SOCAN announced on July 14 that Jeff Price has departed its wholly-owned subsidiary Audiam, effective immediately. SOCAN COO Jeff King has assumed the duties of CEO.
SOCAN acquired the U.S.-based digital music rights firm Audiam in 2016. Price co-founded in 2003 and remained its CEO up until his exit this week. Price has a well-earned reputation for speaking his mind and publicly criticizing other companies involved in digital music, including streaming services, publishers, labels, and performing rights organizations. In 2018, Price and Audiam's forensic analysis of streaming and payment data was used in a $1.6-billion lawsuit against Spotify for unpaid mechanical royalties. That case was later settled with Wixen Music Publishing for an undisclosed amount.
Shortly after the news of his departure was made public by SOCAN, Price indicated via his Twitter feed that the split was contentious.
"Audiam' s business will continue without change," says Jennifer Brown, Interim-CEO of SOCAN. "SOCAN and Audiam will continue to work to represent rights holders and ensure they are being paid transparently and efficiently."
Brown also told music and technology website Hypebot that: “After a meeting of Audiam’s board of directors, he was dismissed from his role as CEO... "It would be unfair to go into detail, but the Audiam board of directors agreed that the company required a change of leadership.”
SOCAN also added in its press announcement that, "Audiam was built with several talented individuals, all of whom remain with the organization." Based in New York City, Audiam currently employs 17 full-time staff. Audiam licenses, monitors, audits, researches, collects and distributes digital mechanical and YouTube royalties for music creators and publishers.