SOCAN has announced its updated 2020 forecast for revenues, to enable our members to plan for their future finances. We forecast that total 2020 revenue will likely decrease by approximately 11 percent when measured against the revenue from 2019, a record year. This estimate considers all relevant information, data, research, and trend analyses.

Since our first forecast, our emergency relief royalty advances initiative has been well received, with more than $600,000 so far accessed by qualified members. Our unique Encore plan that delivers royalties to members performing live-streamed concerts on Facebook and Instagram has also seen success, providing more than $130,000 so far to help replace at least some lost gig revenue.

For the full forecast – including reports on revenues from digital/streaming, concerts/live, general/background music, TV, cable, radio, and reproduction rights – click here.

The SOCAN Foundation, part of the SOCAN Group of organizations, today announced the launch of the Black Canadian Music Awards, in partnership with SiriusXM Canada.

The Black Canadian Music Awards will recognize and celebrate the artistic merit demonstrated by Black music creators (songwriters, composers, producers, etc.) in all genres. The inaugural awards will be presented virtually in 2020, and winners will be selected by a jury and advisory council of prominent Black artists and industry leaders, including DJ Agile as the inaugural Chair of the jury.

“The Black Canadian Music Awards are part of the SOCAN Foundation’s efforts toward advancing equity in the Canadian music industry, by collaboratively creating opportunities to celebrate Black music creators. Our ongoing aim is to build inclusive programming as diverse as the communities in which we live, and this new award pushes us even further ahead,” said Charlie Wall-Andrews, Executive Director of the SOCAN Foundation. “Furthermore, we cannot lose momentum to elevate communities impacted by ongoing and historical injustices. We acknowledge that there is still much more work to do, and we hope this award will celebrate and empower Black music creators in Canada.”

Five winners will be selected to each receive a $5,000 award, which is made possible with the generous support of SiriusXM Canada.

“We’re very proud to partner with the SOCAN Foundation to launch the Black Canadian Music Awards and help to provide more recognition to Black artists in Canada,” said Kayla J. Schwartz, Senior Manager, Communications & Canadian Content Development, SiriusXM Canada. “There need to be more opportunities for Black music creators, and we’re committed to supporting this vital community.”

“The Black Community in Canada has a rich, long, and deep history of creation and contribution to music in Canada, and well beyond our borders,” said DJ Agile. “From Salome Bey to Portia White to Oscar Peterson, Canadian Black music creators are a part of the musical tapestry of Canadian culture. History too often doesn’t acknowledge and celebrate their contributions in their time, and this is why it’s important for the SOCAN Foundation to honour our diverse Black music creators with the Black Canadian Music Awards, now.”

To apply for the Black Music Awards, visit The deadline to apply is October 15, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

SOCAN held an online town hall meeting with representatives of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada (SCGC) to strengthen our relationship with the Canadian community of screen composers. The Toronto gathering was held online, on August 26, 2020, moderated by SOCAN’s Paul Stillo, Senior Account Executive, and Lea Faradian, Account Executive, and attended by our Chief Membership and Business Development Officer Michael McCarty, and Vice-President, A&R and Membership, Rodney Murphy. There was a healthy dialogue between SOCAN and SCGC representatives, with many pre-submitted, and a few live, questions from the attendees, and answers from our executives.

SOCAN’s Kit Wheeler, Vice-President, Licensing, explained that SOCAN anticipates an 11 percent decline in domestic revenues, and a similar, moderate decline in cable and TV revenues, and substantial growth still continuing in digital revenues – all because of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent self-isolation regulations. She also discussed how SOCAN is advocating for a greater market share of digital revenues going to Canadian content creators.

SOCAN’s James Leacock, Manager, Media, talked about the way in which Netflix determines the royalty rate it pays out to performing rights organizations, which we’re looking to increase. Leslie Craig, SOCAN Vice-President, Distribution, discussed how it’s a top priority to create greater visibility for our screen composers’ music, and how our technology is currently working to try to accomplish that, and to clear our backlogs of screen composers’ royalties.

SOCAN Senior Legal Counsel Martin Lavallée explained how to sign up to SOCAN for reproduction rights royalties, how to work most effectively in that domain, and how SOCAN has become the only music rights organization collecting reproduction rights royalties on broadcast incidental copies.

SOCAN International Account Manager Connor Chapman discussed our continuing rise in international revenues, up until COVID hit. Because of the lag time between the reporting of performances and the payment of royalties, the decline due to COVID will likely be felt in 2021. Performing rights organizations worldwide are forecasting somewhere between a five and 30 percent drop, which is expected to hit especially hard in Europe. SOCAN is in touch with our counterparts worldwide to stay apprised of the situation.

SOCAN’s James Freeman, Director, Corporate Finance & Development, said that screen composers will likely see the decline in royalty revenue begin in February of 2021, with the low point expected in summer of that year, and recovery anticipated by February 2022. SOCAN’s Tobi Akinwumi, SOCAN Product Manager, Member Digital Products,  spoke about the upcoming redesign of our member portal, and how it’s expected to enhance and improve the experience of screen composers interacting online with SOCAN.

Michael McCarty discussed SOCAN’s plans to set up a post-member-contact survey in the new portal, and real-time tracking of behind-the-scenes tech data, both of which will improve our service. He talked about SOCAN determinedly pursuing agreements with digital distributors to benefit our members, in addition to advocating with government.  And he expressed great appreciation of the assembled SCGC representatives speaking openly with us to improve their experience with SOCAN.