In our Top Secrets video series, songwriters who’ve earned a No. 1 spot on a major chart, one that was celebrated by a SOCAN No. 1 Song Award, tell us all about the secrets behind the creation of their hit.

Click on the image to watch the interview with Banx & Ranx

Click on the image to watch the interview with Banx & Ranx

Internationally-renowned production duo Banx & Ranx celebrated the release of their new single “Headphones,” featuring Rêve, as well as the signing of a major contract with Universal Music Canada, on Mar. 24, 2022, in their home base of Montréal. SOCAN Creative and Partnerships Executive Sara Dendane presented them with a SOCAN No. 1 Song Award for the song “1 + 1,” performed by international pop star Sia, featuring Amir. Soké and KNY Factory (Banx & Ranx) produced a re-mix that propelled the song to the top of the ADISQ BDS chart on Sept. 6, 2021.

“1 + 1,” which spent six weeks at the top of the chart, was co-written by Sia Furler, Amir Haddad, Jessy Shatkin, Nazim Khaled, Yannick Rastogi, and Zacharie Raymond and is published by Sony Music Publishing.

In our Top Secrets video, Banx & Ranx reveal how this prestigious collaboration came about, and the process that led them to produce three different re-mixes, including the one with singer Amir that earned them the No. 1 Award.

On March 30, 2022, members of APEM and ADISQ gathered at Montréal’s Society for Arts and Technology (SAT) for the Music and Technology Summit x Rendez-vous de l’ADISQ to discuss the state of the music industry in Québec from the perspective of the technological considerations that affect it.

Jerome Payette, APEM, ADISQ

Jerome Payette

Moderated by Myriam Fehmiu, this afternoon of discussion began with the presentation of the first data on Québec’s streaming music consumption, by Marie-Julie Desrochers and Simon Claus of ADISQ. Although preliminary, the results of this research should shed more light on the precarious state in which Canadian music is evolving on these platforms. It has shown, among other things, that rap has the lion’s share as far as music made in Québec that’s being streamed online. It has also shown that hits have a much shorter lifespan online than on the radio; that the share of Québec artists in the streaming realm is only 8 percent; and that throughout 2020, this proportion experienced a significant decline, a trend that’s shown signs of a slow recovery since.

Next up was Jérôme Payette, APEM’s Executive Director, who presented an analysis of SOCAN royalties for music publishers in Québec. According to his interpretation of the numbers obtained from SOCAN, there has been an 8 percent decline in royalties paid to publishers since 2012. This is due in part to royalty sharing with a larger number of publisher members in total, and a drop in revenue from traditional broadcasts. Royalties from digital platforms are up, but not enough to offset the decline in royalties from traditional media, according to Payette. A 36 percent increase in revenues from international sources was also observed for the same period. Mr. Payette also insisted on the aspect of discoverability and visibility of Québec music, which is intrinsically linked to potential revenues from streaming, but also from synchronization and concerts. He concluded his presentation by inviting people to support the essential Bill C-11.

Jacynthe Plamondon-Émond, APEM, ADISQ

Jacynthe Plamondon-Émond

This was followed by a very interesting presentation from Jacynthe Plamondon-Émond, president of InTempo and founder of Amplitude Distribution, who shared her observations on the “echo chamber” of streaming platforms, meaning streaming services’ algorithms too often confines listeners to a limited number of musical choices shared with all listeners whop have similar tastes. This observation underlines the importance of similar artists in the algorithmic suggestions which act as a loop that limits the discovery of artists outside this echo chamber. Plamondon-Émond also talked about a project on the discoverability and export of Québec music, on which she’ll be working, in collaboration with Jean-Robert Bisaillon and his team at LATICCE (Laboratoire de recherche sur la découvrabilité et les transformations des industries culturelles à l’ère du commerce électronique – Research laboratory on discoverability and the transformation of cultural industries in the era of e-commerce).

A panel entitled “The secret is in the sauce, or how to succeed in the age of platforms” brought together Carlos Munoz (Joy Ride Records), Dorothée Parent-Roy (La Swell, Amplitude Distribution), Dix-Iple Deca (artist and entrepreneur), Guillaume Lafrance (Éditorial Avenue), and Shanti Loiselle (Analekta). The discussion was centred around the market share of music made in Québec, and the main challenges and various strategies of these stakeholders to increase this market share and to better reach their audiences.

Despite the challenges of 2021 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, for the first time in its history SOCAN’s total annual collections for licensed music are expected to exceed $416-million,[1] a 3% increase over the previous record of $405.6-million set in the financial year 2019.

When compared with 2020 collections of $391-million, the company attributed most of the $25 million year-over-year growth to $135 million collected for the use of music on digital platforms – an increase of $32 million over 2020. This more than offset the pandemic-driven downward pressure on General Licensing (primarily background music used in public spaces) and Concerts (music performed live), having decreased 70% from pre-pandemic levels.

Despite the continuing positive growth in digital music licensing, and the popularity of online streaming services, a SOCAN writer member who earned royalties in 2021 earned an average of only $67.14 from domestic digital sources for the entire year.

Revenue from international sources continued to show strength at the historically high mark of $106.1-million, demonstrating again that Canadian music creators and publishers continue to out-perform on a global level.

International music license collections were fostered by the increased popularity of digital music platforms and the strength of SOCAN members abroad.

“Given the challenges of the pandemic, at the end of 2020 we prepared for a financially austere 2021,” said SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown. “Thanks to a combination of more music being consumed in Canada and worldwide, and the diligence and commitment of our nearly 280 employees – working tirelessly to uncover and collect domestic and international music licenses – we were able to bring in more than ever for our nearly 180,000 members, for their incredible and invaluable work.”

Unofficial 2021 SOCAN financial highlights:

  • Total collections: $416 million (6% increase over 2020).
  • Domestic collections: $310million (+6% year-over-year).
  • Total collections from internet use of music: $135 million.
  • Strong Reproduction Rights results with digital audio-visual more than doubling, synchronization up 37%, and international revenue +32% over 2020.
  • International collections: 6% increase to $106-million.
  • Gross expenses: less than 1% increase over 2020.
  • SOCAN welcomed 6,743 new members in 2021.
  • A total of 273,646 songs and compositions registered with SOCAN last year.

SOCAN remains cautiously optimistic for 2022 for the return of in-person events and concerts as Canada and the rest of the world emerge from the two-year COVID-19 crisis.

Along with the continuing popularity of music delivered digitally, SOCAN’s steady growth in Reproduction Rights, striking various agreements with several major platforms; the addition of the Audio-Visual Broadcast Mechanical right; plus the prospect of the passage of the federal government’s Online Streaming Act to help safeguard the future of Canadian music, all bode well for a continuation of positive results for Canada’s music creators, publishers, and visual artists.

[1] Estimates. Final figures will be released in concert with SOCAN’s online annual general meeting in June 2022.