Current broadcasting laws and regulations were designed for radio and television. While these rules have been effective, foreign digital platforms have zero obligations to support and promote Canadian creators, even to Canadian audiences. Reforming the Broadcasting Act is a necessary step to strengthening Canadian songwriters and composers’ place within Canada and supporting Canadian music in a digital world.  This article continues to explain SOCAN’s advocacy efforts to reform the Broadcasting Act. The first article in this series can be read here.

From SOCAN’s data, we’re seeing public performance royalties collected from traditional broadcasters decreasing, while those from digital broadcasters are increasing.

To clarify, by “traditional,” we mean music played on radio, broadcast television, cable, satellite radio, cinemas, and pay audio. When we use the term “digital,” we define this as music played on online music services, online audio-visual services, and user-generated content services (we often refer to these services as “platforms”).

While traditional broadcasters currently remain the top source of performing rights royalties for our songwriter and composer members, they’re losing their market share to digital broadcasters.

Audiovisual Revenue

For audio revenue from traditional broadcasters compared with digital broadcasters, we’re forecasting year-over-year increases to digital audio from 2021 to 2025.

Audio Revenue

For audio-visual revenue from traditional (cable and television) broadcasters compared with digital (online audio-visual) broadcasters, we’re predicting that based on current trends, digital broadcasters will be the top source of audiovisual revenue in 2025.

Again, these numbers alone don’t appear to create a cause for concern when we view them from a collection-of-royalties perspective, as the decreased revenues from traditional services will be tempered somewhat by the increased revenues from digital services.

However, from a distribution or royalties’ perspective, the switch to digital is disastrous for SOCAN’s songwriter and composer members. As noted in our previous article, domestic distributions to Canadian songwriters and composers from digital broadcasters are 69% lower than distributions from traditional broadcasters. Even though more money is being collected, it’s not staying in Canada.

With digital broadcasters on trend to become the top sources of revenues for SOCAN, we need to fix the outdated regulatory system to include foreign digital streaming services now, to ensure a future for Canadian creators.

Stay tuned to Words & Music for the third part of Why Broadcasting Act Reform Must Happen Now.


SOCAN is mourning the loss of Dallas Good, singer-songwriter and guitarist in the beloved Toronto roots-rock band The Sadies, who passed away suddenly at the age of 48, on Feb. 17, 2022. At press time, the cause of death had not yet been made public, but was quickly revealed to be natural causes, while under a doctor’s care for a coronary illness discovered the week of his passing.

The Sadies, formed in 1994, consisted of singer-songwriters and guitarists Dallas Good and his brother Travis Good, bassist Sean Dean, and drummer Mike Belitsky. Dallas and Travis are the sons of Margaret and Bruce Good, and nephews of Brian and Larry Good, who are members of longtime Canadian country/bluegrass group The Good Brothers.

The Sadies first burst onto the North American scene 28 years ago as an “alt-country” band, a term applied to artists playing traditional roots music with punk-rock attitude. Although the group fit into that description, their breadth of their skills and musical knowledge went far beyond it, and found them frequently being compared to legendary Canadian group The Band.

Their list of collaborators was musically rich and sonically adventurous, encompassing projects with country-roots chanteuse Neko Case, lascivious R&B singer Andre Williams, post-punk anarchists The Mekons’ Jon Langford, punky blues-rocker Jon Spencer, absurdist pop-rocker Robyn Hitchcock, former X frontman John Doe, the late Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, and even legends like Buffy Sainte-Marie and Neil Young.

Known for musical eclecticism within their roots genre, for their deftly crafted songs, and for their brilliance as a live act, The Sadies were hand-picked to consistently play New Year’s Eve at Toronto’s famed Horseshoe Tavern, in what became a warmly received annual tradition for many years. Their album Darker Circles was short-listed for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize, and in 2012, the video their song “Rumbleseat” won a JUNO Award for Video of the Year. The  band released 19 albums, including collaborations with other artists, between 1998 and 2017. The Sadies had most recently performed at the Hillside Inside Festival in Guelph, in February of 2022.

SOCAN extends its deepest condolences to Dallas Good’s family, bandmates, music collaborators, friends, and fans at this difficult time.

The Société pour l’avancement de la chanson d’expression française (SACEF) has launched the 28 th edition of its Ma première Place des Arts competition. Starting Wednesday, March 2, 2022, Montréal’s Salle Claude-Léveillée will host 24 participants – six performers and 18 singer-songwriters – over the course of eight shows presented under the musical direction of Guillaume Rochon.

This year’s contestants are Émilie Bédard, Fred Labrie, Sophia de Moor, Andréanne Sabourin-Côté, Julien Gagné, Alex Doré, Christopher Therrien, Julien Leeb, Maude Carrier, David Jankowski, Christine Beaulieu, Oli Féra, David Beauchemin, PETiTOM, Julie Houde, Barrique D’Encre, Antoine Perreault, Queen Drey, Solane, Alphonse Bisaillon, Jeremy Lachance, Patrick Bourdon, Philippe Plourde, and Emmanuelle Querry.

The mentors for this edition are SOCAN members Brigitte Saint-Aubin and Paule-Andrée Cassidy for the quarter-finals, as well as Manuel Gasse, Florence K, Chloé Lacasse, Guylaine Tanguay Catherine Durand, and Alexandre Poulin, for the contestants who make it to the final round. The juries for the quarter-finals are Josianne Paradis, Tristan Malavoy, and Félix Dyotte. For the fifth straight year, Olivier Robillard Laveaux will host all eight shows.

Ma première Place des Arts is a contest that allows the participants to get personalized mentorship, and to perform during a televised event held in the Salle Claude-Léveillée of Place des Arts. They also receive comments on their work, benefit from promotional visibility, and participate in workshops alongside industry professionals. There are networking opportunities with established artists and other players, all while accessing a possible opportunity to win several grants and other prizes designed to help them launch their careers.
Visit Ma première Place des Arts’ website for more information about the contest, or to learn more about SACEF.