Category Archives: Media Releases

Original 24 CanCon visionaries to be Honoured at 2021 SOCAN Awards

Toronto, May 11, 2021 – At this year’s SOCAN Awards, 24 visionaries will be recognized for the roles they played in boosting made-in-Canada content nationally and internationally.

Fifty years ago, they understood the need to protect and amplify Canadian music, giving rise to CanCon. These trailblazers will be awarded the SOCAN Guardian Award for their efforts in preserving and boosting Canadian culture.

The SOCAN Guardian Award was created to pay homage for the service of these proud thought leaders whose original efforts have had direct impact on more Canadian music creators than ever gaining national and worldwide stature.

As the Baby Boom generation came of age, young Canadian artists dreamed of joining the global musical and cultural revolution, but home-grown music was considered inferior to the foreign records that dominated the charts. For Canadian artists, the doors to Canadian radio and television were essentially locked. They were forced to make a choice between abandoning their dreams or leaving the country.

The situation was so bad that, in 1965, in a desperate attempt to get radio play of their single “Shakin’ All Over,” Winnipeg’s Chad Allen and The Expressions hid their Canadian identity by changing their name to The Guess Who, daring disc jockeys to figure out who they were. Not realizing they were Canadian, the DJs played the record and made it a hit, but assumed the pseudonym was real. To sustain visibility, the band kept their new name.

By Canada’s centennial in 1967, a chorus of music industry voices harmonized with a group of strong-willed entrepreneurs, journalists and artists who refused to believe that Canadian creators were second-class. Together, they stood up and called on the federal government to mandate fair airplay of Canadian music.

Not everyone was happy with the idea of quotas for Canadian music, with some even questioning if Canada had enough talent to meet the proposed quota. Others wondered if there was even a Canadian culture to protect. One foreign record industry spokesman was attributed as saying, “a single container of yogurt has more culture than the entire country of Canada”.

In June 1970, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) declared a new regulation that required radio stations to devote at least 30 per cent of their playlists to Canadian music, and CanCon was born. Now, in today’s online world, the role of CanCon and the CRTC is again in the spotlight.

“CanCon regulations created space for Canadians in broadcast media, but in the new digital streaming world, it’s déjà vu all over again,” said SOCAN Interim CEO, Jennifer Brown. “SOCAN’s data shows that the future of Canadian culture is once again in jeopardy as the consumption of streamed Canadian music by Canadians has fallen off a cliff. It’s clear that we need the music industry to unite once again to fight for the future of Canadian music, this time working with our partners in digital services to find a solution that works for everyone.”

“Investing in Canadian content is not only a smart thing to do for our economy, but it also has a personal connection for me,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a special video message for the SOCAN Awards. “I learned the importance of promoting and supporting Canadian content in large part from my father. My dad always knew that broadcasting Canadian content was important to maintaining and promoting our country’s unique culture and heritage. Together, we will build on this legacy and create a better future for our creators.”

Accessing music is easier and more prevalent than ever but being introduced to new Canadian creators has lagged. The discoverability advantages that CanCon brings to radio and television has not carried over to borderless digital streaming platforms. Networks that have disproportionate control of the content introduced to their customers have little motivation to introduce regional creators to their customers. Once again, many Canadian artists are faced with bypassing their home country to have their work heard.

The 2021 SOCAN Awards will be the second year that the annual event will be held online due to pandemic safeguards. During the week of May 24, more than 50 SOCAN awards will be presented to the year’s most successful music creators and publishers in an event that is often cited as a crowning achievement in the careers of songwriters, composers, and music publishers.

Sadly, many of the CanCon Guardians have passed on, but their legacies remain through their profound efforts to promote and protect Canadian culture. The following list was determined through research and interviews with those involved at the time.

