Record 2016 financial results “Powered by SOCAN”

SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste addresses the crowd of 150-plus at the organization’s 2017 Annual General Meeting in Montréal. (All photos: Benoit Rousseau/SOCAN)
June 14, 2017

More than 150 SOCAN members gathered at Le Gesù in Montréal on June 13, 2017, to attend the organization’s annual general meeting. The review of SOCAN’s major achievements in 2016, with the “Powered by SOCAN” theme, was also streamed live in both languages on Facebook, to members who couldn’t attend in person.

After a captivating introductory performance by ethereal folk-rocker Matt Holubowski, SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste shared SOCAN’s record financial results for 2016, including total revenue of $330 million; more than $67 million of that in international revenue; $289 million distributed to music creators and publishers, including royalties from 19.3 billion online music services performances; and a 118 per cent (!) increase in revenue from internet streaming.

Matt Holubowski and cellist Marianne Houle perform at the 2017 SOCAN AGM. 

Baptiste also spoke on how SOCAN is delivering solutions for the unprecedented challenges created by the music industry’s rapid transition to “global” and “digital”, and taking advantage of the opportunities that they present. As examples, he pointed to SOCAN’s purchases of Audiam and MediaNet in 2016, fostering superior data matching of performances, which means better accuracy and tracking, which in turn means more money in our members’ pockets.

Stan Meissner, SOCAN President and Chair of the Board, reported that the organization ushered in a bold new strategic vision, and a plan with which to implement it – which includes expanding the rights we administer, the territories we serve, and the lines of business we offer, as well as providing effective, efficient and relevant services, and constantly innovating our operations. Additionally, Meissner reported on the activities of SOCAN’s Board of Directors, and its standing committees, and the progress made by the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

SOCAN President Stan Meissner at the 2017 SOCAN AGM in Montréal.

For a more thorough accounting of SOCAN’s activities in 2016, see our full Annual Report.

Cowboys Fringants’ Jérôme Dupras, our guest speaker for this general meeting, talked about the Fondation Cowboys Fringants, devoted to the preservation of natural habitats and how a band can take advantage of its popularity in a positive way. The Fondation has achieved a major environmental project, planting 375,000 trees in the Greater Montréal Area for the city’s 375th anniversary – thus helping to preserve many natural habitats, and endangered species, and improving the citizens’ quality of life. A colossal project, powered by SOCAN members!

SOCAN’s Chief Québec Affairs Officer ,Geneviève Côté, at the 2017 SOCAN AGM in Montréal.

During the question period, members asked about a potential fusion of activities between SOCAN and SODRAC, as well as the importance of radio broadcasters and online streaming services for our members’ royalties, which led to constructive exchanges. After the meeting, attendees were invited to a reception where DJ Sabrina Sabotage was at the helm of the music, and participants got a chance to mingle and network with SOCAN employees, executives and board members.