Canadian collecting society Socan has published its financial results for 2019. Its collections grew by 8.2% to $405.6m, including a 37.6% increase for its digital collections to $86m. However, distributions to its members fell by 6% to $296m, which Socan said was due to “the steep learning curve required for the company’s newly deployed technology to process international and television income”.

There was more bad news on the tech front relating to Socan’s music services platform subsidiary Dataclef. The society said that its 2019 results “include losses that resulted in an impairment of $41.7m to the advances made by Socan to fund its subsidiary since 2016”.

Socan’s interim CEO Jennifer Brown, who took over when previous CEO Eric Baptiste stepped down suddenly in April, said that “at the time of our investment in these operations, we were exploring new ways to support our members by creating other revenue streams and leveraging new technologies. Business plans didn’t come to fruition in the way we anticipated.” Socan is now planning a sale of Dataclef assets and a reorganisation of its operations.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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