SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) is a not-for-profit organization that represents the Canadian performing rights of millions of Canadian and international music creators and publishers. SOCAN is proud to play a leading role in supporting the long-term success of its more than 130,000 Canadian members, as well as the Canadian music industry. Through licences, SOCAN gives businesses that use music the freedom to use any music they want, legally and ethically. SOCAN licenses more than 125,000 businesses coast to coast and distributes royalties to its members and peer organizations around the world. SOCAN also distributes royalties to its members for the use of Canadian music around the world in collaboration with its peer societies. In addition, SOCAN plays a leadership role in mentoring emerging creators on various aspects of the craft and business of music. We also advocate on behalf of our members to ensure that copyright is respected and that creators are appropriately remunerated for the use of their work.
SOCAN's activities are being prepared and executed within the framework of a five-year Strategic Plan, the current one having been originally adopted by the Board of Directors in 2011.
SOCAN annually evaluates its Strategic Plan to determine the changes that are required. The process is based on an internal and external assessment. Following last year's review, which identified our will to be bold and act more quickly, SOCAN's board and management began proactively finding innovative approaches to improving and expanding our core competencies by committing to improve operations and investigating new initiatives. SOCAN's board and management worked to balance the need to be swift with careful examination of new ideas to ensure that due diligence for any new venture was effectively exercised.
Recognizing the changing environment, 2013's strategic assessment had us exploring several specific, major opportunities and focusing in on a few particular areas. Among them, SOCAN launched an association with Audiam to facilitate greater monetization of YouTube, perhaps the largest new media distribution channel, and one which may represent a substantial financial revenue stream for SOCAN and its members.
In all, SOCAN's strategic approach continues to take great efforts to ensure the future sustainability of SOCAN and the world of performing rights organizations for the benefit of our membership.
Our business vision is captured in a statement that articulates a realistic, credible and straightforward goal: To raise the bar for music rights.
This is a bold and challenging goal rooted in optimism. It paints an exciting future for the organization, and resonates with the passion that SOCAN employees feel for their work and what it represents. The new vision is supported by our primary business mandate: to ensure that our members are compensated fairly for the use of their work.
SOCAN will raise the bar to the next level through both incremental and breakthrough improvements attained with an innovative and proactive mindset. This is about organizational change and improvements to our culture. We must set new standards for other performing rights organizations, and explore new business opportunities and activities.
SOCAN's business purpose is a framework for organizing and communicating the basic identity and intention of our organization: SOCAN serves and champions the needs of music creators and publishers. We advocate and protect their rights, license access to the world's music, and collect and distribute royalties in Canada and around the world.
SOCAN is an enabler for licensees to earn more money as they rely on music to enhance their businesses; for members to write and perform music, and build their careers; and for employees to achieve their career objectives. We have a global reach through our partner MROs in more than 80 countries.
While no business purpose change was required in 2012, we recognize the importance of SOCAN business diversification through an emphasis on the Expand Role strategic objective. Therefore, changes to the business purpose may be required in the future, to reflect the expansion of SOCAN's role beyond the current focus on performing rights.
SOCAN's strategic objectives are the high-level guiding principles that work together to help move our organization toward attaining our vision. Our strategic objectives link high-level guiding principles to operational action.
SOCAN's strategic objectives:
Improve Member Recruitment and Retention
SOCAN must recruit new members and retain existing members to ensure the strength and viability of the organization into the future. This will be achieved by providing leading-edge core services and value-added services to members, thus ensuring SOCAN remains our members' society of choice, and that we attract potential new members.
Increase, Maintain and Develop Revenue Sources
In the face of a rapidly changing industry landscape driven largely by technology, we need to be bold and innovative to ensure that our existing performing rights revenue sources remain strong, and that we monetize emerging new sources quickly and efficiently. This includes sourcing all monies owed on behalf of SOCAN members from our foreign partners as thoroughly and quickly as possible.
Optimize / Improve Value
SOCAN must ensure that it gets the best return on any and all investments, and that spending supports our strategic goals. This means constantly reviewing the efficiencies of the services we provide, to maximize value and optimize processes through continual improvement. It's about providing more royalties to members faster, more accurately and with greater efficiency.
Strengthen Reputation with Industry Stakeholders
SOCAN has key stakeholder groups with whom we must strengthen our reputation. We need to improve our profile with licensees so that they see us as legitimate, beneficial and user-friendly. We need to proactively collaborate with music industry organizations to advance our views and strategies. We need to improve how we are viewed by the media and government. This will help us achieve legislative change essential to our future and the future of our members.
Improve Visibility of Copyright Advocacy
As a part of providing long-term benefit to our members, SOCAN must continue to be viable. To do this SOCAN needs to ensure that members are aware of the purpose and value of SOCAN, so that they too are vocal SOCAN advocates. We also must ensure that when issues arise, we communicate our position in a timely manner, publicly advocating in our members' best interests.
Expanding SOCAN's role will ensure our viability in the future, through new areas of business and related additional revenue streams. SOCAN will co-operate and collaborate with other music collectives, including providing support, cost-sharing, and joint ventures or mergers. Expanding could mean moving into related activities including licensing beyond Canada's borders and engaging in mechanical, synchronization, or other rights.
Transform Corporate Culture
Transforming SOCAN's culture is necessary to attain our Vision, considering the unsettled industry environment and the accelerating pace of change. SOCAN will eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy, empowering employees to make more decisions, increasing proactivity and the speed of action, and supporting and nurturing widespread innovation. This requires being a values-driven organization transparent and effective in its communication, recognizing and rewarding superior performance, and taking responsibility ethically, morally and environmentally.