Canadian Music Enjoying Significant Increase in International Airplay and Performances

August 31, 2015

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Canada’s songwriters and composers continue to excel around the world, enjoying an overall increase of eight percent in international revenues over the previous year, according to data collected by SOCAN.

With international revenues from Canadian-created music exceeding $55-million in 2014, the performing rights organization confirmed that it was another record-breaking year for Canadian-made music performed outside of the country, topping the previous high set in 2013.

"The popularity of the work of Canada’s songwriters and composers continues to rise worldwide,” said SOCAN International Relations Vice President Catharine Saxberg. “Last year’s increase in international revenue is proof that our music creators resonate around the globe, and that SOCAN is doing even better at the complicated job of tracking international use of music, while expanding our capabilities by attracting top talent and building valuable partnerships with our music rights counterparts worldwide.”

The United States is by far the country where Canadian-created music is played most, capturing 36 percent of the international share. After the U.S., the countries generating the highest international earnings for SOCAN-member created music include:

  • France, second, generating $6.7-million in royalties for Canadian music creators, which can be attributed both to strong French-Canadian SOCAN-member appeal and that country’s strong cultural belief in the legal and ethical use of music.
  • The United Kingdom, which continues to be a hotbed for Canadian musicians. Collections totaling $5.4-million last year, followed by Brazil ($3.7-million) and Germany ($3.3-million).
  • The largest percentage increase on any foreign country is in Brazil, where royalties for SOCAN members are up 36 percent. Revenue generated from Australia continues to increase, with an annual growth rate of nearly eight percent.

In addition, the number of SOCAN member songwriters, composers, and music publishers receiving royalties from outside of Canada has more than doubled in the last decade.

“Canadian music creators should be thought of as an international trade success story,” Saxberg added. “As the success of Canada’s music creators on the world stage continues to grow, we will continue to foster international collective management relationships that benefit our members, the music industry, and the Canadian economy overall.”

Since Catharine Saxberg joined SOCAN in early 2014, the organization has formalized its international strategy, increasing efforts to identify and collect royalties from countries with which it has agreements, now numbering more than 100 music rights organizations. SOCAN also identifies and collects Canadian royalties on behalf of music creators and publishers who are members of performing rights organizations from around the world, forwarding those monies to the appropriate sister societies.