Deal Completes First-Ever Global Licensing and Royalty Payment Solution for Spotify, YouTube, Apple music and Other Digital Services
Gets Songwriters, Composers and Music Publishers Accurately Paid While Removing Liability, Infringement and Data Issues for Streaming Music Services
TORONTO and NEW YORK, July 21, 2016 /CNW/ - SOCAN, the member-based organization representing the Canadian performing rights of more than four-million Canadian and international music creators and publishers with revenue of CAD$308-million in 2015, has confirmed that it has purchased 100% of New York-based Audiam. The acquisition empowers SOCAN to provide a unique global music industry solution with respect to licensing digital services and royalty payment for songwriters, composers and music publishers.
With Audiam, SOCAN now has a comprehensive database and metadata of all musical works and commercially released digital sound recordings, and the technology and business understanding to match and connect the two, issue licenses and get rights-holders paid all they have fairly earned.
The problem of licensing and payments recently came to a head again in the form of several class-action lawsuits by rights-holders against music streaming companies.
With the Audiam acquisition SOCAN has expanded into collection of royalties for reproductions of music ("mechanicals"), licensing and royalty distribution in the U.S. and Canada. Audiam enables music creators and music publishers to be paid accurately, while removing liability, infringement and data issues for streaming music services and YouTube. Audiam provides one-stop licensing and collecting in North America.
"In 2013 Audiam shook up the music royalties system by identifying and correcting serious gaps in the digital music rights value chain, particularly with music used in YouTube videos, by correctly matching data to the rights-holder," said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. "By acquiring Audiam, SOCAN steps even further ahead with our vision to lead the global transformation of music rights with substantial new tools for our more than 135,000 member songwriters, composers and music publishers, dramatically expanding our ability to ensure that creators are properly and fairly compensated."
"SOCAN is not only the most technologically advanced, efficient and transparent music rights organization on the planet, but its board of directors and executive team are singularly focused on assuring all the works of composers and publishers are licensed and that rights-holders are paid for the use of their music," said Jeff Price, founder and CEO of Audiam. "Adding SOCAN's resources and knowledge to Audiam allows us to finally fix the global industry problems, remove liability for services and get rights-holders paid."
Audiam was founded in 2013 by TuneCore founder and former CEO Jeff Price and former TuneCore CTO David Willen. Audiam's innovative technology and business processes identify the use of music and correct data on digital services such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Google Play and others, and get rights-holders paid, greatly expanding and enhancing the capabilities of SOCAN.
The acquisition was made final in July, and Audiam will remain a separate organization under its current name for the foreseeable future. Jeff Price will remain Audiam's CEO and will work closely with SOCAN group CEO Eric Baptiste and his team.
Audiam brings to SOCAN one of the world's most complete databases of sound recording and underlying song/composition metadata as well as sophisticated audit and auto-match technology to proactively find works that are not licensed and royalties that have not been paid.
As the largest organization in the Canadian music ecosystem, SOCAN is one of the leading and most transparent music rights organizations in the world. As part of SOCAN's vision is to lead the global transformation of music rights, the company is investing in new services for its members that are essential in today's globalized digital environment.
SOCAN will instantly leverage Audiam's identification technology and services to more accurately pay members' performing rights royalties on YouTube and other digital platforms, expanding service offerings to songwriters, composers, and music publishing members.
SOCAN plans to integrate Audiam's other strong business lines such as North American licensing and administration of mechanical income from digital services, including Spotify, Google Play and Apple, as well as leverage Audiam's proven track record to identify and recover pre-existing mechanical royalties that typically have remained unpaid.
Audiam's services will be available immediately to all SOCAN members. Existing Audiam clients will see their services enhanced by the leveraging of SOCAN's own technologies.
The acquisition was completed in July 2016, the terms of which are undisclosed. Definitive agreements have been signed and closing is expected to take place soon.
On May 12, 2016, SOCAN announced its purchase of Seattle-based MediaNet, a pioneer business-to-business music technology provider offering 360-degree music rights administration to SOCAN members. The combination of SOCAN's existing capabilities and services with Audiam and MediaNet further extends the company's leadership position among the world's music rights organizations.
Audiam currently represents the publishing catalogs of thousands of songwriters, composers and music publishers including Bob Dylan, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Jack White, Jason Mraz, Steve Miller, Hyvetown, Imagem, Pretty Lights, Ruthless, Jimmy Buffett, Victory, Epitaph, Sumerian and Round Hill Music. To date the company has recovered millions of dollars in royalties earned through YouTube, Spotify Apple Music and other streaming services. Through its unique technology, Audiam locates metadata for every sound recording of a specific composition, determines licensing status and recovers past revenue and assures future payments for the songwriters, composers and music publishers who have fairly and rightfully earned royalties. Audiam is wholly owned by SOCAN – the Society of Composers, Authors & Music Publishers of Canada.
SOCAN is a member-based organization that represents the Canadian performing rights of more than four-million Canadian and international music creators and publishers. SOCAN is proud to play a leading role in supporting the long-term success of its more than 135,000 Canadian members, and the Canadian music ecosystem overall. SOCAN licenses more than 130,000 businesses in Canada, and distributes royalties to its members and music rights organizations around the world. SOCAN also distributes royalties to its members for the use of their music internationally in collaboration with its peer societies. www.socan.ca
For further information: Media contacts: Environics Communications (for SOCAN): Melody Gaukel, 416-969-2704, [email protected]; SOCAN: Andrew Berthoff, 416-442-3836, [email protected]; Chart Room Media (for Audiam): Brendan Gilmartin, [email protected]