SOCAN confirmed yesterday at its annual general meeting in Toronto that a record $352-million in total royalties from the use of music by its songwriter, composer, and music publisher members were collected in fiscal 2017, an eight percent gain on the previous record set in 2016.
Highlighted by a 44 percent increase in revenue from Internet sources totaling $48.6-million, and a 13 percent upswing to $76-million in foreign royalties’ income, a record $295-million was distributed to music creators and publishers.
SOCAN 2017 Financial Highlights:
- Record total revenue – approximately $352-million in overall revenue in 2017, an 8% year-over-year increase.
· $49-million from Internet collections – while growing with the popularity of music from digital sources, the reality is that because of the dynamics of digital services and the relatively poor discoverability of Canadian content, the average SOCAN creator-member who earned royalties from digital sources collected only a few pennies more than $37 in 2017.
- Nearly $300-million sent to members – SOCAN's administration rate is one of the smallest of the world's top-10 performing rights organizations.
· A 48% increase in foreign royalties since 2013 – royalties identified, collected and distributed to SOCAN members from international radio, television, online, on-stage and other public performance uses came to $76-million, an all-time high and SOCAN members' #1 royalty source.
"We are delighted to deliver to our members a record overall amount of royalties in 2017, but there is still much work to be done to ensure that Canada's music creators and publishers receive what they rightfully have earned and deserve a larger piece of the pie for their extraordinary work," said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. "Today, SOCAN is accessing, creating and harnessing technology so that we can even more fully and completely identify, license, track, match and distribute more for our members. We continue to fight for the rights of our members to receive a fair portion from businesses that use music to help their bottom line."
An example of the rights organization’s increasing use of technology is the company's work with the University of Toronto's Department of Computer Science & Innovation Lab.
At the AGM, SOCAN Information Technology VP Janice Scott led a session with Adjunct Professor of Music Technology & Digital Media Catherine Moore where they offered a snapshot of an AI project designed to better find and match music performances.
At the meeting, SOCAN also announced that it surpassed the 150,000-members milestone with Toronto songwriter Ariel Gold who is set to release her next single, “Weather,” from an upcoming album of the same name.
The company also introduced its board of directors for the 2018-'21 term. The new 18-member SOCAN board now counts eight women, improving gender balance, reflecting the balance and diversity long enjoyed in the organization's management team and overall staff.
For full financial statements and an overview of 2017, visit www.socanannualreport.ca.
– All revenue information is subject to pending decisions of the Copyright Board and the courts and such potential changes are discussed in SOCAN’s audited financial statements in accordance with applicable accounting standards. Notable too is the fact that SOCAN is one of very few music rights organizations worldwide that returns 100% of royalties collected from international sources to its members, with no administration percentage applied.