SOCAN Press Release: agreement to collect more money for artists from Youtube

November 6, 2013

SOCAN has entered into an agreement with Audiam that will make it easier for SOCAN members to receive additional money that they deserve from the use of their music in any videos posted to YouTube. The agreement is believed to be the first of its kind for a performing rights organization.

The agreement between SOCAN and Audiam allows artists to collect money from:
•    Fans covering their songs on YouTube
•    Fan lyric videos
•    Fan-created “album cover” or static image videos
•    Fan videos of live performances
•    Official music videos
•    Fan-created music videos
•    Any other type of video on YouTube using their song, either from the original recording or a new version

The agreement also enables SOCAN members to:
•    Identify YouTube videos using participating SOCAN members’ music
•    Direct YouTube to place advertising on the videos, ensuring that every video generates revenue
•    Collect money and pay participating SOCAN members for the plays of their music in YouTube videos
•    Advocate and enforce SOCAN members’ rights
•    Track and obtain back-revenues owed to songwriters, composers and music publishers
•    Arrange for a “buy link” to be posted below YouTube videos with their songs

Launched in July 2013, Audiam identifies and collects money earned by songwriters and music publishers for use of their works in YouTube videos. Audiam has already signed music creators such as Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), The Dixie Chicks, George Strait, Tim McGraw, Jimmy Buffett, The Doobie Brothers, 50 Cent and many more.

Earlier in 2013, SOCAN granted YouTube a performing rights license for Canada covering the years from 2007 to the present, but now SOCAN members can also sign up with Audiam to earn extra money from ad revenue sharing schemes generated by the use of their music from views of their own videos or those posted by the millions of YouTube users.

“SOCAN members now can obtain an additional revenue stream on YouTube with Audiam,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “YouTube is the number-one destination site on the planet for music discovery, streaming more than a trillion views annually across billions of videos. Our members should be compensated for the commercial use of their music no matter where it appears. With the SOCAN and Audiam co-operation, we make possible and practical the extraordinarily complicated process of identifying, tracking and collecting money that SOCAN members have rightfully earned, including for the first-time revenues above and beyond the one generated by copyright licensing.”

The new worldwide deal between SOCAN and Audiam complements SOCAN’s more traditional Canadian licensing agreement with YouTube, generating additional YouTube income for music creators and publishers affiliated with SOCAN, securing them an even larger portion of YouTube revenues. This multi-pronged approach is consistent with SOCAN’s view that in today’s digital and borderless world, collective rights management organizations should explore innovative ways to uphold the value of the music created or published by their members on new outlets or services.

There is no up-front fee to join Audiam. In return for the comprehensive service, Audiam charges a 25 percent administration fee of whatever it collects from YouTube for videos using music outside of a member’s YouTube “channel.” Any of the more than 115,000 members of SOCAN who sign up with Audiam will enjoy a reduced administration fee of 15 percent until November 30, 2014. To get started, SOCAN members must go to the Audiam website. Once they create a free account, they simply provide song and publishing information.

SOCAN will provide technology and distribution support, as well as a detailed and transparent accounting of revenues tracked, collected and paid to the member. The organization back-office integration with Audiam’s systems enables seamless accounting for SOCAN members who join Audiam.

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