SOCAN Members, On Average, Received Just $41 From Streaming Services Last Year

The Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada, or SOCAN, has published its financials for 2018.

Breaking down total collections, the Canadian performance rights organization collected $375 million ($284 million) last year, up 11% over 2017.

Domestic collections rose 9% year-over-year to an all-time high of $286 million ($217 million).  Outside of Canada, SOCAN reported a 15% jump in royalties to $87 million ($66 million), its “top revenue stream” for members.  In addition, the performance rights organization’s distribution to its members increased by 8% to $320 million ($242 million).

SOCAN now has over 160,000 member songwriters, composers, music publishers, and visual artists.

Despite the good news, however, the Canadian performance rights organization issued a stark warning.

The largest organization in the Canadian music ecosystem attracted and distributed record amounts to more members than ever but cautioned that more must be done to ensure that all rightsholders receive a more equitable share of rapidly growing revenues from digital uses of music.

According to CEO Eric Baptiste, the average member who received royalties last year took in only $54 ($41 USD) from digital sources.  He adds this “proves” digital platforms, like Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and YouTube, continue “reaping massive value on the backs of music creators and publishers.”

“SOCAN will continue to fight for a more equitable and fair compensation for rightsholders as this part of the industry matures.”

Highlighting the Canadian music industry organization’s effort to ensure fair payments to its members, SOCAN acquired Quebec-based SODRAC.  This, the organization writes, brings mechanical and reproductions rights and royalties to members.  In a combined licensing venture with Re:Sound, SOCAN also created Entandem, bringing “benefits” to rightsholders, businesses, and governments.  Finally, the organization added Dataclef, its new one-stop back office services division.

Sharing its 2019 strategy, including a shift into AI, the organization explained,

SOCAN continues to work to harness artificial intelligence and to offer tools to third-party organizations to build software from its online application programming interface (API) specifications to identify and collect on more public uses of music, returning more royalties with even greater speed and accuracy to those who have rightfully earned them.


Featured image by KMR Photography (CC by 2.0).

One Response

  1. Dean Hajas

    Let’s look at some FACTS for Eric Baptiste – Jeff Price – Jeff King and Rodney Murphy.
    Jeff Price in 2012 writes a blog stating a portion of the realities regarding the Performing Rights Organizations
    After leaving Tunecore – Jeff Price develops Audiam which is purchased under the radar with SOCAN members Royalties for $16 million.
    A big part and key in the announcement is the part that Canada ?? plays in the systemic theft of musicians rights from around the Globe.
    SOCAN and CIPO ( Canadian Intellectual Property Office) don’t require an audio sample at point of registry of a TITLE only. In the fine print of both organizations they both state they are Not Copyright – and if Infringements occur, you are on your own.
    FACT – friends of SOCAN manipulated the financial outcome through the CMRRA Canadian Music Reproduction Rights Agency. This can be specifically witnessed by all in several articles including Billboard Magazine April 29th 2019 article $1.1 Billion black box fund of unmatched Royalties.
    Eric Baptiste sits on far too many boards and is key player in a scheme that has partnered with Switzerland- Zurich – France the Membership of CISAC Australia and back to United .States . SOCAN is allowing Record Companies , without verifying any portions of ISWC – ISRC codes to re- register songs while generating new Work order Numbers – New ISRC and New ISWC codes. This gives the PRO’s opportunities to decide which Performance Royalties they are going to disclose to the Government, the music industry, and finally the musicians.
    Our Canadian legislative body in turn created Bill C- 86 giving SOCAN the ability to absorb more unmatched – Royalties in the “3 Year Rule”, a practice that the music industry has been doing for the past 30 years that Trump put through as Law in the Modernization of the Copyright Act in 2018. The PROs are under direct influence by CISAC – Jean Michel Jarre and Chairman Eric Baptiste. On one hand they propose to be fighting for our fair remunerations and on the other hand run the $10.1 Billion Eurostar of Royalties collected (proclaimed) through Mint. HSBC Bank whistle blows in Switzerland for money laundering and Canada initiates MINT to house catalogues belonging to musicians in the ultimate data base through high tech security companies strategically placed in London UK – Africa – Ireland and USA. Check the employee roster at SOCAN and look for former employees working in matching performance Royalties who worked for prominent Banks. They know banking policies and practices, and it’s at this juncture that the a.i. Is used only to identify what is owed to SOCAN. There are no implemented or mandated a.i. enfirved by SOCAN in setting Levie and Tariffs across Canada so these “Streaming” numbers are the only ones that SOCAN relies on, because they are the only ones they declare. Read carefully the 2018 Annual report for sections like legal fees.. there is no declaration of amount for the year 2018, only that they spent $400,000 morecthen the previous year. There is also no declaration of revenues generated through Levirs and Tariffs- nor is there a category announcing the amount of absorbed orphaned Royalties. As Jeff Price describes in the article provided ( ironically who works for SOCAN running Audiam) it’s a shell game, always moving the money through companies that aren’t even real entities. Try taking on Universal Music Publishing or any other non – entity and see how they are formerly related to patent companies who have distanced themselves in strategic placement of receiving publishing Royalties through removing the Writers Rights.
    Cutting yo the chase… the USA announces a surplus of $1.1 Billion in Orphaned Royalties and who does the USA call upon to sort this money problem out.. none other then Eric Baptiste and Jeff Price.
    In a video segment posted by CISAC on YouTube from 2016 Eric Baptiste states that there is a “temptation to devalue the artist, and devalue him – her by the further temptations of taking their money”. He’s telling the truth under our noses and is breaking the Not For Profit Act, which is Criminal in Nature.
    Our metadata is almost insignificant to the musicians through the traditional model of Record companies, and I recognize that the new record companies are points of distribution through Bell Rogers Cogeco. Canada only has 38 million people yet telecommunications last year reported over $60 Billion in revenues, and over $20 Billion in cell phone use only. For SOCAN to stand before it’s sliding scale of membership that depending on which board Eric Baptiste is speaking from and to, is between 120,000 when speaking from CISAC Chairman position to 160,000 when speaking from SOCAN CEO seat to the Canadian Government and apparently Digital Music News.
    It’s time to shake this money ponzy scheme by questioning the validity of business practices and having a full term of not less then 5 years devoted to auditing the parties listed in this comment. Robert Ott has removed himself from the issue here in Canada and gave the headaches over to the Ontario Teachers Pension and Helen Murphy who just rebranded Ole Publishing as Anthem Entertainment. Caroline Rioux has disappeared from the CMRRA as has Canadian Minister of Heritage Melanie Joly.
    I paid attention on s grand scale, and this is a surface communication to address the article posted.