Business News Deals Digital Labels & Publishers

Canadian collecting society acquires music-data-rich MediaNet

By | Published on Friday 13 May 2016


So you all remember MediaNet right? You old timers still insist on calling it MusicNet, I know. But MediaNet was one of the original white-label digital music platforms that powered an assortment of download and streaming services for tech, retail and music companies. Well, it’s been bought by Canadian performing rights organisation SOCAN.

“Why the hell would SOCAN do that?” you’re almost certainly now shouting at your screen. Are you now shouting that at your screen? Well you all should. Loudly. Enunciate it clearly. That would be fun. The answer, in case you wondered, is “data, baby”. Now wipe the spit off your screen and I’ll explain why.

Good music rights data – and the lack thereof – has been a big talking point of late, of course, and various people have noted that some of the best music databases have been complied by the likes of MediaNet – and the currently in administration Omnifone – initially as a by-product of operating white-label download and streaming services.

Says SOCAN of its purchase of MediaNet and all that data: “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 organisations in the world can provide”.

Want to now more? Well, “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”.

Confirming the purchase, SOCAN chief Eric Baptiste told reporters: “The music ecosystem is in need of data and accuracy and, with MediaNet, SOCAN is the first major music collective to meet this need. 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”.

Says MediaNet chief Frank Johnson, who will continue to run the operation: “SOCAN is a leader in ushering the transition from physical to digital through a commitment to data and artist advocacy. We are THRILLED to join the SOCAN family and realise our shared goal of pioneering high-scale technology solutions that ensure fair and accurate royalty administration”.

It’s an interesting and possibly wise acquisition for both parties – with opportunities in the white label digital music platform space on the wane, and demands on collecting societies to get much better at data at an all time high. Perhaps UK society PRS and it’s buddies in the ICE joint venture could buy Omnifone’s data out of administration?