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Business News (more headlines) 02-01-2014

SOCAN 2013 Results Expected To Break Records

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Canada's music performing rights organization, SOCAN, is on track to set new records for revenue and distributions to member songwriters, composers and music publishers, as the company previewed highlight results for the 2013 fiscal year.

Among the preliminary(1) 2013 financial results for SOCAN - the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada:

- A record year for total revenue, $276-million brought in for members, an increase of approximately nine per cent over 2012.
- International revenue of $51-million, the first time that SOCAN members have surpassed the $50-million mark for royalties originating from outside of Canada - an increase of eight per cent over 2012.
- A record $240-million was distributed in 2013 to members, a year-over-year increase of nine per cent (excluding years with extraordinary arrears payments to members).
- Internet streaming revenues of $3.2-million were distributed to members - another first.

"Like Canada's songwriters and composers themselves, SOCAN is increasingly leading and breaking records on the world stage," said CEO Eric Baptiste. "While our more than 120,000 members are creating music that is heard more than ever in virtually every corner of the globe, SOCAN is becoming even better at identifying just where those places are, bringing in those royalties, and paying those royalties out to those who deserve to be compensated fairly for their extraordinary work and talent."

Financial results have benefitted from SOCAN's long-term investments in technology, streamlining processes and overall improved efficiencies, while maintaining services. These changes will positively impact future results by lowering overhead expenses and increasing distributions to members.

Despite the negative impact of an unusually strong Canadian dollar in recent years, the increase in international royalties in 2013 continues the positive trend since 2007 that has seen royalties surge from $39-million in 2007 to $47-million in 2012 and now $51-million in 2013, with the number of SOCAN-member songwriters, composers and music publishers who receive royalties from outside of Canada more than doubling.

"There's more music played in more places in more ways than ever before," Baptiste added, "and SOCAN is working harder than ever for our members. Our 2013 results are a prime example of SOCAN's continuing commitment to raising the bar for music rights. While more work is required in certain areas, including the need to address ongoing legal uncertainties relating to the use of music on the Internet, we hope that upcoming Copyright Board decisions will affirm the rights of our members and result in royalty increases for those uses."

Last year SOCAN surpassed the 120,000 milestone for total number of members. The organization also reported that total number of businesses licensed to play music legally and ethically numbered more than 125,000. SOCAN expects to release its complete 2013 financial report this spring.

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