How does music licensing work for property managers?

Music copyright is complicated. When we listen to music in any way, we might not be aware of it, but there are some rights we are paying for with our monthly subscription to a service, or when we buy a CD. These fees are then redistributed to their rightful owners: the artists who created the songs you are listening to.

But when music is played in other environments, like in public areas or in businesses, the fees that we have to pay change too. These are not covered by CDs or music services we purchased for personal use. While we are all subject to these laws, for a property manager, understanding them can be a gamechanger for working within the law without breaking it.

The important distinctinction is between the music that is listened to in public and the music that is for personal use. The music that is used in businesses (like restaurants, shops, hotels) is considered music for commercial use. The common areas in a property are in this group. These areas include but are not restricted to:

– Swimming pools, playgrounds, lobbies, lounges, fitness rooms and other common rooms.

– Business centers and other offices where people work or workgear is stored.

The music that is played in these areas has to be reported and paid to the collecting societies, that in the US are ASCAP, BMI, GMR and SESAC, and in Canada are SOCAN and RE:SOUND. Using music without paying for these rights might result in high penalties by the authorities.

However, there is a shortcut. By having a music service directed towards businesses instead of using non-licensed products and then paying separately to the collecting agencies, property managers can save more than $300 per year and loads of time doing paperwork . Business music services like SoundMachine work as intermediaries giving the property managers the sound that they need with all licenses covered. With this service, they can add value to the properties they own by creating more high-end environments thanks to music, while doing it legally.

You can try SoundMachine for free by clicking here.