A key part of our A&R strategy is to nurture the creator and publisher ecosystem through creative development opportunities. Song camps played a major role in our 2016 success, and over the last two years we’ve produced three SOCAN Kenekt camps (two English in Nova Scotia and one French in Québec), “SOCAN on the Farm” in British Columbia and SOCAN Song Houses at the East Coast Music Awards and Breakout West (led by famed songwriter Ralph Murphy).
Additionally, SOCAN partnered to secure SOCAN member participation in three of the prestigious Black Rock Camps in Santorini, the High Coast Songwriting Camp in Sweden, and three Merge Camps in Toronto. Through these efforts, we’ve seen upwards of 100 songwriters benefit, creating more than 200 songs. Roughly 35 per cent of the participants are signed to domestic publishers.
Songwriting camps have generated multiple pitches, several “holds,” cuts, and singles, and SOCAN’s publisher members played a valuable role to help garner interest in these new songs. But on a different level, these camps offer unique experiences that bond the writers, not only to each other, but to SOCAN—which is a very powerful tool for retention. It’s become a common story by now for a songwriter to tell us how a camp actually changed their life, and their perspective on the craft. Five days of working, eating, and bonding with like-minded creative people provide a unique experience that’s hard to match in a different setting. Writers often feel like they’ve finally found their tribe, the place where they fit in—and SOCAN is a part of that place.
We continue to work for all our publisher members. In 2016, SOCAN launched our API suite, an application program interface (API) portal designed specifically for music publishers and software application developers who want to harness the power of SOCAN’s database technology. SOCAN’s initial APIs connect music publishers’ copyright management systems directly to SOCAN’s system, avoiding the duplication of efforts, and enabling faster and more efficient royalty payments to their clients. With millions of works streaming through SOCAN’s databases, publishers can now more efficiently get their clients paid for live performances, and register new musical works. While this is the first release in the API series, future APIs will allow developers to create software applications to upload music, register memberships, and identify songs and compositions.
As COO Jeff King mentions in his report, we introduced a leading-edge proprietary software, Royalty Guru, giving our members greater transparency, and access to high-quality, flexible analytics tools to assess and monitor their royalties. Now, SOCAN members can determine where and how their music is being performed globally, and make more intelligent and informed decisions about their business and music career.
SOCAN’s almost 150,000 members are counting on us to evolve ever more rapidly to continue our excellent track record of meeting, and exceeding, their needs and expectations. We continue to ensure that SOCAN remains globally competitive through our member recruitment and retention efforts.
In 2016, Membership continued its “Get Set. Get Paid!” campaign, launched in 2015, to simplify and increase set list submissions from members, so they get paid more. As a result, from 2014 to 2016, the number of Notice of Live Music Performance (NLMP) forms submitted to SOCAN online rose 11 per cent, to 24,567 submissions.
Membership Greatest Hits:
- Forty per cent increase in new member applications in 2016 over 2015.
- Our royalty tracking efforts resulted in an additional $1-million put into our members’ pockets.
- In 2016, SOCAN passed the 140,000-member milestone.
- Eleven per cent increase in Notice of Live Music Performance submitted online, to 24,567 submissions.