CMRRA Reveals It Distributed $57M to Music Publishers & Songwriters in 2020

Michael Raine
September 8, 2021

The Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) has announced  that it distributed over $57 million to music publishers and self-published songwriters in 2020. Online streaming featured significantly in these figures, representing an increase of more than 17% compared to 2019’s distributions for streaming year-over-year. The 46-year-old Toronto agency has  a repertoire database of over 40 million musical works, representing 142,000 music catalogues.“We know how significantly the music industry has been affected by the global pandemic. The live sector has been decimated by venue closures, festival shutdowns and tour cancellations. At the same time, it’s also resulted in a renewed focus on rights and royalties. Catalogue sales have been making news headlines. During the lockdown, commercial radio revenues received by CMRRA were down by 30% in 2020. We know how important it is for royalty payments to reach people right now and we’re thrilled that we were able to process and distribute over 57 million dollars of mechanical royalties in 2020 to music publishers and self-published songwriters,” says Paul Shaver, president of CMRRA.Looking ahead, innovation and growth are the key focus at CMRRA. Behind the scenes, CMRRA says it's been investing in an improved processing technology platform that will directly impact and improve processing for collections and distributions. In March 2021, the agency launched a new International Collections service. Working in tandem with the Mechanical Licensing Collective (the MLC) for the U.S. and with IMPEL (a London, England based collective) for countries outside of North America, the new service allows clients to expand their collection territories for digital mechanical royalties.In June 2021, CMRRA announced a multi-year partnership agreement with TikTok, ensuring that going forward, rights holders are paid for music used within video creations on the popular platform. Licensing agreements were also finalized for Online Music Service collection portfolio with Qobuz, Indigenous Cloud, ACX music (who operate the Ultimate Fighting Championship streaming application), as well as classical streaming service, Primephonic. A licensing agreement renewal was also completed with Soundcloud for the same portfolio.In recognition of the need for change in the music industry, CMRRA made a priority commitment to respond to this need, establishing a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. Soon after, they signed the Breaking Down Racial Barriers Declaration Against Anti-Black Racismin the Canadian Music Industry. In line with this focus towards foundational change, CMRRA is also embarking on a multi-year scholarship initiative with Toronto’s Humber College’s Music Business Administration program. The CMRRA Next Generation scholarship initiative was created to support the full tuition and a paid internship for a student whose unique perspective broadens diversity and representation in the music industry.

For more information, go to

Michael Raine

Michael Raine is the Editor-In-Chief at NWC, publisher of Canadian Musician, Professional Sound, Professional Lighting & Production, and Canadian Music Trade magazines. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Podcast. Michael has extensively covered nearly all aspects of the Canadian music business, as well as the pro audio, musical products, and the lighting and production industries.