CanCon Guardians (alphabetical)

  • Terry Brown, Canadian Independent Record Production Association co-founder
  • Paul Clinch, Canadian Independent Record Production Association co-founder*
  • Frank Davies, Love Productions / Canadian Independent Record Production Association co-founder
  • Don DiNovo, Lighthouse*
  • Bob Ezrin, Nimbus 9 / Canadian Independent Record Production Association co-founder
  • Bernie Finkelstein, True North Records / Canadian Independent Record Production Association co-founder
  • Tommy Graham, Canadian Independent Record Production Association co-founder
  • Walt Grealis, RPM Magazine*
  • Greg Hambleton, Canadian Independent Record Production Association co-founder
  • Kelly Jay, Crowbar*
  • Pierre Juneau, CRTC chairman*
  • Stan Klees, RPM Magazine / Canadian Independent Record Production Association co-founder
  • Betty Layton, SOCAN / BMI Canada*
  • Allan MacMillan, Nimbus 9 / Canadian Independent Record Production Association co-founder
  • Alexander Mair, Early Morning Productions
  • Ben McPeek, Nimbus 9 / Canadian Independent Record Production Association co-founder*
  • John Mills, SOCAN / CAPAC*
  • Harold Moon, SOCAN / BMI Canada*
  • Skip Prokop, Lighthouse*
  • Jack Richardson, Nimbus 9 / Canadian Independent Record Production Association co-founder*
  • Mel Shaw, music manager
  • Art Snider, Canadian Independent Record Production Association co-founder*
  • Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada*
  • Ritchie Yorke, Billboard / The Globe & Mail journalist*

* posthumously awarded

About SOCAN
SOCAN is a rights management organization that connects more than four-million music creators, music publishers and visual artists worldwide and more than a quarter-million businesses and individuals in Canada. More than 175,000 songwriters, composers, music publishers and visual artists are its direct members, and over 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 rights management, SOCAN is dedicated to upholding the fundamental truths that music and visual arts have value and creators and publishers deserve fair compensation for their work. For more information: www.socan.com

Media contact: Nicole Van Severen, nicole.vanseveren@socan.com

SOCAN Statement on Bill C-10

Toronto, April 28, 2021 – When Canadians are engaged in a national discussion on how to support our songwriters and creators in the digital age, that’s positive.

SOCAN has been engaged in this discussion for many years, and we applaud the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the ways we support Canadian Content adapt and evolve with the technology Canadians use to access it.

Legislation has always been, and will always be, a complex exercise involving the balancing of many competing interests, and many credible points of view on a wide range of regulatory options.

Legislation that touches the lives of every Canadian, every day, will always be even more challenging.

Bill C-10 achieves the right balance by bringing digital media platforms that act like broadcasters under the umbrella of the CRTC, just like traditional broadcasters.

What Bill C-10 does not do is bring individual social media users under that umbrella, notwithstanding some inaccurate and reactionary headlines we have seen this week.

SOCAN believes that digital media platforms that act like broadcasters should make an equivalent contribution as traditional broadcasters when it comes to supporting and promoting Canadian music. This is long overdue.

SOCAN does not believe that individual Canadians who use social media platforms to stay connected with their friends and families should be subject to regulation. Full stop.

But the platforms they use should be, especially if their business model generates revenues from the use of copyrighted music.

SOCAN urges all parties to support C-10, to ensure that digital media platforms that generate many millions of dollars every year from the inspiration and artistry of Canadian creators give back to those creators in a predictable, transparent, and equitable manner, just as many other countries have done.

“Digital platforms, including social media, play a huge role in the discovery of music, but return three to five times lower royalties than traditional media,” said SOCAN’s Interim Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Brown. “We don’t think that’s fair. A level playing field for all digital media is the right way to go.”

About SOCAN
SOCAN is a rights management organization that connects more than four-million music creators, music publishers and visual artists worldwide and more than a quarter-million businesses and individuals in Canada. More than 160,000 songwriters, composers, music publishers and visual artists are its direct members, and over 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 rights management, SOCAN is dedicated to upholding the fundamental truths that music and visual arts have value and creators and publishers deserve fair compensation for their work. For more information: www.socan.com

SOCAN Statement

Toronto, April 22, 2021 – SOCAN announced today that Marc Ouellette, president of the organization’s board of directors, has received and accepted the resignation of board member Denis Wolff.

Wolff also has withdrawn his nomination from the current board election and has resigned from the board of directors of the SOCAN Foundation.

