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This Year It’s Hair Salons

SOCAN is sending thousands of letters to hair salons and barber shops across Canada reminding them to pay their annual fee for playing music.  The collective says it targets a different business group every year – last year it was dentists, now it's hair salons.  The fee starts at $95 per year.

Update: The CBC reports that not all hairdressers all willing to meet SOCAN's demand. 


  1. That.. is… just… absurd!

    Because of the commercial aspect? Next it’ll be weddings? What about school cafeterias? Newsrooms?

    And the music industry wonders why it’s in trouble.

  2. They have apparently also decided to go after public library branches with the same $95 +tax(!) fee. In Saskatchewan there are 311 full service library branches, which leaves underfunded public library systems facing a possible yearly fee of $29,000 + tax

  3. Blaise Alleyne says:

    Well, it depends….
    Well… I mean, I think it depends what SOCAN’s requirements are.

    If the businesses are responsible for a sort of ‘performance’ of music (ie. they’ve purchased CDs or digital downloads, and they’re now playing the music in their business), than a modest $95/year royalty is a decent way to support musicians and songwriters. It’s similar to radio royalties, and it’s the same sort of fees that DJs pay all the time (yes, at weddings).

    But, don’t most businesses (especially hair salons and dentist offices) just play music off the radio?? Then the royalties are already being paid for the broadcast – why should the businesses have to pay to simply turn the radio on?

    I don’t think that SOCAN royalties are unfair in general though. They’re asking for modest fees for commercial performances of their recordings (ie. DJs who are making money by spinning SOCAN tunes).

    As long as they’re not going after individuals who are playing music for non-commercial purposes, and as long as they don’t try to get royalties twice (ie. radio and businesses playing the radio), then I think it’s fair.

  4. What do you suggest?

    Hair salons create value for their businesses by playing appropriate music for their customers that makes them feel better. That\’s what good music does, make people feel better.

    Do you think we should supply it for free?

  5. The article doesn’t cover what happens in the case that an establishment only plays independently produced music that does not benefit from SOCAN fees. It is incredulous to me that it is automatically assumed that everyone plays commercial music.

  6. [quote]Do you think we should supply it for free?[/quote]

    Perhaps that someone would like the music heard and go out and buy it? Advertising?
    No, that would make too much sense.

  7. [quote] Do you think we should supply it for free? [/quote]

    Are you implying that salons and spas have stolen this music?? It would seem to me that having BOUGHT the CD or download they have compensated the artist for their work … they do not exist as music establishments, and people who go there do not do so for the ambient muzak but for the services of the professionals who work there.

    Perhaps salon owners should charge SOCAN members for their haircut, and then an additional fee everytime that musician goes on stage and the haircut is seen by the public.

  8. barton, greg

    I realise this may be a difficult concept for you guys to grasp,
    but a hair salon – like a store or a club – is a public place where music is performed, for which composers and publishers are
    entitled compensation

    deal with it

  9. Billy B —

    Or you will find that SOCAN’s ridiculous and petty attempts to tax everyone several times over for the same piece of ephemeral muzak will only result in NO ONE purchasing the very music you are supposed to care about.

  10. competiton model
    why would one commerce be obliged to pay and others not… I thought that north america would encourage fair business practices… why would I pay willingly and my competitors not..