Canadian PRO Delivers Record Payout to Member Creators

During its annual meeting in Vancouver, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) announced final financial results for 2018, confirming another record year for royalties earned by its more than 160,000 members.

The largest organization in the Canadian music industry 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.

2018 financial results include:

  • A record $320-million distributed to SOCAN members – an 8% increase over the previous year
  • $375-million in total collections – an 11% increase compared with 2017
  • Domestic collections at an all-time high of $286-million – 9% more than 2017
  • A 15% year-over-year increase in royalties from outside of Canada ($87-million), again the top revenue stream for SOCAN members
  • Even with a substantially more complex environment and investments in technology to keep SOCAN ahead of the digital curve, SOCAN was able to operate with a 12.6% net expense ratio
  • A 29% increase in revenue from digital sources.

“The popularity of music streaming continues to increase, but a SOCAN member who received royalties in 2018 on average took in only $54 from digital sources,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “Digital platforms are 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.”

In a speech at the meeting, Baptiste called out several key recent advancements, including acquisition of Quebec-based SODRAC, bringing mechanical/reproduction rights and royalties to members, as well as the extension of SOCAN’s mandate into visual arts; the creation of Entandem, a combined licensing venture with RE:SOUND that will bring benefits to rightsholders and licensed businesses alike; and the addition of Dataclef, the back office services arm of the organization.

Pictured: SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste

Source: SOCAN