“Denis Wolff felt that an ongoing personal matter could be too much of a distraction for the board,” Ouellette said. “I have accepted his resignation and thank him for his many years of work with the board of directors.”

About SOCAN
SOCAN is a rights management organization that connects more than four-million music creators, music publishers and visual artists worldwide and more than a quarter-million businesses and individuals in Canada. More than 160,000 songwriters, composers, music publishers and visual artists are its direct members, and over 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 rights management, SOCAN is dedicated to upholding the fundamental truths that music and visual arts have value and creators and publishers deserve fair compensation for their work. For more information: www.socan.com

SOCAN Brings Added Relief Through Expanded Online Concert Royalties for Music Creators and Publishers

Toronto, March 25, 2021 – While music has provided invaluable spiritual help to get Canadians through the pandemic, the pandemic has wreaked havoc on musicians who rely on in-person concerts and touring to help sustain their livelihood. Today, SOCAN announced an expanded program to enable music creators and publishers to earn more of what they deserve from online performances.

SOCAN members will now be able to receive royalties from both free and ticketed online concerts on more digital platforms. Both “performance” and “reproduction” rights royalties will be paid for, respectively, one-time live digital broadcasts and copies of music.

The permanent change replaces SOCAN’s well received “Encore” initiative launched last May in which royalties were paid for live performances on Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram.

“Over the past year, online concerts have become an essential way for SOCAN members to connect with their fans and earn income,” said Jennifer Brown, Interim-CEO of SOCAN. “Our expanded distribution will return more royalties to those who have rightfully earned them for their work, helping music creators and publishers through this difficult period.”

For qualifying free online concerts, including those on Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube and Twitch, $75 will be distributed. This applies to all setlists provided and to a maximum of 30 concerts per quarter per performer. The funds will be distributed to the music creator and publisher rightsholders of the music performed. More digital platforms will be added as they become licensed with SOCAN.

For paid/ticketed online concerts on any digital platform, performance royalties will be distributed to rights holders as they would be for in-person concerts. Reproduction royalties will begin to be distributed later in 2021. The new online concert distribution rules will remain in effect post-pandemic.

“Even when the time comes to welcome the return of in-person live performances, online concerts will continue to be an important source of music creators and publishers’ royalties, as our members realize new ways to bring their invaluable music to all to enjoy,” Brown added.

Media contact:

Nicole Van Severen, nicole.vanseveren@socan.com

Audible Magic Acquires MediaNet from SOCAN, Integrating UGC and Premium Music Solutions

Toronto and Los Gatos, Calif., Jan. 11, 2021 – Audible Magic and SOCAN announced the companies have entered into an agreement to transfer SOCAN’s content fulfillment and rights administration business of MediaNet to Audible Magic. Audible Magic is the leading provider of identification and compliance solutions to social networks hosting user-generated content (UGC). SOCAN is the Canadian performing rights organization. MediaNet has a long history of delivering turnkey white label digital music solutions for Internet radio, subscription music services, on-demand streaming, and support for fitness and gaming applications. With this acquisition, Audible Magic can now provide digital platforms a comprehensive range of services to enable and manage the use of music.

Audible Magic provides solutions for music licensing, content identification, and rights management to social media platforms. This acquisition extends its capabilities to deliver bespoke licensing from hundreds of labels and publishers, media files for more than 92-million tracks, full rights management, and royalty and payment administration. This portfolio of services will enable social platforms to exploit the opportunity more easily for both music in UGC and premium content. According to a recent Midia Research report, “The Rising Power of UGC,” there is a projected US$6-billion opportunity in the appropriate use of audio and video for streaming of music in UGC alone.

“Rightsholders and platforms will both benefit from our combined solution and will reduce the time and complexity of managing and paying for the use of music,” said Vance Ikezoye, Audible Magic chief executive officer. “We see significant upside in enabling incremental revenues for the music ecosystem.”

SOCAN and Audible Magic also announced they have entered a strategic partnership with the goal to use Audible Magic technology and services to help SOCAN improve operational accuracy and reporting to publishers and songwriters.

