SOCAN Releases Final 2021 Financial Results; Reports $416M in Collections

Michael Raine
July 12, 2022

SOCAN has announced its final 2021 fiscal results, including $416-million in collections for licensed music and $353-million paid to the more than 180,000 songwriters, composers, publishers and visual artists the organization represents.

Collections increased by 6%, despite several revenue streams continuing to be impacted by the pandemic.

Cost efficiencies remained crucial in 2021, and SOCAN kept gross expenses below 2019 levels and saw a less than 1% increase year-over-year.

Highlights of SOCAN's 2021 results:

  • Total collections: $416-million (6% increase over 2020).
  • Domestic collections: $310-million (+6% year-over-year).
  • Total collections from internet use of music: $135-million (+30%).
  • Strong Reproduction Rights results with Internet audio-visual more than doubling, synchronization up 37%, and international reproduction rights revenue +32% over 2020.
  • Total international collections: 6% increase to $106-million.

Internet collection increases have been driven by a rapidly expanding world market for music delivered via the internet. Stabilization in Internet music revenue is starting to occur due to market saturation, while Internet audio-visual is still seeing significant increases with the introduction of new services in Canada, most recently Disney +, Amazon TV, and Apple TV.

"Internet royalties now make up nearly 40% of the quarterly SOCAN domestic distributions, which is why the Online Streaming Act currently being tabled by the federal government is so important," says Jennifer Brown, SOCAN CEO. "It is imperative that streaming services contribute to the Canadian cultural ecosystem by promoting Canadian songs and ensuring fair compensation for our members’ work."

Even with overall increases, the average SOCAN writer-member received only $67 in royalties from online streaming in 2021.

In 2021, SOCAN sharpened its focus on service to members by making key additions to the leadership team, expanding the Reproduction Rights department to enhance dedicated service to clients and members, and divesting from wholly-owned companies. SOCAN's position as a member-centric organization, committed to service excellence, working in partnership with staff and stakeholders to maximize rights and royalties, remains top priority, now and in the future.

As SOCAN looks toward recovery in the live music sector, which continues to face pandemic-related challenges with concert revenue down 75% versus pre-pandemic levels, the nonprofit company has partnered with the Canadian Live Music Association to deliver Aid#ForTheLoveOfLive benefiting 30 small live venues across Canada.

"Supporting our members also means supporting the health and sustainability of the venues that provide the stage for that important connection with fans," Brown adds. "Canadian music creators thrive when our live music venues thrive, and Aid#ForTheLoveOfLive aims to provide a small helping hand at a difficult time."

Eligible live music venues can apply at until July 13, 2022.

For an overview of SOCAN's 2021 activities and financials, 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.