SOCAN’s Non-Canadian Royalties Have Increased 70% Since 2013 — But CEO Says Songwriters Aren’t Getting a Fair Deal
The Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) has published its preliminary year-end results for 2018.
According to the preliminary financial results, total royalties collected for its members totaled $347 million ($283 million in the US), up 11% year-over-year. SOCAN has nearly 160,000 member songwriters, composers, and music publishers.
The organization also distributed $315 million ($238.8 million) to its members, up 3.8% over 2017. In addition, domestic revenue increased 8% to $282 million ($213.8 million), and has steadily increased 25% since 2013.
SOCAN estimates that total 2018 international revenue will rise 15% to $87 million ($66 million).
Royalties from non-Canadian sources have risen 70% since 2013, and now rank as the top revenue stream for SOCAN members. The organization credited its technology, search capabilities, and improved data matching for the increase in royalty collections. SOCAN also thanked its International Relations, Membership, Licensing, and Distribution teams for “securing markedly better returns for members.”
Of the world’s top 10 performing rights collectives, SOCAN claims that it remains the only one that returns 100% of international royalties it receives from international partners to its members, with no additional management charge applied.
Speaking about the preliminary financial results, Eric Baptiste, the organization’s CEO, said,
“The consistently increasing number of Canadian music creators aspiring to make a living from their creative work is similar to the halo effect we see in other industries.”
Revenue from internet-based licensed music will total approximately $62 million ($47 million), up 27% year-over-year.
Calling on all internet-based music platforms to finally pay artists their fair share, Baptiste added,
“While overall revenues from digitally-delivered performances of music continue to climb, music creators and publishers on average [have] yet to see earnings commensurate with the value that their work brings to these online corporations.
“To put it in perspective, the average SOCAN member who earned royalties in 2018 realized only $54 ($41 in the US) from domestic digital sources in the entire year. This has to improve and SOCAN is working tirelessly to ensure our members actually receive what they have fairly and deservedly earned from their extraordinary work.“
Featured image by SOCAN.