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Using music legally in a business setting can be difficult if you don't understand the legalities of it. It's important to approach playing music for your business in a way that keeps you in compliance with copyright law.

Here are 4 different approaches you can take to getting licensed music for your business.

Note: This article includes affiliate links where the author may receive a commission.

1. Get a license from BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC

If you want to curate and license the music on your own, and put together your own custom playlist, you can get licenses directly from BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC. Once you have the licenses, you're legally able to play any song you want with full compliance of U.S. copyright law.

An important note: Watch out when using consumer facing streaming services like Pandora in your business. This can cause legal complications, as it's normally against these companies' terms of use.

2. Subscribe to a Background Music Service

Services that offer music for business use, like Dozmia for Business, can help with the legalities of using music in a business setting. Additionally, these services have experts that can help you choose the right type of music for your business, weather you own a cafe or a car dealership. It's also important that you make sure you choose the type of background music service that best suits your technical needs.

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3. Royalty Free Music

Using royalty free music can result in some small savings for your business, but music that doesn't require royalties usually isn't as good. It typically sounds very generic, lacking an emotional touch. Even though the music is royalty free music, most recordings do require a one-time upfront payment for use, but doesn't require additional royalties for plays. Some royalty free music may require monthly payments for access (confusing, I know). Before moving forward with any recordings you find, make sure you're aloud to use the music in a public business setting.

4. Working with Local Musicians

If local is your thing, working directly with local musicians can reinforce your brand message. Depending on their level of popularity, local musicians may be willing to grant you access to their recordings without any royalty payments in exchange for promotion. If you choose to go this route, making direct deals can help you avoid paying licensing fees to the performance rights organizations (BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC). Even though artists may be willing to waive payments, not paying artists for their music can damage your reputation, so it's best to pay them something, even if just an upfront payment, for the use of their music in your business.


Need music for your business?


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