In the past few years, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) has taken significant steps to maximize efficiencies and make day-to-day dealings easier. The latest move is a partnership with not-for-profit music licensing company RE:SOUND to create Entandem, a single platform that enables Canadian retailers, restaurants, nightclubs, fitness clubs and other companies and government organizations to license music. The portal will launch in July.
Until now, more than 100,000 businesses and organizations that use music have had to complete their legally-required licenses separately with SOCAN and RE:SOUND.
"Entandem is all about simplicity," said RE:SOUND president Ian MacKay in a statement. "For most businesses that use music, a single licensing organization means a simplified experience, by interacting with one organization instead of two, with one payment for both RE:SOUND and SOCAN music licenses, and one point of contact to answer questions and resolve issues."
A successful pilot project of the then-unnamed Entandem was launched in Ontario in 2017 with about 400 organizations and businesses testing out the new platform.
Co-owned and overseen by RE:SOUND and SOCAN, day-to-day operations will be conducted out of Montreal and Toronto. “Existing licensing teams from each company will come together in shared locations,” the release states.
SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste said in a statement that Entandem “means a strengthened ability to reach more businesses that should be paying both music licenses that provide vital support to music creators, especially the emerging and middle-class ones. By making the process easier, we expect stronger engagement across the country and, with that, increased realization of earned royalties for Canada's songwriters, composers, publishers, labels and performers."
It is the law in Canada that businesses and organization must pay for the music they play, whether that music is live or recorded. Music licenses will continue to be based on agreements with users or tariffs approved by the Copyright Board of Canada.
According to a press release, “Entandem will be a partner with businesses that use music, helping them to use music more effectively, increased use of live music, improved audio systems and more, with the essential truth that, the better the music experience, the better the customer experience. An improved customer experience results in extended shopping, increased spending, loyalty and, importantly, recommending the business to others.”
"It's about time – literally," said Jeff Stinco, guitarist with Simple Plan and owner of the Montreal restaurant Mangiafocco, in a statement. "Mangiafocco welcomes Entandem’s one-stop service because it will save us time. We strongly believe that the music we play at the restaurant brings value, otherwise we wouldn't use it, and it's only fair that the owners of the music that we license gain fair royalties for their work."
A songwriter and performer himself, who receives royalties from both RE:SOUND and SOCAN, Stinco added, "By making music licensing easier and more efficient, it will help put more of the value our music provides into the hands of rights-holders like me. It’s a big step forward for anyone seeking to build a sustainable career in music."