In a series of articles, The Breakdown, Words & Music offers short, basic answers to the most common and essential questions from SOCAN members. This time, it’s Royalties for Live Performances.

If I’m a SOCAN member, how do I get paid for a live performance?
There are two ways to submit your set list from a live performance, so that SOCAN can collect your royalties for it:

You can

  1. Sign in to the secure section of our website, at
  2. Go to “SOCAN Forms”
  3. Select “Notification of Live Music Performance” (NLMP)
  4. Complete the form and submit

Or you can

  1. Go to a PDF of the NLMP form
  2. Complete the form
  3. Print and scan it
  4. E-mail  it to

Do any conditions apply for me to recieve concert performance royalties?
Performance royalties for concerts are determined by SOCAN’s distribution rules for all eligible live performances, but two conditions do apply: First, the presenter or venue needs to have paid their SOCAN licence fee; second, for shows in clubs and bars, a minimum cover or ticket price of $6 must be in place.

What are “Unidentified Concert” performances?
SOCAN maintains a list of Unidentified Concert Performances in the members’ secure section of Simply sign in, then go to SOCAN Performances & Repertoire, select “Unidentified Performances,” then select “Concerts With No Set Lists.” We encourage you to search that list for any concerts where you believe your music was performed, and for that matter, any other unpaid concerts of which you may be aware. Your help will ensure that you get paid.

How do I get paid for an “Unidentified Concert” performance?
Sign in to your account and check the unidentified concerts list. If you find a concert you’ve played that’s been filed with SOCAN but doesn’t have a set list, follow the steps to provide your set list in order to get paid. If you have no shows on the list, but have played a show within the past year, just complete and submit an NLMP form, as above.

How long do I have to submit a concert performed in Canada?
The sooner we can identify what was performed, the sooner we can get the royalties to the right people. But we won’t distribute or release any funds until we know where they should rightfully go. You have one year to report a new show you performed in Canada, if it’s not on the unidentified concerts list. Once we know the titles of the music that was performed at the concert, the rights holders will receive their deserved shares of royalties for any performance of their music at any licensed event. The Unidentified Concerts List covers performances up to three years old.

How long after the live performance of a concert performed in Canada will I get paid?
If the documentation you’ve sent us is complete, and if the promoter pays the license fee promptly, you can expect to be paid about nine months after your live performance, for a concert in Canada.