Licensed background music for business

When playing or performing background music in public, like in your business, you must have the proper rights. We have you covered.

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What the law says

Whether your place of business is a coffee shop, a clothing store, a spa, a gym, or any number of other things, you must have the proper licenses in order to play music. These are called Public Performance Rights. Businesses that are expected to pay for these public performance rights include (but are not limited to) restaurants, hotels and motels, business offices, fitness centers, schools and residential communities, retail stores, bars, and nightclubs.

The risk of not using a licensed product

According to the law, a "public performance" includes any music being played outside of one's normal circle of friends or family. Even if your event is closed to the public, playing music for any group outside of these parameters is considered illegal unless you hold the proper licenses to do so. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of an mp3 file, a CD, or any kind of radio transmission.

These laws are enforced by performing rights organizations in the United States (ASCAP, BMI, GMR, and SESAC) and in Canada (SOCAN and Re:Sound). There are similar organizations in most countries around the world, and these laws are to be taken extremely seriously!

Limits to Licenses

USA and Canada

Note: Our licenses alone do not give a local establishment the right to engage a DJ to play music, to hire a live band to perform, to use the SoundMachine service for karaoke, or for any other use.

Our licenses similarly do not cover an establishment that charges a cover, entry or similar fee to customers entering the location.

Our licenses do not cover any other music sources such as radio, television, CD, or MP3 players. Performing music at the location in this manner or charging admission is generally not authorized by the licenses SoundMachine has obtained, and may subject the local establishment to liability for copyright infringement, unless other, more extensive licenses are obtained. For further information, please feel free to contact our support team. They will likely direct you to a knowledgeable attorney or music right consultant.

Non-USA and Canada

Additional licenses

Non-USA or Canadian customers: To obtain the proper licenses to perform music in public, please refer to the collecting societies operating in your country. If you need any help, feel free to contact our support team at

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