For the first time, SOCAN's annual collections exceeded $400- million, with an estimated $405.5-million collected in the fiscal year, an 8% increase over the previous record of $375-million set in FY2018.
The PRO attributes most of the approximately $30-million growth to an increase of $23-million in collections from digital revenue, as well as an additional $7-million from reproduction rights collections, following SOCAN's 2018 acquisition of Montréal-based SODRAC.
While digital collections ($86.1-million) increased by 38%, to $62.5-million in 2019, SOCAN members earned an average of only $67 from domestic digital royalties – despite it being a $13 (24%) increase over the 2018 average of $54.
"Royalties from television, radio, international and concerts remain strong, but most growth this year came from domestic digital sources and it is clear that more must be done to improve the writer and publisher share from streaming royalties," said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste.
"The Canadian government has acknowledged that Canadian content rules and discoverability must be modernized for the digital age. If music creation – the lifeblood of Canada's music industry – is not supported quickly through the development of updated rules, there could be dire economic and cultural consequences."
While royalties from digital sources remain small for most SOCAN members, revenue from international sources continues to show strength, bringing in a record $88.5-million.
The company also reports that the number of members who earned royalties in 2019 increased by nearly 3,000, as the company continues to attract songwriters, composers and music.
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. Nearly 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, with wholly-owned companies Audiam, Dataclef and MediaNet, and co-owners with RE:SOUND of music licensing organization Entandem, 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