“The acquisition of the MediaNet services by Audible Magic creates long-term benefits for SOCAN’s members and clients,” said Jennifer Brown, Interim CEO of SOCAN. “Audible Magic is a knowledgeable and skilled company and we’re looking forward to working together to improve the accuracy of reporting and to publishers and songwriters.”

SOCAN acquired Seattle-based MediaNet in 2016. By legal agreement, terms of Audible Magic’s acquisition are confidential.

About Audible Magic

For more than 20 years, Audible Magic has innovated solutions to identify content, manage rights, and monetize media. Audible Magic’s Emmy-winning automatic content recognition (ACR) technology powers billions of monthly transactions. The Silicon Valley pioneer is the trusted intermediary between major platforms and rightsholders (including labels, studios, distributors, publishers, and collectives). The company works with a wide range of platforms and rights holders, including Facebook, Twitch, SoundCloud, Dailymotion, ShareChat, Vimeo, NBC Universal, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, Warner Music Group, The Orchard, CDBaby, and Distrokid. For more information: www.audiblemagic.com

Pauzé, Ruffsound, Goncalves, Editorial Avenue, DRTWK Among the Big Winners at SOCAN Francophone Awards

Montréal, December 7, 2020 – Nearly 100 SOCAN Awards in 23 musical categories will be presented to Canada’s most successful francophone songwriters, composers, and music publishers through a special virtual presentation of the 31st annual Gala de la SOCAN, which takes place online for the first time in its history on December 7, 2020.

Follow @socanmusique on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (#GALASOCAN) to join in the week-long celebration of nearly 100 award winners announced today. Videos featuring acceptance speeches, trophy unboxings, Apple Music playlist and interviews will be presented throughout the week via a dedicated website at 2020 SOCAN Awards.

“The Montréal SOCAN Awards are different this year,” says interim CEO Jennifer Brown, “The extraordinary circumstances we all face aren’t stopping us from proudly celebrating the impressive domestic and international achievements of songwriters, composers, and music publishers in Québec and French-speaking Canada. Music has the power to make our hearts soar and comfort us through tough times. It is more important than ever to recognize the role that music creators and their publishers play in our lives. SOCAN thanks and congratulates all SOCAN Award winners for their extraordinary and invaluable contributions to our lives.”

SOCAN ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS:

  • Jean-François Pauzé. Twenty-five years after the release of his first song with the legendary group Les Cowboys Fringants, and following the immense success of their album “Les Antipodes” and the biggest hit of their career, “L’Amérique pleure,” Jean-François Pauzé, the band’s main songwriter, receives the SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Award.
  • Jean-Phi Goncalves. For A remarkable 2019 that included compositions in TV series “Cerebrum” and “Une autre histoire,” the movie “Jouliks,” and the Cirque du Soleil production “Alegria in the Night,” Goncalves receives the SOCAN Screen Composer of the Year Award. Goncalves also wins a SOCAN Award for the theme for “Le Tricheur” in the Television Music – National, Variety or Public Affairs Program category.
  • Ruffsound. A key producer on the Québec rap and pop scene, Marc Vincent has shone with his versatile work on several major releases in 2019, including Loud, Eli Rose, Koriass, Cœur de pirate, and Lary Kidd. He is honoured with the SOCAN Songwriter of the Year – Producer Award.
  • Editorial Avenue. Daniel Lafrance and his team earned the SOCAN Publisher of the Year for their commitment to guiding music creators on their road to success.
  • DRTWRK. Michael Suski’s accomplishments in 2019 are impressive and they include a production credit on Kanye West’s “Jesus is King” album, which was nominated at the Grammy’s and won two American Music Awards, a collaboration with Timbaland, working on Joyner Lucas’s album, as well as producing the track “Let It Fly” by Lil’ Wayne and Travi$ Scott. Suski is honoured with the SOCAN International Award.

SOCAN Achievement Award winners each receive “The SOCAN,” the world’s first and only major music industry trophy that’s also a musical instrument, incorporating five custom bronze crotales created by world-class percussion instrument maker SABIAN of New Brunswick.

