Music

New program will pay Canadian musicians for live stream concerts on Facebook and Instagram

SOCAN's new Encore! initiative aims to compensate artists for their online performances.

SOCAN's new Encore! initiative aims to compensate artists for their online performances

Ontario musician Danny Michel is one of many artists turning to live streams to perform for fans online. (Danny Michel/Facebook)

The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) announced a new program today called Encore!, which aims to pay musicians for live online concerts on Facebook and Instagram. 

As COVID-19 has forced musicians off the road, stripping many of their main source of income, numerous artists have taken to social platforms like Facebook and Instagram to perform for fans. But even though Facebook and a few other services (such as Twitch, YouNow and Periscope) offer an in-app donate or tipping buttons, the majority of these live streams don't make any money.  

This is where SOCAN wants to step in. 

"Like so may Canadians, SOCAN member songwriters, composers, and music publishers are facing tough times, with the loss of revenue from touring and in-person concerts," Jennifer Brown, interim CEO of SOCAN, said in a press release. "Many of our members have stepped up for fans, staging online concerts to bring the public together and keep their careers moving ahead, so it's only fair that they get paid for their generous work, with our Encore! program." 

A total of $200,000 will be available each quarter for this program for the duration of Canada's COVID-19 lockdown. In order to qualify for a payment, there are four key requirements artists must meet, according to SOCAN: 

  • "At least 10 songs/compositions must be performed live, or a live performance of at least 30 minutes must take place, on Facebook or Instagram, from March 15, 2020, to March 7, 2021 (inclusive)."
  • "At least 100 people must have accessed the online event."
  • "A set list of all music performed has to be sent via SOCAN's Notification of Live Music Performance (NLMP) form at socan.com, with the 'venue' identified as Facebook or Instagram." 
  • "Claims must be made within 90 days of the Facebook/Instagram concert occurring." 

Each concert will be eligible for a $150 payment, with shares of royalties going to all rights holders of the music performed. Musicians are allowed to apply more than once pending each live event they host meets all the requirements above. 

SOCAN says it's in the process of adding more platforms to this program.

They're not the only ones looking to compensate musicians for online performances right now. Dan Mangan and Laura Simpson's Side Door platform has been successfully hosting ticketed online events where musicians get a split of the ticket revenue. And in March, the National Arts Centre launched a $100,000 relief fund for artists performing from home. For each NAC performance, artists earn a $1,000 grant.

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