Canadian Musician


SOCAN Expands with MediaNet Acquisition

May 12th, 2016
SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste

SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste

SOCAN, the member-based organization that represents the performing rights of more than four million music creators and publishers, has purchased Seattle-based MediaNet. The addition of this business-to-business music technology provider offers 360-degree music rights administration to SOCAN members, according to the organization.

MediaNet is the creator of music and metadata delivery technologies that work with streaming services, download providers, media search, and other media discovery tools to provide a catalog of music, while ensuring that creators and music publishers, including artists and all relevant rights owners, are properly compensated for their work.

SOCAN says the MediaNet acquisition will have immediate benefits for its members’ digital performances, as the potential for increased matching on radio, TV, and in areas such as nightclub performances is substantial. With MediaNet, SOCAN will be able to identify digital performances from around the world in real-time, with access to granular performance data to make better decisions, identify trends, and increase revenue for members. This comes with a level of data accuracy and transparency that few, if any, music rights organizations in the world can provide.

With more than 51 million sound recordings in its database, each containing a unique audio identifier, MediaNet will provide SOCAN with authoritative information pertaining to master rights (sound recordings), and will augment already strong matching capabilities for all kinds of performances and reproductions of music on radio, digital, live, satellite, film, and TV and other delivery of music to public audiences.

SOCAN says the acquisition and integration of MediaNet’s technology will make it the leader in accurate matching of music data, one of the most significant challenges facing the digital music ecosystem worldwide. The benefit of robust, accurate matching of repertoire to rights-owners is significant to SOCAN’s existing and future members, and will especially increase revenue streams for all whose music is played on digital platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, SoundCloud, and other services relying on uploads.

“The music ecosystem is in need of data and accuracy and, with MediaNet, SOCAN is the first major music collective to meet this need,” says SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “The expanded family of MediaNet and SOCAN creates an unbeatable combination that will help drive proper compensation for SOCAN’s membership base of songwriters, composers and music publishers and potentially for all parties involved in the music value chain.”

For SOCAN’s more than 135,000 members, the acquisition of MediaNet immediately improves digital match-rates and the speed of distribution of digital royalties. For digital service providers, this means a new dimension of accuracy for matching musical works with rich ownership data.

MediaNet will continue to operate under its current name, with all of its 34 employees continuing at the organization’s Seattle offices. MediaNet CEO Frank Johnson and the company’s leadership team will remain in place.

“SOCAN is a leader in ushering the transition from physical to digital through a commitment to data and artist advocacy,” says MediaNet CEO Frank Johnson. “We are thrilled to join the SOCAN family and realize our shared goal of pioneering high-scale technology solutions that ensure fair and accurate royalty administration.”

The acquisition was completed in May 2016, the terms of which are undisclosed.

Headwaters MB acted as financial advisor and Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt LLC as legal counsel to MediaNet in this transaction. Venable LLP, Gowling WLG and KPMG advised SOCAN on the matter.

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