Nielsen Expands Partnership With SOCAN, Adding 200 Radio Stations in Canada

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Analytics firm Nielsen has added some 200 new Canadian radio stations in 137 new markets to its monitored by BDSradio product. The expansion of coverage coincides with an extension of their deal with Canadian performing rights organization SOCAN to obtain detailed radio airplay data and get rights holders paid.

"It's very similar to America," Paul Shaver, VP of entertainment for Nielsen Music, told Billboard, explaining how radio statistics get measured in Canada. "We monitor radio in real time here in Canada. So we basically monitor them by broadcast -- a broadcast is either by tuning a station in, through devices we have or we've tuned into their web feed, their online stream, because pretty much every station now have a direct feed online, but it's all done in real time."

The stations -- which will be monitored by the 24/7 digital service, instead of periodic manual log sheet reporting submissions -- include, for the first time, 14 Christian music formats, and a station in the Yukon territory. They are also adding 29 French-language stations to the 41 they already monitor.

Regionally, Shaver said the additions are 48 in Ontario; 41 in Alberta; 24 in Quebec; 22 in British Columbia; 20 in Nova Scotia; 15 in Saskatchewan; 12 in New Brunswick; seven each in Manitoba and Newfoundland/Labrador; three in Prince Edward Island, and one in Yukon. All 200 will be completed by June 30.

New coverage will be 509 terrestrial, satellite stations and four video channels across the country. 

"We've always been in the big cities but the exciting part of it is we are growing in so many new markets," said Shaver.

With Nielsen BDSradio data, SOCAN members access more detailed reporting of ISRC numbers across a wide range of platforms for more accurate and timely data for the distribution of royalties.

"As Canada's largest rights management organization representing songwriters, composers and music publishers, it is our responsibility to make sure that our nearly 160,000 members are compensated for their work," said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste in a press statement.  "By extending our relationship with Nielsen Music and the scope of coverage, we are reinforcing our commitment to timely and accurate royalty payments in Canada."

Nielsen's data serves as a major source for the Billboard charts and is widely cited by numerous publications and broadcasters as the standard for music industry measurement. On a weekly basis, Nielsen collects point-of-sale (POS) data in 19 countries across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Oceania. In the U.S. and Canada, physical and digital titles from venues, mass merchants, retail chains, independent record stores and digital download providers can be viewed by UPC, ISRC, artist, market, retailer type or genre.

"We are honoured to continue our 12-plus year relationship with SOCAN, one of the leading and most respected music rights organizations in the world," Shaver added in a statement. "Renewing our partnership with SOCAN demonstrates the power of Nielsen Music as the trusted and reliable data source for the music industry."