Canadian music licensing and collection society SOCAN says it saw revenues rise for a seventh year in 2017, up 7% to CAN $352m (US $265m).
Pay-outs to its now 150,000 music creator and publisher members rose CAN $6m (US $5m) to reach a record CAN $295m (US $222m), SOCAN revealed at its annual general meeting in Toronto.
That’s an approximate income-to-distribution ratio of 16.1% – the difference between the money taken in by the society and the money ultimately handed out to songwriters and publishers.
Last year, SOCAN held back $13.9m (US $10m) from revenue to cover a potential refund in license fees previously paid pending a decision from the Copyright Board over Pay Audio Tariff.
Domestic revenue totaled $262m (US $197m) in 2017, representing a $3m (US $2m) dip on 2016. Income from radio and television was also slightly down.
The 7% rise was largely down to a 44% increase in revenue from internet sources which reached just under CAN $49m (US $37m) — up $14.8m (US $11m) on 2016.
Despite the increase in internet collections, the average SOCAN creator-member who earned royalties from digital services pocketed a relatively small $37 (US $28) in 2017.
That’s due to the dynamics of digital services and the relatively poor discoverability of Canadian content, said SOCAN.
Worldwide royalties collected in countries outside of Canada also rose by 13% to an all time high of CAN $76m ($57m) and up by $8.6m (US $6m).
Today’s figures top the preliminary revenue amounts SOCAN published in February, when the society expected to report a 6.4% revenue rise year-on-year to $350m (US $263m).
Its net expenses increased to CAN $39.6m (US $30m) — a 3.6% rise from 2016 and representing 11.7% of total revenues.
“there is still much work to be done to ensure that Canada’s music creators and publishers receive what they rightfully have earned and deserve a larger piece of the pie for their extraordinary work.”
eric baptiste, socan
SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste said: “We are delighted to deliver to our members a record overall amount of royalties in 2017, but there is still much work to be done to ensure that Canada’s music creators and publishers receive what they rightfully have earned and deserve a larger piece of the pie for their extraordinary work.
“Today, SOCAN is accessing, creating and harnessing technology so that we can even more fully and completely identify, license, track, match and distribute more for our members.
“SOCAN continues to fight for the rights of our members to receive a fair portion from businesses that use music to help their bottom line.”
At the AGM, SOCAN also introduced its board of directors for the 2018-’21 term.
The new 18-member board now counts eight women in an effort to improve gender balance in the organization’s management team and overall staff.
Music Business Worldwide