Sound Recording Survey

Detailed information for 1996





Record number:


This survey collects information concerning the finances, employment and new releases of record labels, as well as record production firms, in Canada. This survey is conducted to monitor the development of the sound recording industry and to assist governments in the review of policies and programs on this sector of the economy.

Data release - May 5, 1998


This survey collects information concerning the finances, employment and new releases of record labels, as well as record production firms, in Canada. This survey is conducted to monitor the development of the sound recording industry and to assist governments in the review of policies and programs on this sector of the economy.

This survey collects data on the sources of revenue of Canadian labels, including the sales of recordings by Canadian and non-Canadian artists, revenues from the sales of masters, leasing and licensing fees, publishing revenues and revenue from distribution sales or concert performances. It also provides information on cost of goods sold and operating expenditures. Data on sales of recordings are obtainable by language of lyrics and by certain musical categories or genres. Information on the format of the recordings sold and the number of units sold by format is available as well. Employment data are collected concerning the number of part-time and full-time employees as well as the number of freelance workers and their wages, salaries and benefits. Finally, data are collected concerning the number of releases of recordings by nationality of the artist, language of lyrics, and musical categories.

The information from this survey is used by businesses for market analysis, by governments in the review of policies and programs on this sector and by others, including researchers, to study the performance and characteristics of this industry and generally research the Canadian sound recording sector.

Statistical activity

The survey is currently administered as part of the Culture Statistics Program, which was established in 1972 to create, maintain and make available timely and comprehensive data on the culture sector in Canada. Specialized client-driven information needs are met through analytical studies of such topics as the economic impact of culture, the consumption of culture goods and services, government, personal and corporate spending on culture, the culture labour market, and international trade of culture goods and services.

The Guide to Culture Statistics (available through the online catalogue number 87-008-GIE (free)) has been developed by the Culture Statistics Program to facilitate access to culture information throughout Statistics Canada.

Reference period: Since 1998, the fiscal year ending any time between January 1 and December 31 (inclusive) of the reference year.

Collection period: May to November


  • Business, consumer and property services
  • Business performance and ownership
  • Culture and leisure
  • Financial statements and performance
  • Information and culture
  • Sound recording
  • Television viewing and radio listening

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The Sound Recording Survey includes data from firms that have sales and/or releases of records, pre-recorded tapes or compact discs manufactured from master tapes either owned by them or leased from others. Included also are companies with some revenue from the leasing, consignment or sale of master tapes. Generally speaking, this census of companies includes all known record labels or other companies with record labels (e.g. record distributor with a label), as well as record production firms. The survey measures activity at the first point of sale after manufacturing. The survey is not aimed at manufacturers, or retailers, although, some surveyed companies may also be involved in such activities.

Instrument design

The questionnaire was designed in consultation with data users and the Joint Working Group on Music Industry Statistics, as well as questionnaire design specialists. The questionnaire was last revised in 1995-96.

The most significant change, to the questionnaire, relates to the criteria used to classify releases as Canadian. Prior to 1995-96, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) definition of Canadian content was used. From 1995-96 on, the nationality of the artist was used. Thus, comparisons of Canadian releases across this time point should NOT be made.

Changes were also made in the reporting of employment, wages and salaries (including benefits). Starting in 1995-96, employee counts and wages included both producers and salesmen. Previously, producers' salaries were combined under recording costs while salesmen's salaries were aggregated with marketing costs, but not reported under wages and salaries. Lastly, the revenue question concerning publishing royalties was reworded from mechanical royalties (including music publishing, airplay and performing rights fees) to publishing royalties (including mechanical royalties). Although the question was reworded, the concept being measured remained unchanged.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

This methodology does not apply.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: March 1997 to August 1997

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

This survey is collected by means of a mail back questionnaire. The mailing list is updated using membership lists and catalogues of industry associations, industry directories and the Statistics Canada's Business Register files. Mail, telephone, fax or Internet is used in follow-ups. Data are captured by using the CATI system.

Error detection

A series of edits are designed to identify problems with the data. These include exhaustive range edits, relationship edits and historical edits. These edits are completed during the processing of the data.


In cases of non-response, imputation was undertaken based on historical information (previous years' reports), other information contained in the questionnaire or on the responses of a panel of firms with characteristics similar to those of the non-respondent (revenue size, region, etc.). Both manual and automatic imputations were undertaken.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

The quality is largely dependent upon the accuracy of the figures reported by respondents. Data for the current year are compared with data reported for the previous year, and large variations are confirmed with the respondents. Following data capture, all survey records are subjected to an exhaustive computer edit which includes range, relationship and historical edits. In addition to reverse record checks, and historical trend analysis, data sources within and outside Statistics Canada are used to compare and validate the final data output.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

In order to prevent any data disclosure, confidentiality analysis is done using the Statistics Canada Generalized Disclosure Control System (G-Confid). G-Confid is used for primary suppression (direct disclosure) as well as for secondary suppression (residual disclosure). Direct disclosure occurs when the value in a tabulation cell is composed of or dominated by few enterprises while residual disclosure occurs when confidential information can be derived indirectly by piecing together information from different sources or data series.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

No benchmarking, calendarization or seasonal adjustments are made to the data.

Sometimes data revisions are made on an annual basis. If the respondent's data has undergone revisions or changes are required for historical consistency, we will incorporate such changes into our database, using SAS.

Data accuracy

Since the survey is a census of all known record labels and record production firms in Canada, only non-sampling errors (coverage, non-response, measurement, and processing errors) are possible. Coverage error was minimized by using multiple sources to update the frame. A measure of the undercoverage is not available. Careful design of the questionnaire, extensive manual and automated edits, imputation for non-response, and monitoring of survey operations all help to limit the magnitude of the non-sampling errors.

For the 1995-96 reference period the response rate was 84%. Data were imputed for partially completed forms and firms which were complete non-respondents. Complete data were imputed for 40 firms. Their revenues accounted for 3% of the total revenues.

Date modified: