Anyone who runs public venue that plays music as part of its business–everything from a beauty salon to a stadium–needs a SOCAN license. Money collected from those venues is distributed to the composers who write that music.
Determining who is owed what is an inexact science and relies on a whole lot of extrapolation and guesswork. For example, how is anyone to know what songs are spun in a dance club on any given night? It’s not just a matter of tracking the songs, but also what snippets might be used in a mix. Now, though, technology is starting to have an effect.
SOCAN has just partnered with Pioneer DJ Corporation of Japan to become the first performing rights organization (PRO) in North America to use what they’re called “direct metadata extraction technology.” This is pretty cool.
The tech, called KUVO, can identify EDM material automatically in real time as it’s played in clubs and venues hosting electronic music events. Basically, you plug it into the club’s music system via the mixing board which allows it to capture all the metadata encoded in the music. The info is then sent to SOCAN to tabulate for accurate distribution of royalties.
The club in Canada to use the technology is CODA in Toronto. More clubs/venues will be added over the coming months.
Additional details here.