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SOCAN Launches 'Encore!' Program to Pay Members More for Livestreamed Concerts on Facebook & Instagram

Music lovers across the country and social media platforms have benefitted from the generosity of Canada's music creators since the start of the COVID-19 crisis with live online concerts on Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram.

In order to help it's artist members who are now regularly livestreaming show during the pandemic, SOCAN has announced the launch of Encore!, a program that compensates music creators and publishers for their livestreamed work.

"Like so many Canadians, SOCAN member songwriters, composers, and music publishers are facing tough times, with the loss of revenue from touring and in-person concerts," said Jennifer Brown, Interim-CEO of SOCAN. "Many of our members have stepped up for fans, staging online concerts to bring the public together and keep their careers moving ahead, so it is only fair that they get paid for their generous work with our Encore! program."

SOCAN's Board of Directors and management team recently approved the allocation of a portion of licensing revenue collected from Facebook for the Encore! program.

SOCAN says Encore! will ease the financial burden on writer members and their publishers created by the pandemic. A total of approximately $200,000 is available each quarter for the program for the duration of the COVID-19 lockdown in Canada.

To receive an Encore! payment for a live music event on Facebook or Instagram:

  • At least ten songs/compositions performed live, or a live performance of at least 30 minutes on Facebook or Instagram from March 15, 2020, to March 7, 2021 (inclusive).
  • At least 100 people must have accessed the online event.
  • A setlist of all music performed has to be sent via SOCAN's Notification of Live Music Performance form at SOCAN.com, with the "venue" identified as Facebook or Instagram.
  • Claims must be made within 90 days of the Facebook/Instagram concert occurring.

Each online concert will be eligible for a total payment of $150, with shares of royalties going to all rights holders of the music performed.

Live performances on social media properties normally do not generate more than a few dollars in royalties for songwriters, composers, and music publishers. Typically, royalties from music used on these platforms come from streamed and downloaded recorded music.

In addition to live music events on Facebook and Instagram, SOCAN is in the process of adding more online platforms to the Encore! program. The organization is encouraging its members to submit set lists for all online concerts. Just be sure to indicate the social media platform as the venue.

SOCAN will soon launch its regular "Get Set, Get Paid" awareness initiative, encouraging members to submit Notification of Live Music Performance set lists for past in-person concerts. Only by submitting set lists can license money paid by concert venues be matched to the correct rights holders of the music performed, enabling those who earned royalties to receive them.

SOCAN also confirmed that its regular distribution of royalties to all members will go out as planned on-time. Since March 13th, all 275 SOCAN employees across its offices in Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, and Los Angeles have been teleworking with the company operating at full capacity.

For more information, go to www.socan.com.

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Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Canadian Musician. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Radio weekly podcast.
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