Until this week the benchmark agency of record for mechanical rights collections and payments was the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA), but Tuesday performing rights organization SOCAN announced it has acquired Montreal-based mechanical rights agency SODRAC. The following is a statement about the merger issued by the CMRRA.
SOCAN has announced today its acquisition of Montréal-based mechanical licensing collective SODRAC. After several previous attempts to merge these organizations, this comes as no surprise. SOCAN and SODRAC are looking to adapt to today’s rapidly evolving music industry and it’s understandable that, as two Canadian-based author societies, they have finally come together.
CMRRA itself responded to this changing landscape by forming its own strategic partnership with SoundExchange just over a year ago. Under the ownership of the newly created SXWorks, CMRRA benefits from the direction of an independent publisher committee that oversees key decisions on the management of publisher rights regarding advocacy, tariffs, and licensing. This offers CMRRA’s music publisher affiliates a robust governance structure that was not achievable under the previously proposed alliance between CMRRA, SOCAN and SODRAC.
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CMRRA represents the vast majority of music publishers that do business in Canada, including self-published authors as well as some of the largest Quebec-based music publishers who bring to CMRRA an extensive francophone and international repertoire. CMRRA continues to license and administer an increasing share of the music market, with a repertoire that has largely captured the listening time of Canadians, resulting in royalty collections representing nearly all of streaming services’ mechanical royalty payments to date.