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SOCAN Music Revenue Hits a Record Half-Billion Dollar High

While the live music industry recovered from the pandemic, the Canadian rights management association achieved record revenues in 2023 and distributed $442 million to music rights-holders — a 22% jump from the previous year.

SOCAN Music Revenue Hits a Record Half-Billion Dollar High
Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash

Music revenues for Canadian rights-holders are hitting record highs.

SOCAN, the Canadian rights organization that collects and distributes publishing royalties for musicians and rights-holders, has announced that for the first time, it collected over half a billion dollars in revenue in 2023. The organization estimates that revenues grew to $523 million last year, with $442 million distributed to writers and publishers. That marks a distribution growth of 22% from 2022, which SOCAN attributes to increased revenues from digital and international sources.


Of that half-billion in revenues, $404 million came from music uses taking place in Canada. Revenues from digital sources increased by 13%, while General Licensing and Concerts revenue rose by 28%. Concert distributions jumped up by over 200%, from $6 million to $17 million, thanks to "return-to-normal activity" for concerts following the easing of pandemic restrictions.

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While those numbers look good on paper, SOCAN acknowledges in a statement that many artists and publishers might not be seeing that revenue growth in their bank accounts, particularly when it comes to distributions from digital sources. "SOCAN is wholly committed to creating the environment for a more promising and prosperous future for all of our members," said CEO Jennifer Brown.

Revenues are increasing, but many artists aren't able to earn a living from their work. The dilemma is also reflected in IFPI's recent State of the Industryreport, which highlights that overall, Canada's music market grew by 12.19% last year, outpacing both American and global growth. Streaming revenues grew by 8.6% in Canada, according to the report.

At the same time, artists and music organizations are emphasizing the rising costs of touring and the fraught royalty models of streaming services, which often pay less than a penny per stream. Overall growth doesn't necessarily translate for everyone, especially independent and emerging artists.

Amidst these challenges, music organizations including SOCAN have been calling for increased funding to the Canada Music Fund (CMF), which helps support Canadian artists through granting bodies FACTOR and Musicaction. The government announced this week it will increase the CMF by $32 million over the next two years, which several organizations are calling a good start.

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SOCAN represents more than 185,000 songwriters, composers and publishers. Find more information about the organization here.

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AP Dhillon smashing his guitar at Coachella
Instagram/Coachella

AP Dhillon smashing his guitar at Coachella

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AP Dhillon Drops Off Coachella's Second Weekend

The Punjabi-Canadian star has faced backlash in Indian media and on social media for his guitar smash on weekend one, but the festival says he's cancelling due to scheduling conflicts.

AP Dhillon is leaving the California desert behind. Coachella announced that the Punjabi-Canadian star will not appear at the festival's second weekend as planned, citing scheduling conflicts. The festival announced it in a follow up tweet to one announcing that rapper Kid Cudi has been added.

While Dhillon's first-weekend performance was well-received by the Coachella crowd and many of his supporters, he's also had some backlash due to how he closed his set, which has been widely covered by media in India.

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