SOCAN’s CEO and executives were on the scene throughout Canadian Music Week, June 6-11, 2022, participating in three of the conference panel discussions at the InterContinental Hotel on Front Street in downtown Toronto, as the event came back to a live-in-person presentation for the first time in three years.
On Wednesday, June 8, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. (all times ET), in the Ballroom, SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown took part in a panel discussion on the State of the Industry: A United, Dynamic and Resilient Canadian Music Ecosystem, looking back at how the industry has been affected by pandemic restrictions, and looking ahead at how we can better support everyone within the music ecosystem.
“In the past two years we saw an 80 percent decline in concert revenues,” said Brown. “But we also saw the online opportunity, and we were there really quick to license it. We tried to make it as easy as possible. By August 2020, we were putting out online concert distributions… We wanted to get that money out. It was really important that we maintain the paycheck.”
Looking ahead, Brown anticipated a recovery in concert and radio royalties to come, and to licensing music in gaming, virtual reality, and concerts and events within those platforms. “I really see SOCAN as a service provider,” she said. “We don’t need to compete with the start-up that is actually building the app that almost every songwriter’s going to register their songs with; we just need to build the piece that gets that fee and gets that registration.”
On Thursday, June 9, from 5:15 to 6:00 p.m., in the Ballroom, SOCAN Creative Executive Houtan Hodania , along with other panelists, shared his thoughts in the session Show Me The Money! How To Make a Living as a Music Creator. This panel focused on the many revenue streams available to music creators, and on the organizations that collect and distribute the funds.
“As a music creator, you’re an entrepreneur,” said Hodania. “You should take it upon yourself to at least understand the basics of the industry and where your money comes from – making sure that you know the different organizations, and making sure that you’re signed up. That education will definitely go a long way.
“Nowadays more than ever, with TikTok, songs can blow up out of nowhere. You never really know where it’s being played, when it’s being played, when it’s going to go viral – so just make sure that you’re registering it… Look at Stranger Things, they picked up that song by Kate Bush, ‘Running Up That Hill.’ That song came out in, what, the ’80s? It never hit the Top 10 until this week. You never know, so make sure you’re taking care of business.”
Finally, on Friday June 10, from 9:55 to 10:40 a.m., in the Ontario Room, SOCAN Vice President, Royalty Collections, Kit Wheeler, joined other panelists for The Future of Live Streaming Concerts: Hybrid and Beyond. The panel discussed how artists can leverage live streaming shows, whether they do a pre-show, full show and/or post-show; what the new tools are for making live streaming shows more collaborative, engaging, and financially lucrative; and what the financial opportunities are for songwriters, publishers, and artists