CEO Message: SOCAN Licensing

Published 07/3/2014

By Eric Baptiste

SOCAN’s Licensing team does the important work of connecting businesses that use music, their customers, and the more than 120,000 SOCAN member songwriters and composers that create the music that their customers and employees love.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in our new, awareness-raising Licensed to Play program for the more than 125,000 organizations across Canada that put music to work to improve their business.

The public-facing campaign began with the introduction of the Licensed to Play graphic, and the distribution of a window sticker to more than 30,000 retail establishments, bars, restaurants, fitness studios, clubs and offices that are current with their 2014 SOCAN licenses.

By displaying the Licensed to Play emblem proudly, businesses affirm that they put music to work ethically and legally, and recognize that music adds value to their business, and to their customers’ experience.

Businesses that are licensed to play are essentially saying loud and proud that, yes, they support fair compensation for music creators and music publishers. The sticker implicitly underscores the partnership and mutual respect between SOCAN’s licensed businesses and SOCAN’s members – and, of course, SOCAN itself.

The Licensed to Play campaign also encourages businesses and their customers to think of music as an instrumental (pardon the pun) aspect of their experience.

According to new research conducted by Leger, The Research Intelligence Group, on behalf of SOCAN, Canadian businesses confirm that music is increasingly important to their success. The data supports the fact that most businesses that use music understand and appreciate the contribution that Canadian songwriters make to the economy.

According to the study:

  • Almost three-quarters of Canadian businesses feel that music is important to the customer experience
  • Almost three-quarters of them rank music above décor when considering customers’ experience, and the numbers are even higher for restaurants, theatres, concert halls and health clubs
  • Half of them said they would never stop playing music
  • Almost seven out of ten of them agree that it’s fair to compensate those who created the music

There’s no greater testimony to the successful efforts of SOCAN’s Licensing team than to witness the widespread recognition among Canadian businesses that music is working for them, that music benefits their customers, and that the people who create it deserve fair compensation.

SOCAN’s Licensed to Play program connects all of the stakeholders in the ecosystem when music is being used in Canadian businesses, and the Leger study confirms that these businesses understand and appreciate these kinds of connections. It’s a collaborative and collective win for businesses, their customers, and our members.

Connecting licensed businesses with accomplished members is exactly what SOCAN consistently strives to accomplish, and Licensed to Play is a prime example of collaborative success.

About Eric Baptiste

Eric Baptiste is the CEO of SOCAN. In this capacity, he leads the close to 300 staff members coast-to-coast, who connect the 115,000 Canadian composers, songwriters and music publishers who are direct SOCAN members, and their more than three million colleagues worldwide, with more than 125,000 Canadian businesses that depend on music to enhance their activities. A native of France, before joining SOCAN in 2010, Eric led CISAC, the World Federation of Authors Societies for 12 years, had an eight-year stint in radio as COO of Radio France International and then CEO of a Paris commercial station. Eric has chaired music and radio trade associations in France, currently serves on various boards of organizations such as CISAC and the CPCC, and chairs the ISAN International Agency based in Geneva, as well as Radio Neo, a French non-commercial radio network dedicated to emerging artists. As a graduate of École Nationale d’Administration who started his early professional life at the Conseil d’État in Paris, he could have become a government official or even a lawyer, but this is a different story, in a parallel universe… Eric lives in Toronto and music (of course), good food, fine wines and science fiction are passions he’s ready to acknowledge.

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