New Horizons: SOCAN Annual General Meeting 2012
More than 100 SOCAN members gathered in Toronto’s 1 King West hotel on June 19, 2012, to attend the organization’s Annual General Meeting, which was launched with the hot Latin sounds (matching the day's record-breaking heat) of the Roberto Linares Brown Orchestra. For the second year in a row, the AGM was streamed live.
After introducing the organization’s board and executive team members, almost all of whom were in attendance, SOCAN outgoing president Earl Rosen thanked all SOCAN employees for their valued work over the past year.
Following the approval of the minutes of the last AGM, CEO Eric Baptiste reported that SOCAN paid a record $262 million in royalties in 2011 (a figure heightened by one-time payments of radio, internet, and satellite radio arrears), and achieved a member satisfaction rating of 7.99 out of 10. He also recalled the initiatives carried out in 2011, including a campaign to distribute unpaid concerts royalties to members; more than 120 education sessions for members; and the launch of SOCAN's Twitter feed and mobile app.
Baptiste also offered a vision of SOCAN that builds on its success in today’s rapidly changing music industry. Among the upcoming initiatives, he discussed SOCAN's acquisition of the assets of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF); plans to upload a list of SOCAN repertoire on its public website; forming a joint music service bureau in partnership with SODRAC and the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA); developing a portal for domestic cue sheets for film and television reporting; being more proactive in pursuing international ropyalties; and insituting SOCAN's new BEST technology program over the next few years.
SOCAN outgoing board treasurer Stan Meissner presented a slide show, with commentary, on the organization’s 2011 financial statements, and also outlined the SOCAN Foundation's activities in 2011. Earl spoke briefly about the SOCAN Board of Directors' role in SOCAN's 2011 initiatives, including a new technology strategy, the music service bureau, and taking over the CSHF.
Music publisher Jennifer Beavis (of Librascor Copyright Consulting, left) with SOCAN's France Lafleur
at the reception. (Photo: Jeff Knights)
The AGM ended with a question period, which also included some from members watching the webcast of the AGM online. Members asked, among other things, about how to clear very old samples from record labels or publishers that have long been out of business; whether SOCAN should dialogue more with Re:Sound about ways to educate the public on tariffs; and collecting royalties for the use of music in online games.
The meeting was followed by a cocktail reception where members were able to connect with SOCAN staff, music industry represntatives, and each other, while enjoying complimentary food and drink.