The Canadian music market offers great potential for American artists. As a largely English-speaking nation in such close proximity to the US, similar musical tastes and shared culture allow American artists to have continued success selling records, playing gigs and getting radio spins.The Canadian Music Market
Population: 35 million
Recorded Music Revenue: $436.9 million ($544.1 million CAD)
Statutory Mechanical Royalty Rate: $0.08 per song ($0.083 CAD)
Notable Songwriters: Justin Bieber, Michael Buble, Avril Lavigne, Celine Dion
Description: The Canadian music market is the seventh largest in the world. Canadian fans have similar behaviors to American fans - they were quicker to adopt digital downloads than other major music markets and have adopted streaming services at a similar rate, but not quite as rapidly as some European markets. Digital downloads of both tracks and albums continue to grow in Canada, unlike the United States where this trend has reversed. The Canada Council of the Arts subsidizes musicians and other artists by providing grants for a range of artistic endeavors including recording and touring.
Official Site: Socan.ca
Type of Rights: Performance
2014 Revenue: $299 million
2014 Distributions: $168.6 million
Description: SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) serves as Canada's PRO. It was formed in 1990 as a result of a merger of its two predecessors: The Composers, Authors and Publishers Association of Canada (CAPAC) and the Performing Rights Organization of Canada (PROCAN). SOCAN fulfills the same role as ASCAP, BMI and SESAC in the US.
Official Site: Cmrra.ca
Type of Rights: Mechanical
Description: CMRRA (Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency) is Canada's mechanical licensing society. It also handles licensing and collection for streaming services, synchronization and the private copying levy. It is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA). CMRRA essentially fulfills the same role as HFA in the US.
How do I collect royalties from Canada?
Canadian royalty collection can be very difficult for American songwriters without a publisher. If you're relying on your local PRO to collect performance royalties from SOCAN, you might not see royalties for up to three years, if at all. And it's virtually impossible to collect mechanical royalties from CMRRA without an affiliated publisher. The only way to collect all of your publishing royalties in Canada is to have a publisher directly registering your songs with SOCAN and CMRRA.
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We created this guide to answer a simple question: How do songwriters support themselves?
The answer is not as simple as we’d like, but our goal is to make it as clear, transparent and understandable as we possibly can.
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Our hope is that you’ll finish this guide with an better understanding of the business behind songwriting and have actionable resources to help you be successful.