Music is a key element in creating an enjoyable customer experience, and understanding what’s legally required to play music isn’t the easiest thing to wrap your head around. In an effort to simplify the requirements for licensing music in a business setting, we’re publishing a series of four blog posts that dive into the topic.
Our goal is to help you understand what it takes to meet the legal music licensing requirements for commercial settings, whether you’re a single location business or a global brand. We’ll cover the different types of licenses, the difference between a business and consumer license, where the fees go and the consequences of playing unlicensed music.
Here is post 1 of 4 – Enjoy!
Music rights ownership
Whether you’re a store, clinic, or restaurant, it’s important to make sure you have all your bases covered when it comes to music licensing. In the U.S. there are three main types of music licenses that need to be obtained by businesses: Master Use, Mechanical, and Public Performance. In order to publicly transmit or perform protected work, it needs to be licensed from the associated rights holder for all three types.
Master Use License – Gives the rights holder the ability to use a specific master recording.
Mechanical License – Permits the licensee to manufacture, reproduce and distribute the music composition in audio-only formats.
Public Performance Rights – Covers the performance or transmission of copyrighted works where there are substantial amounts of people present. Performance rights must be obtained from the copyright owner in order to “perform” (read: play) a copyrighted material publicly.
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