For the first time in its history, SOCAN’s total annual collections exceeded $400 million, with an estimated $405.5 million collected in fiscal year 2019 by the largest company in Canada’s music industry, an 8 percent increase over the previous record of $375 million set in financial year 2018.
SOCAN attributed most of the approximately $30 million growth to an increase of approximately $23 million in collections from digital sources, 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 approximately $23 million (38 percent) over the $62.5 million of 2019, a SOCAN member who earned any royalties last year earned an average of only $67 from domestic digital royalties – despite it being a $13 (24 percent) 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’s clear that more must be done to improve the SOCAN writer’s and publisher’s shares 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 – isn’t supported quickly through the development of updated rules, there could be dire economic and cultural consequences.”
While royalties from digital sources remain too small for most SOCAN members, revenue from international sources continued to show strength at the historically high mark, and new record, of $88.5 million, demonstrating again that Canadian music creators and music publishers continue to out-perform on a global level.
The company also reported 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 publishers who want to start, and build, their careers with SOCAN.