SPECIAL AWARDS

  • Shay Lia. Rarely has a Montréal R&B artist had such a sensational introduction. Her collaborations with Kaytranada, among others, and “Dangerous,” her first EP, rapidly made her a force to reckon with on the international scene. She receives the SOCAN Breakthrough Artist Award
  • Karo Laurendeau. She receives the SOCAN Country Music Award for a remarkable year in 2019, notably by winning four trophies during the Gala Country for her album “La fureur de vivre” as well as for her involvement in the country music industry throughout Québec.
  • Kaytranada. The SOCAN Electronic Music Award could not go to a more deserving artist than Kaytranada whose album “BUBBA” has earned him rave reviews around the world and three nominations at the next Grammy gala.
  • Souldia. Kevin Saint-Laurent’s meteoric rise, his countless shows and numerous collaborations allowed street rap to finally take its deserved place in the music ecosystem. He receives the SOCAN Hip-Hop/Rap Music Award.
  • Tout le monde en parle. The SOCAN Partner in Music Award is awarded to a business that consistently ethically plays a major role in the promotion of songwriters and visual artist. Thanks to the undeniable flair of its musical director, Marie-France Long, the popular weekly talk-show Tout le monde en parle has become one of the most valuable exposure opportunities for Québec’s emerging talent.
  • Alexandra Stréliski. The Hagood Hardy Award for Instrumental Music was rightfully earned, her magic touch on the piano has travelled far and wide, making her one of the world’s foremost composers.
  • Farangis Nurulla Khoja. Her works have been performed in concerts and international festivals of contemporary music in Europe, North America and Asia. She has also received numerous awards and prizes, including the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. The Jan V. Matejcek Award for New Classical Music is now part of her expansive collection of trophies.

POPULAR SONG AWARDS

The creator and publishers of the 10 most played songs in 2019 each win a Francophone Popular Song Award:

  • CARROUSEL, performed by Eli Rose; ON PERD LA TÊTE, performed by LGS; OUVRE TES YEUX SIMON !, performed by Les Trois Accords ; POUR TOI, performed by Ariane Moffatt; COTON OUATÉ, performed by Bleu Jeans Bleu; DANS LA NUIT, performed by Cœur de Pirate and Loud ; FLATTE!, performed by Fred Tremblay; TOUT LE MONDE, performed by Corneille ; ALLEYS (V.F), performed by Domeno and Kaïn; and LENDEMAIN, performed by Koriass.
  • The Anglophone Popular Song Award is awarded to the writers, composers and publishers of the song HOLD ME, performed by Ria Mae and Frank Kadillac.
  • The International Song Award was given to SOCAN members Sorena Soltani, Michael “DRTWK” Suski, Rupert Thomas Jr., Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada and Warner Chappell Music Canada Ltd. for their work on the mega-hit LET IT FLY, performed by Lil’ Wayne and Travi$ Scott.
  • The Viral Music Award honouring the most popular song on streaming sites thanks to massive and rapid sharing without the help of radio airplay, is awarded to the songwriter ,  composers and publishers of the song LE BONHEUR DES AUTRES, performed by Souldia, MB, White-B and Lost.

The full list of the creators and publishers of the winning songs is available at the SOCAN Awards site.

FILM AND TELEVISION AWARDS:

  • In the Television Music, Fiction or Dramatic Series category, composer Anthony Rozankovic and his publishers achieved a double success by winning both SOCAN Awards in the National and International categories for the music for the TV series “Mayday“; composer Scott Price and his publishers received the SOCAN Award in the Fiction or Drama Series – Comedy for their work on the show “Les Gags“; and the music by Raymond Fabi for the show “Arthur” earned him and his publishers the SOCAN Award in the Youth Program category.
  • Rudy Toussaint and his publishers took the SOCAN Award in the Television Music –International, for the music for the program “How it’s Made“; the SOCAN Award in the Film Music category went to James Gelfand and Louise Tremblay for their four-handed work on the film “Sleeper” directed by Philippe Gagnon; while the SOCAN Award for the Production with the most streaming was given to the composer FM Le Sieur, for his work on the series “Bad Blood.”

