Common Questions Regarding Music Licensing

Having the time to research and read about legalities surrounding music licensing can save you a lot of trouble and money in the future. Most especially if you’re planning to use it in your businesses. If you’re confused or don’t know where to start researching, here are some common questions asked regarding music licensing to help you understand and get you started.


Can I stream music through Spotify/iTunes or any streaming services I paid for?

You might want to check the terms and conditions that these streaming services have.

For streaming services such as Spotify, the answer is no, you cannot. They are categorized as a B2C or a Business to Consumer product which means that you’ve paid for these to listen privately and not to commercialize.

Same goes with any CDs or music you’ve purchased. Again, you have paid for these for your own private use and not for a public setting. If you attempt to use these and play music in your businesses without paying the right organizations, then you’ll be violating copyright law.

Playing music in public spaces is considered a public performance, which means that you have to acquire a Public Performance License or PPL from PROs or Public Performing Organizations.


What are the necessary organizations or PRO’s I need to pay so I can play music in my business?

There are several organizations you need to pay for when you want to play music in your public spaces:

  • ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers)
  • BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.)
  • GMR (Global Music Rights)
  • SOCAN (The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada)
  • SESAC (Society of European Stage Authors and Composers)

These PROs are middlemen between musicians, songwriters, and or artists and business owners who plan on purchasing rights to play their music in their businesses. They protect intellectual rights of these artists and make sure that they are properly compensated for the usage of their songs.


Do I have to pay all PROs?

Each PRO has a specific set of artist that they’re representing, meaning the copyrighted artist and songs that BMI has might not be in SESAC. If you want to have a variety of music played in your business, we suggest you research which artists are under each PRO’s to avoid violating any rights for the music. It’s not enough that you paid for one PRO and start blasting off music, you need to know which PROs represent various artist you’re planning to stream.


What happens if I play music in my business without paying PRO’s?

Unless you own a business that has less than 2,000 square feet of space and are playing the radio or TV instead for background music, then there is a high possibility that you’ll get sued and pay hundreds and thousands of dollars for damages you caused for the music rights.


Are we legally allowed to play classical music without paying PRO’s since it’s old?

If it’s not protected by any copyright law, then yes. However, you have to make sure and thoroughly research if the songs you’re planning to use are not under any copyright laws to avoid paying for penalties.


With Play Hotel Music, not only can we provide you perfectly curated music for every space and every theme of your hotel, but we’ll also be taking care of all the music licensing that you need for your business. No need to stress and worry about which organizations to pay for you to play! With PHM, you’ll be saving your time and money, while we provide you with a top-notch music service.

Wanna know more? Check the links below to try out our demo and to find out more details about our service.


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