SOCAN President Stan Meissner and CEO Eric Baptiste
SOCAN President Stan Meissner and CEO Eric Baptiste

SOCAN Fiscal Numbers Hit Several High Notes

Foreign royalty income from the performance of Canadian music played internationally on radio, television, in movies, online, on-stage and other uses has more than doubled in the past decade.

This fact and others are part of the 2016 fiscal report detailed at the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) AGM in Montreal Tuesday.

Highlights include:
  • $289-million distributed to music creators and publishers — up 4.6% year-over-year

  • International royalty income — up from $62.7-million in fiscal 2015, to $67-million in fiscal 2016 (ending Dec. 31)

  • Streaming revenues — up 115%, to $33.8-million and, for the first time, including income from Apple Music

  • $330-millon in overall 2016 revenue — an increase of 7.2% over fiscal 2015.

  • 26-billion bytes of data tabulated from various sources to I.D. song compositions

Sounding ebullient, the PRO’s President, Stan Meissner noted that highlights of the year included SOCAN’s acquisition of Audiam, which licenses, audits, collects and distribute interactive streaming mechanicals and YouTube royalties for its members, and MediaNet, a global B2B digital music services and rights platform.

“These acquisitions of U.S.-based companies that operate internationally help us in supporting several of our strategic objectives,” Meissner says.

“We realized that it was better to buy rather than build, and this expansion has vastly improved SOCAN’s internal and external firepower. While we’re still integrating and developing the services and capabilities into SOCAN’s infrastructure, we’re already seeing immediate benefits in improvements to matching abilities, as well as being positioned to take on international projects that will generate revenue" for the membership. 

SOCAN CEO Eric Baptise also emphasizes the importance database Tech now plays in the rights org’s ability to process ever-increasing streams of data.

“Our acquisition of Audiam diversified SOCAN’s offerings, with state-of-the-art identification, collection and distribution services for YouTube music performances. Last spring, our purchase of MediaNet and 65-million titles-rich database of sound recordings has already resulted in SOCAN having unsurpassed data matching capabilities – far exceeding the next-nearest organization.

“Superior data-matching means better accuracy and tracking, which in turn means more money in our members’ pockets. These organizations are empowered by SOCAN, and vice versa.

Continuing: “SOCAN’s work to develop application programming interface (API) technology last year has resulted in the introduction of our first of many resources that enable software developers to create applications that integrate perfectly with our technology platforms. This is exciting and visionary progress that will pay more dividends for members as we make submitting and tracking music data more and more accurate and thorough.

“Key to SOCAN’s successful approach is our confidence in technology, massive data and innovation, and the next 18 to 24 months are likely to define how rights management works for the next decade. SOCAN is and will continue to be a major part of the new landscape.

“We are shaping that landscape worldwide as SOCAN leads the global transformation of music rights while at the same time really ‘taking care of business’ here in Canada.”

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