiste, CEO of SOCAN. “The panelists have selected five outstanding songs by five amazing nominees, who represent the great range and strength of songwriting that SOCAN members offer to the world. We’re proud to once again recognize and support Canadian independent songwriters with the SOCAN Songwriting Prize – a true reflection of the vast majority of our members, who are independent and working hard to hone their craft to earn a living from their passion to make music.”

This year’s English ECHO Songwriting Prize panelists:

  • Bryan Acker (herohill.com)
  • Denise Benson (journalist/broadcaster/DJ/event producer)
  • Mike Devlin (reporter, Victoria Times Colonist)
  • Grant Lawrence (CBC Radio 3)
  • Joshua Ostroff (Spinner Canada)
  • Jonny Stevens (Halifax Pop Explosion)
  • Greg Torrington (Galaxie)
  • Brad Wheeler (reporter, The Globe and Mail)
  • Lisa Wilton (freelancer, Calgary Sun, Calgary Herald, Metro, FFWD magazine)
  • Jen Zoratti (Uptown Magazine)

Previously announced nominees for the 2013 Prix de la chanson SOCAN, the Francophone counterpart to the SOCAN Songwriting Prize, are:

  • “Batiscan” – written and performed by Keith Kouna
  • “Mappemonde” – written by Stéphanie Boulay; performed by Les sœurs Boulay
  • “Parc’qui m’fallait” – written and performed by Dany Placard
  • “Vénus” – written by Fred Fortin; performed by Gros Mené
  • ”Walkie-Talkie” – written by Stéphane Lafleur, Mathieu Charbonneau, Nicolas Moussette and Joel Vaudreuil; performed by Avec pas d’casque

For all of the latest updates, follow the SOCAN Songwriting Prize on Twitter @SOCANmusic, #SOCANprize, or on Facebook at /SOCANmusic.

Media Contact:

Michael Critchley
Marketing & Communications, SOCAN
416.445.8700 x3784
critchleym@socan.ca

SOCAN Announces Fiscal Year 2012 Results

SOCAN – The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada – today announced financial results for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012.

“Despite the huge disappointment from the July Supreme Court of Canada decision on music downloads, 2012 overall must be regarded as a positive year for SOCAN and our more than 115,000 members,” said Eric Baptiste, CEO of SOCAN. “Canadian and international songwriters and music publishers continue to have a significant positive impact on domestic and world music economies. Expanding revenues from a wider variety of sources underscores the value that music brings to our lives, and businesses increasingly appear to be realizing the importance of compensating fairly those who create it.”

Total revenue was $252.1-million, versus $266.7-million in 2011. The difference was due almost entirely to the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision relating to downloaded music. The ruling against songwriters and publishers resulted in SOCAN refunding $21.4-million in compensation previously brought in under Tariff 22A that would otherwise have been distributed in 2012 and early 2013 to creators and publishers.

Excluding the Tariff 22A refund to digital distribution corporations, total SOCAN revenue increased $6.8-million, or 2.5 per cent, year-over-year, reflecting both the underlying strength of businesses using music in Canada and the dedication of SOCAN’s teams to proactively license the performing rights of SOCAN’s members, a revenue source of growing importance for thousands of Canadian creators in a fast-changing music industry environment.

2012 Financial Highlights

  • Distribution of $219.6-million to SOCAN members in 2012. This was less than the record breaking $261.5-million paid out in 2011, as $52.8-million of distributions in 2011 were special one-time payments to members due to Radio and Ringtones arrears distributions. Excluding that one-time surge, and in a fair comparison, distributions to songwriters and music publishers in 2012 were 5.2 per cent more than in 2011.
  • Cable revenues increased 8.8 per cent to $64.3-million in 2012, continuing to be a strong source of compensation for SOCAN members.
  • Revenue from international sources increased 3.8 per cent to $47.3-million. Even with a strong Canadian dollar, robust international performance of copyright music further exemplified the enduring popularity of Canadian songwriters globally and SOCAN’s increased efforts to look after the interests of its members abroad.
  • Live music enthusiasts helped SOCAN achieve a record-setting $20.9-million in live performance revenue – a 14.2 per cent increase from 2011.
  • More than $5-million in new business emerged in 2012, with audio visual streaming websites comprising a significant portion of new music licensing compensation for SOCAN members.
  • In 2012, as always, SOCAN ensured that its operations were cost-effective, investing in new technology initiatives to improve service to members, efficiently managing licensing and distribution activities with state-of-the-art tools, positioning itself to be a world leader in the digital music age. Of every dollar that SOCAN brought in, 85 cents went to songwriters and music publishers.