Music fans can support creators and publishers by making a donation to the SOCAN Gala’s charitable partners, the Unison Benevolent Fund and the SOCAN Foundation, two organizations that help musicians and music creators in their personal lives and careers.

The full list of winners can be found at https://galasocan2020.socan.com/

Media contact:
SOCAN: Eric Parazelli, eric.parazelli@socan.com

Michael Asante Joins SOCAN as First A&R Representative, Rap and R&B

Toronto, November 30, 2020 – SOCAN has appointed Michael Asante to the role of A&R Representative, Rap and R&B, a new position to address the rapidly growing part of the company’s membership base. His appointment is the culmination of a four-month search that saw more than 500 applicants for the role.

As A&R Representative, Rap and R&B, Asante will:

  • Actively recruit Canadian music creators by scouting for emerging artists/songwriters, producers and screen composers who are or have the potential to be relevant in Rap, R&B, Pop, Electronic/Dance, Rock and screen composer genres.
  • Identify emerging Canadian music creators and trends.
  • Build relationships with emerging music creators and their business teams by meeting with them, listening to their music, attending their shows, and discussing their career aspirations and needs from a creative and business perspective.
  • Provide support to SOCAN’s music publishing and screen composer member communities.
  • Strategically analyze member earnings and trends to prepare financial reports to maximize member’s SOCAN experience.
  • Create career opportunities for members by introducing songwriters and composers to applicable creative and industry members to further their careers (i.e. music publishers, managers, agents and record labels.
  • Facilitate creative opportunities such as planning and executing songwriting camps and workshops, songwriting collaborations, master production classes and business seminars.

Asante’s career before SOCAN included roles as Digital & Email Marketing Manager with Canopy Growth; founder of A&R Report Inc., a consultancy that scouts and researches new songwriters, producers, artists, and engineers; Marketing Automation Specialist with G Adventures; and Marketing Manager with the Royal Conservatory of Music (Koerner Hall) in Toronto.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Michael Asante to the SOCAN team,” said Interim-CEO Jennifer Brown. “The expertise and dedication he brings to the vital and rapidly expanding Rap and R&B part of our total membership of nearly 170,000 music creators and publishers.”

“It is with great pleasure to join an amazing organization and team over at SOCAN,” Asante said. “Over the years I’ve prided myself on building with and servicing artists in the music community. Please feel free to utilize me as a vessel when it comes to building and growing your musical careers. I look forward to working with each and every member in the SOCAN family.”

 

Robert Bennett Joins SOCAN as Chief Financial Officer

Toronto, November 5, 2020 – SOCAN has announced the appointment of Robert Bennett as the company’s Chief Financial Officer.

Bennett most recently served as served as Lead Financial Officer, Capital Markets, Technology and Operations, BMO Financial Group, in which he oversaw multiple aspects of financial planning and forecasting, accounting and financial management, and the amalgamation of financial technology within operations functions.

Before joining BMO, Bennett served as Director of Finance with Edward Jones Canada and Chief Financial Officer with RBC Dexia Investor Services Trust.

“Robert Bennett’s more than 20 years of financial expertise will serve SOCAN well,” said SOCAN Interim CEO Jennifer Brown. “His impressive financial management, revenue reporting and strategic financial planning experience make him an excellent addition to the executive team.”

“I am thrilled to join SOCAN to be part of a great team,” Bennett said. “It is awesome to join an organization that is dedicated to music creators and music publishers.”

A certified Chartered Professional Accountant, he holds an Executive Master of Business Administration degree from Smith School of Business from Queen’s University, and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from from McGill University.

Fluent in English and French, in his spare time he has been singing in choirs since the age of five and is a keen fan of SOCAN members’ music.

Robert Bennett’s career with SOCAN begins on November 9, 2020.

SOCAN Announces Final 2019 Financial Results

Toronto, November 4, 2020 – SOCAN today announced final 2019 financial results, including record domestic and international collections for the company’s member music creators, music publishers and visual artists. The company also announced significant financial losses due to past investments in the acquisition, creation, and financing of the new business venture Dataclef Inc.

