After SOCAN collects licensing fees from music users for the performances of our members' music, SOCAN then distributes that money to those members as performing rights royalties.
Royalties are distributed to SOCAN members on a quarterly basis on February 15, May 15, August 15, and November 15. Generally, members can expect to receive payment seven to ten months after their performances within Canada, and longer for international performances. This time lag is required for SOCAN to gather all the necessary performance data and match it to the appropriate works and cue sheets. Royalties are calculated differently for different music uses.
SOCAN members are paid royalties when their music is performed online. SOCAN currently licenses a number of online music uses, including music streaming (audio and video), YouTube, simulcasting of terrestrial radio, webcasting, and video games.
SOCAN members are paid royalties when their music is performed live in concert. Anything from a large outdoor music festival to a small club performance can be considered a live performance that may be eligible for a concert distribution, if the venue or promoter is licensed by SOCAN. A cover must be charged for any club performance in order for it to be eligible for payment by SOCAN. To receive concert royalties, members must submit a Notification of Live Music Performance (NLMP) form that provides details about their performance. Along with the NLMP, and proof of the performance (e.g., a ticket stub, newspaper clipping, or e-mail from the presenter) are also required to prove that the performance took place.
SOCAN members are paid royalties when their music is played on the radio. Anything from high-rotation airplay on a commercial radio station in a major market, to a handful of airings on a campus radio station, is eligible for radio royalties. Royalties are based on the licence fees collected from the radio stations playing the songs, so royalty payments will vary. To calculate the payment for each performance, SOCAN divides the money available for distribution by the number of songs logged. SOCAN uses digital audio identification technology to electronically monitor more than 200 commercial radio stations. Royalties are paid to all of the music creators and publishers of all of the songs played on those stations. The CBC national and regional programming data is also captured in this way. SOCAN samples the remaining commercial radio stations once every quarter, for 28 days, to identify the performances of our members’ songs. Non-commercial, campus, and community radio stations as well as CBC local programming are also sampled. SOCAN members are also paid royalties when their music is played on satellite radio services.
SOCAN members are paid royalties when their music is played on television. Payment per performance on TV varies with each distribution, according to the television station, time of day of the performance, and type of music use (feature or background). To calculate TV royalties, SOCAN relies on programming information provided by an independent broadcast data company, television stations themselves, and cue sheets, which list the musical contents of each program. Members should inform SOCAN of any TV performances of their music and ensure, if possible, that cue sheets (signed by the program producer) are submitted to SOCAN for those programs. SOCAN analyzes all cue sheets received for programs aired on local commercial stations, cable stations, public stations, and the CBC, Radio-Canada, TVA, and TQS networks. Cue sheets are submitted by Canadian and international producers and distributors, international performing rights organizations, and broadcasters, as well as members. SOCAN members are similarly paid royalties when their music is used in movies shown in theatres. SOCAN relies on music cue sheets from producers to calculate film royalties. Members should inform SOCAN of any film performances of their music and ensure, if possible, that cue sheets (signed by the program producer) are submitted to SOCAN for those films.
SOCAN members are paid royalties when their music is played as ringtones. Quarterly distribution for current ringtones performances began in February 2010, and ringtone arrears have already been paid to cover 2003-2008. The amount paid per ringtone will vary each quarter based on the licence fees received and the number of performances identified.
SOCAN members are paid royalties when their music is performed in most countries throughout the world. Through reciprocal agreements with many performing rights organizations (PROs) throughout the world – like ASCAP in the U.S., PRS For Music in the U.K. and SACEM in France – SOCAN receives royalties from them for performances of SOCAN members’ music. Members should provide information to SOCAN about international performances. SOCAN in turn, keeps international PROs updated about our members’ repertoire and performances for the purpose of administering them in their territory and providing performance royalties to members through SOCAN.
The Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC) is a non-profit agency charged with collecting and distributing private copying royalties. A "private copy" is a copy of a piece (or part of a piece) of recorded music made by an individual for his or her own personal use. Canada's Copyright Act was revised in 1997 to allow consumers to copy recorded music for personal use; in exchange, legislators allowed for a royalty to provide remuneration for private copying to the copyright owners of that recorded music, including SOCAN members.
In 2014, MAGIC!’s song “Rude” became a No. 1 hit in the U.S., and spent six weeks on top of the Billboard singles chart, selling more than three million in America, and spawning a video that has now earned more than 1.24 billion views on YouTube. The reggae-pop song went gold, platinum, or multi-platinum in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. In 2015, the four SOCAN songwriters in MAGIC! opened for Maroon 5 on tour throughout North America and Europe, and the group won two JUNO Awards. That year, MAGIC! also earned the SOCAN International Achievement Award, and in 2016 they collaborated with Sean Paul on “Lay You Down Easy.”