Canada’s rights society SOCAN has made a major technology investment with the purchase of Seattle-based B2B digital platform and data management company MediaNet. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
MediaNet will continue to operate under its current name, and its 34 employees will remain based at the company's Seattle offices. MediaNet CEO Frank Johnson and the company’s leadership team "will remain in place.”
Privately-held MediaNet — originally founded as MusicNet in 1999 by EMI, AOL, BMG and RealNetworks — operates a database of over 4.1 million rights holders and their respective works and has developed music and metadata delivery technologies that work with streaming services, download providers, media search, and other media discovery tools. With a catalogue of 51 million sound recordings, MediaNet has powered digital music services worldwide such as Beats Music, Pulselocker, CÜR Music, Songza, Target, and Univision.
The arrival of such a technology-driven company into the fold of one of the world’s leading PRO is likely to give SOCAN a competitive edge in the tracking and the identification of works in order to better compensate songwriters and music publishers. Another perk from the deal is that SOCAN will have access to one of the biggest databases of sound recordings, which will help match composition data to sound recording data. In a statement, SOCAN said that the "addition of this pioneer business-to-business music technology provider offers 360-degree music rights administration to SOCAN members.”
The company added: "The MediaNet acquisition will have immediate benefits for SOCAN 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.” SOCAN said the PRO will now be able to provide its members and its licensees with "a level of data accuracy and transparency that few, if any, music rights organisations in the world can provide.”
For SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste said that the regroupment 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”. Baptiste added: “The music ecosystem is in need of data and accuracy and, with MediaNet, SOCAN is the first major music collective to meet this need.”
"SOCAN is a leader in ushering the transition from physical to digital through a commitment to data and artist advocacy,” said 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.”