About SOCAN
SOCAN is a member-based organization that represents the Canadian performing rights of more than three-million Canadian and international music creators and publishers. SOCAN is proud to play a leading role in supporting the long-term success of its more than 115,000 Canadian members, and the Canadian music industry overall. SOCAN licenses more than 125,000 businesses in Canada, and distributes royalties to its members and music rights organizations around the world. SOCAN also distributes royalties to its members for the use of their music internationally in collaboration with its peer societies.

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Media Contact:
Andrew Berthoff
Communications & Marketing, SOCAN
berthoffa@socan.ca

Canadian Live Music Is Outperforming

With many Canadian bands and artists shining on the worldwide stage, live music in Canada is making a growing contribution to Canada’s economy and, based on data collected and analyzed by SOCAN – the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada – the trend is likely to continue.

“We analyzed revenues generated from live music performances, and we’re pleased to report that our members are continuing to gain more than ever from concerts,” said Jennifer Brown, vice president, Licensing at SOCAN. “We’ve seen year-over-year growth in 2012 of 14 per cent in concert revenue, helped by major artists playing the Canadian circuit.”

Where revenues from sound recordings have been declining in recent years, the income streams flowing to music creators and publishers from performing rights (TV, Cable, radio, live shows etc.) has continued to grow.

In 2012, SOCAN distributions from concerts and live entertainment totaled $20.9-million. Growth in revenues has been steady for the last couple of years, as music creators increasingly rely on live performances as a revenue source.

“As a performing songwriter, concerts and live performance are essential to my livelihood,” said Ian D’Sa, songwriter, guitarist and singer with the Canadian band, Billy Talent. “It’s great data that supports what I have suspected: that there is more live music in more places at more times than perhaps ever before in Canada.”

Highlights 

The data collected shows that:

Between 2010 and 2012, SOCAN put $57.3-million (from concerts) into the hands of its more than 110,000 members, and millions more internationally, for the use of their music, through partnerships with peer societies.

In 2012 the top-three locations for live music in Canada were Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, with Montreal showing the biggest growth, 38 per cent over the previous year.

Moncton, New Brunswick, registered the biggest growth in live concerts per capita, followed by Niagara Falls, Ontario, suggesting that live performance venues are in demand across Canada.

Canadians have turned to live performances and concerts even during tough economic times. For example, from 2007- ‘09 – in the middle of the economic downturn there was a two per cent growth in live performances.

SOCAN Names Gilles Daigle General Counsel and Head of Legal Services

 Gilles Daigle

Gilles Daigle, one of the foremost experts on copyright law, has joined SOCAN – the Society of Composers, Authors & Music Publishers of Canada – as General Counsel, Head of Legal Services.

Throughout his career, Daigle has helped to guide SOCAN’s work to protect, promote and fight for the rights of Canada’s music creators and publishers, having worked for more than 23 years as SOCAN’s external legal counsel at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP. During that time he has represented SOCAN in numerous legal proceedings before the Copyright Board of Canada and the Courts.

Daigle succeeds Paul Spurgeon, who retired after many years of stellar and often groundbreaking service to Canadian creators and music publishers. With Daigle SOCAN will continue to be a leader in the Canadian and global digital music arena.

“Gilles Daigle joining SOCAN is a major plus for Canadian songwriters and music publishers,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “He will be a key player in SOCAN’s plans to be a global trailblazer on behalf of our rights-owners in the increasingly digital, mobile, borderless and innovative world of music consumption.”

“With SOCAN I will continue to raise the bar for music rights and work to bring even more value to what the organization does for its members and licensees,” Daigle said. “Working so closely with SOCAN for so many years means that becoming an employee will be seamless. I arrive at SOCAN at a time when the rights of music creators, more than ever, must be protected and furthered.”

While at Gowlings, Daigle was twice honoured by Managing Intellectual Property magazine as lead partner in two copyright cases involving SOCAN. He is a frequent speaker at copyright law events and a regular guest lecturer at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law.

About SOCAN

SOCAN is a not-for-profit, member-based organization that represents the Canadian performing rights of more than three-million Canadian and international music creators and publishers. SOCAN is proud to play a leading role in supporting the long-term success of its more than 110,000 Canadian members, and the Canadian music industry overall. SOCAN licenses more than 125,000 businesses in Canada, and distributes royalties to its members and music rights organizations around the world. SOCAN also distributes royalties to its members for the use of their music internationally in collaboration with its peer societies.

Media Contacts

Michael Critchley, 416.445.8700, ext. 3784, critchleym@socan.ca Janine Raftopoulos, 416.445.8700, ext. 3702, raftopoulosj@socan.ca