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  • Writer's pictureGabrielle Bossy

SOCAN launches Encore! Program: Paying musicians for online performances

I don't know about you but I've watched approximately 32472105970 concerts since starting physical distancing. While these artists have been lifting up all of us at home, the music industry has been facing scary times indeed. Venues are closing, gigs have been cancelled and of course, tours have come to a halt. While these online concerts slightly scratch an itch for the viewer, artists are left in a lurch. While many are donating to the virtual hat passing many artists have implemented, SOCAN has now launched their Encore! program (as of May 15) that will allow artists and rights holders to access payment for these online concerts.

The Money

With approximately $200,000 in funds per quarter for the duration of COVID-19 closures up for grabs, SOCAN has created a fund that allows artists and other rights holders (publishers, songwriters etc.) to apply for up to $150 per gig. These funds are coming from Facebook and Instagram licensing revenues.

How to Get at It

Of course, there are some requirements. For now, given that the funds are coming from Instagram and Facebook licensing revenue, that's where the concerts must take place. That being said, SOCAN is looking into adding more virtual venue platforms in the near future. Second, the set itself must last at least 30 minutes or a duration of 10 songs. Artists submit their setlists to SOCAN within 90 days of the performance with the venue listed as the online platform they chose to perform on and SOCAN is encouraging artists to do so no matter what platform they used in case they add more. Last, at least 100 people must access the online concert...but hey small bands, that's not a catch! I'm sure you have at least 100 people you can call on to watch. (Side note: Reach out to me and I'll gladly be one of the 100).

So there you go. That's exciting. It may not pay the bills but it's a step in the right direction. If you're an artist accessing these funds, I'd love to hear from you about results. Please reach out. For more information, visit

Peace, love & history.

P.S. A big shout out to Julie on Instagram who sent me this article which led me down a rabbit hole to this story. I'll definitely be following up on the story she sent me as well! Thanks Julie.

P.P.S. Does anyone else feel like Facebook/Instagram should be stepping up a bit more with programs like this too? Common Zuckerberg!

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