Highlights of SOCAN’s 2019 results:

  • $405.6-million in total collections – an 8.2% increase compared with 2018.
  • Record-setting domestic collections of $315.1-million – 10% more than 2018.
  • A 2.2% year-over-year increase in international royalty collections ($90.5-million).
  • A 37.6% increase in revenue from digital sources ($86-million).
  • Reproduction rights collections increased to $12-million.

Distributions to members totaled $296-million, a 6% decrease compared with the $315-million distributed in 2018. The disparity was due primarily to the steep learning curve required for the company’s newly deployed technology to process international and television income. Significant progress has been made in these areas in 2020, as SOCAN continues to leverage this new technology to meet the data-intensive demands of the digital age.

In 2016, SOCAN through its wholly owned subsidiary Dataclef Inc., embarked on a plan to implement the organization’s strategic vision. The 2019 financial results include losses that resulted in an impairment  of $41.7-million to the advances made by SOCAN to fund its subsidiary operations since 2016.

“At the time of our investment in these operations, we were exploring new ways to support our members by creating other revenue streams and leveraging new technologies,” said interim CEO Jennifer Brown. “Business plans didn’t come to fruition in the way we anticipated. Through the evaluation process, it became clear that we should divest ourselves of Dataclef assets. We are, however, encouraged by significant success with our new technology system and our improved matching and processing capabilities.”

Through extensive evaluation and analysis, SOCAN has developed a plan to manage the losses, which have not impacted distributions.

Aspects of the plan include the sale of Dataclef assets, a significant reduction in SOCAN’s overhead expenses, a reorganization of the Dataclef operation, and new management leadership, all of which have already been put into action.

SOCAN’s management and Board of Directors have also committed to sharpening the company’s focus on core work for members: expanded domestic licensing of music; continual improvement of the depth, accuracy and speed of royalty distributions; and investing in ways that will allow our team to focus on our core purpose of helping music creators and publishers thrive.

The accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP has reviewed SOCAN’s financial plan to manage the financial impairment and has provided SOCAN with its support.

SOCAN will hold its annual general meeting online on November 10, 2020, to discuss the organization’s 2019 results and financial plan in detail. The meeting is available online to members of the organization who earned royalties in 2019. SOCAN’s 2019 annual report and financial statements audited by KPMG will be made available in concert with the meeting.

About SOCAN
SOCAN is a rights management organization that connects more than four-million music creators worldwide and more than a quarter-million businesses and individuals in Canada. More than 160,000 songwriters, composers, music publishers and visual artists 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 rights management, SOCAN is dedicated to upholding the fundamental truths that music and visual arts have value and creators and publishers deserve fair compensation for their work. For more information: www.socan.com

Media contact: Andrew Berthoff, Andrew.Berthoff@socan.com

SOCAN Announces Departure of Michael McCarty, Chief Membership & Business Development Officer

SOCAN has announced the departure of Chief Membership & Business Development Officer Michael McCarty, effective November 30, 2020. After that, he will provide consulting services for the organization until April 2021, assisting with the transition to the Membership department’s future leadership and structure.

“We thank Michael McCarty for his leadership, creativity, and commitment to our members over the past seven years,” said Jennifer Brown, Interim CEO of SOCAN. “During this time, he has transformed our Membership services and strategy, built one of the strongest member bases in our industry, and helped to change our company culture to being even more optimistic and leading-edge, serving music creators and publishers in Canada and around the world.”

McCarty has a 40 -year career in the music industry. Before becoming SOCAN’s Chief Membership & Business Development Officer in 2013, he was president of EMI Music Publishing Canada for 17 years and contributed many years of service as a member of the SOCAN Board of Directors.

“One of the great joys of my job has been to work with a strong team of people dedicated to a single cause – serving our members,” McCarty said. “I will always be proud of our accomplishments and the journey we took together, improving the recruitment and retention of members and impacting the culture and business of SOCAN. I want to thank everyone at SOCAN for their support, advice and help in achieving our mandate.”

In 2019, Michael McCarty was inducted into the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame.

Media contact:
Andrew Berthoff, andrew.berthoff@socan.com