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Music Licensing for Business

Here's what you need to know:

Playing music at your business requires you legally pay the artists and their partners for playing their songs. If you want to follow the law and avoid being fined for playing music in any establishment, you need to pay for the license to play that music. This may seem simple, but it's not because there are several different music licensing companies, including BMI, ASCAP and SESAC, so it can be challenging to find out which songs are licensed by which companies and what you need to pay for legally licensed music played at your business.

Small businesses, non profits and even churches are not exempt from obtaining music licenses to play songs in their establishments. A music license may be even more important to a small business owner than a large international corporation because the amount of the fines can be $30,000 or more and relative to the size of your business this can be an enormous risk! If you own a business and play music you want to avoid the risk by legally licensing the music with RadioIO or some other legally licensed business music provider.

We provide an easy and cost-effective solution to avoid being fined for playing music in my establishment: IO Business Music offered by RadioIO.

The most cost-effective and easiest way to avoid being fined for playing music in your business is by working with a long-standing, trustworthy music provider like RadioIO. IO Business Music via RadioIO obtains all the necessary music licenses so you don’t have to worry about an ASCAP or SESAC representative fining your business. If you are identified as a business playing copyrighted music without a license you can get a notice in the mail from a music licensing company with an acronym name like BMI, ASCAP, or SESAC. The notice will say that you owe that company money and fines for playing their copyrighted music in your establishment. They will make several attempts to collect their license fees. If you choose not to respond, they will usually name you as a defendant in a lawsuit, potentially costing you and your business thousands of dollars. To learn more about music licensing, directly from ASCAP, BMI, or general information, visit the Better Business Bureau.

What your business needs to be concerned about is called public performance, and it’s reach is much broader than you might think. Here’s what the ASCAP website provides to define a public performance: A public performance is one that occurs either in a public place or any place where people gather. A public performance is also one that is transmitted to the public; for example, radio or television broadcasts, music-on-hold, cable television, and by the internet.

Basically, any time any piece of music is performed to listen at your business, played over a radio, internet, or even your mobile phone, it’s considered a public performance. This covers just about every time a song is played at your business.

Think your business is too small to worry about this? Small businesses are actually targeted aggressively with fines, especially with music revenues declining, the associations are looking for ways to legitimately get artists, song writers and labels paid. According to QSR Magazine, BMI files over 100+ copyright infringement lawsuits against eating and drinking establishments every year, according to spokesman Jerry Bailey. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), another large publishing rights organization, files between 250 and 300 per year, stated by Vincent Candilora, ASCAP’s senior vice president for licensing.

In one case, a restaurant in a small town in Georgia that was fined $30,450 plus $10,700 in legal fees for playing under twenty songs! And there are far too many similar stories out there to let your business go unprotected.

Imagine the implications to your company if you’re playing copyrighted music without a license, either overhead, at your place of business or in your corporate office. All it takes is one association (or a person hired by them) to find out, and your company could owe thousands in license fees.

So what can you do to address this? RadioIO has you covered! Click Here Now!

You can rest assured that when RadioIO is your provider, the music at your business has all the required licenses. Reports are provided by RadioIO and are included in your service. You don’t have to worry about obtaining synchronization or public performance rights, as we are fully licensed through BMI, ASCAP, SESAC, and other performance rights organizations that collect the fees on behalf of the music industry.

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