SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown, along with many of the organization’s Vice Presidents and department heads, addressed more than 100 Anglophone and Francophone music publishers of all kinds for two separate online Town Hall meetings, on Nov. 30 and Dec. 2, 2021 – during which we provided key information and updates on distributions, royalty collections, and our financial situation, and answered questions.
SOCAN Chief Financial Officer Rob Bennett disclosed that for our 2021 results, we’re forecasting a solid increase in overall collections and domestic revenue, a new record for total revenue, and looking at various opportunities to continue to optimize our operating expenses.
James Leacock, SOCAN Director, Domestic Royalty Collections, discussed new developments in licensing digital audio-visual services, music streaming services, and online concert platforms (especially relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic). He also talked about new services being licensed, including major home-fitness, gaming, and TV streaming companies.
Leslie Craig, SOCAN Vice President, Royalty Services, talked about new distribution rule changes in digital services, radio, internet, and online audio-visual services – the last two growing significantly in 2021 – that will benefit our members.
Andrea Kokonis, SOCAN’s Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, said that we’re expecting the federal government to re-introduce amendments to the Broadcasting Act, which will allow us to continue advocating for regulations to oblige digital media companies to showcase and recommend Canadian and Francophone music, and to participate in financial support programs that help foster its creation.
We also introduced the publishers to SOCAN’s new Membership Department team: Vanessa Thomas, Vice President, Member & Industry Relations; Chief Membership Officer Jean-Christian Céré; and in a new role, longtime SOCAN manager Stephanie Kornhaber, now our Director, Member Services.
Céré said that SOCAN needs to get back to basics to serve members even better, and address their concerns using the necessary resources. Thomas mentioned that we’re hiring new staff, and outlined our plans for 2022, while Kornhaber discussed a new survey strategy aiming to capture data at every touchpoint in the SOCAN member journey, that can then be used to serve them even better.
Other SOCAN personnel presenting info at the meetings were Martin Lavallée, Senior Legal Counsel and Head of Reproduction Rights;. Kit Wheeler, Vice-President, Royalty Collections; Alan Triger, Head of Strategic Solutions & Analytics; Alec MacLachlan, Manager, SOCAN Analytics; and Daryl Hamilton, Operations & Project Lead, Membership.
In answering questions from the publishers, we explained that a change in the weighting of background music cues doesn’t allow SOCAN to collect more revenue, but shifts how the revenue is allocated; that returning the “statement preview” function in the SOCAN member portal is a priority item ; and that members’ statements do report separate performance rights and reproduction rights royalties.
It’s in these constructive, transparent exchanges that we continue to provide a level of service that reaches, and exceeds, the expectations of our publisher members.
Thanks to all of our music publishers who attended the events!