Home 2017-06-09T13:19:12+00:00


It is my pleasure to serve our nearly 150,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members as SOCAN’S Chief Executive Officer. I am delighted to report on a year that was our most significant and successful since the organization’s inception more than 90 years ago.

“Powered By SOCAN” is the theme for this year’s annual report. The challenges and opportunities created by the rapid transition to ‘global’ and ‘digital’ are unprecedented and require unprecedented solutions, and I am pleased that SOCAN is delivering.

We are putting together a powerful and flexible platform that is able to provide best-in-class, tailor-made services to anyone in the digital music ecosystem in Canada and worldwide.

SOCAN is obsessed with providing exceptional service to members and clients, exceeding expectations at every turn. Creators and music publishers today require a wider array of services from SOCAN, and we strive to anticipate and surpass their every need.

In 2016, SOCAN once again broke revenue records on almost every front. Three hundred and thirty million dollars in overall revenue, with a record $289-million distributed to our members. Our revenues and distribution via international sources also reached new highs, with $67-million in royalties collected and – because we continue to be one of very few music rights organizations not to take an administrative percentage on international royalties – 100 per cent of that is distributed back to those who earned them.

Our acquisition of Audiam diversified SOCAN’s offerings, with state-of-the-art identification, collection and distribution services for YouTube music performances. Last spring, our purchase of MediaNet and its now 65-million titles-rich database of sound recordings has already resulted in SOCAN having unsurpassed data matching capabilities – far exceeding the next-nearest organization. Superior data-matching means better accuracy and tracking, which in turn means more money in our members’ pockets. These organizations are empowered by SOCAN, and vice versa.

SOCAN’s work to develop application programming interface (API) technology last year has resulted in the introduction of our first of many resources that enable software developers to create applications that integrate perfectly with our technology platforms. This is exciting and visionary progress that will pay more dividends for members as we make submitting and tracking music data more and more accurate and thorough.

Key to SOCAN’s successful approach is our confidence in technology, massive data and innovation, and the next 18 to 24 months are likely to define how rights management works for the next decade. SOCAN is and will continue to be a major part of the new landscape.

We are shaping that landscape worldwide as SOCAN leads the global transformation of music rights while at the same time really “taking care of business” here in Canada.

As a rightsholders-controlled organization, SOCAN is not only committed to providing solutions to today’s problems, we consider it our moral obligation.

Eric Baptiste
Chief Executive Officer

Eric Baptiste
Chief Executive Officer

“The challenges and opportunities created by the rapid transition to ‘global’ and ‘digital’ are unprecedented and require unprecedented solutions, and I am pleased that SOCAN is delivering.” – Eric Baptiste


A Message from SOCAN President & Chair of the Board Stan Meissner

In the constantly evolving world of copyright in the digital environment, SOCAN has been doing its part to not only remain relevant, but to define and position itself as a global leader.

Every five years, SOCAN examines and articulates its vision and strategic plan. Looking forward in 2016, given the shifting sands of the music ecosystem, we ushered in a bold new strategic vision to lead the global transformation of music rights. Further,  the board worked with SOCAN’s executive team to develop and implement a new  plan as the framework under which we will strive to accomplish this ambitious goal.

It has been said that nothing big can be accomplished by thinking small, and this mind-set has been fueling our Board of Directors and management team as we re-imagine the future – and the future of SOCAN.

Guiding us forward are our new strategic objectives:

  • Expansion of Rights
  • Expansion of Territory
  • Expansion of Business Lines
  • Service Relevance: the provision of effective and efficient services
  • Operational innovation

Two highlights of the year were SOCAN’s purchases of Audiam and MediaNet. These acquisitions of U.S.-based companies that operate internationally help us in supporting several of our strategic objectives.

We realized that it was better to buy rather than build, and this expansion has vastly improved SOCAN’s internal and external firepower. While we’re still integrating and developing the services and capabilities into SOCAN’s infrastructure, we’re already seeing immediate benefits in improvements to matching abilities, as well as being positioned to take on international projects that will generate revenue, to the benefit of all of our members.

We’ve already received much praise from within the industry, confirming that these bold moves have placed SOCAN in a unique space, as a leader in the changing environment.

In addition to these activities, as part of the ongoing annual work of the Board of Directors and its standing committees, Executive Governance; Risk Identification & Management; Tariff, Licensing and Distribution; and Membership, we engaged in a myriad of tasks, including monitoring and reviewing budgets and forecasts; managing SOCAN’s investments and other financial activities; evaluating CEO Eric Baptiste’s performance; overseeing our many member events, including our annual general meeting and awards ceremonies; and reviewing our communication strategies, policies and activities.

Throughout 2016, SOCAN continued completing the development and implementation of its BEST (Business Enterprise Solution for Tomorrow) computer system in order to deal with the explosive data requirements necessary to track the trillions of performances in the digital world. This process began in 2013 and currently the financial, membership profiles, licensing, invoicing, business development, and other functions have all been deployed. The final phase, distributions, will be completed in 2017.

And speaking of distributions, we distributed royalties from Apple Music for the first time in 2016 and we’ll be distributing significantly more revenue from Tariff 22a, for online music services, throughout 2017.

Also within 2016, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame has been gearing up for a gala induction ceremony on September 23, 2017. After a five-year hiatus since SOCAN took over the Hall of Fame, we’re finally ready to re-launch, with an event at Massey Hall that will rival any prior Hall of Fame ceremony. Inductees will include Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn, Beau Dommage and Stephane Venne.

Head over to www.cshfinduction.ca for the latest on all the incredible performances and ticket availability.

Stan Meissner
President & Chair of the Board Songwriter

Stan Meissner
President & Chair of the Board, Songwriter

“It has been said that nothing big can be accomplished by thinking small, and this mind-set has been fueling our Board of Directors and management team as we re-imagine the future – and the future of SOCAN.” – Stan Meissner


2016 Key Highlights

2016's Overall Greatest Hits