How to License Music for your Massage Business, Legally

One of the hot topics in Massage Business Support Network (MBSN) recently is about licensing music that you play in your clinic or room.

In short, music that is played in your business or a public place has to be paid for in some way.

APRA AMCOS is a non-profit organisation that grants business owners a “Corporate Music Use License” for unlimited use of music, and ensures that the rights of music creators and all entities involved in the creation and production of the music are upheld in accordance to copyright laws.

While many of the therapists in MBSN who have been running their businesses for a while are already complying to this regulation, some are surprised to find out that such licenses exist.

It’s easy to be unaware such rules exist because music is so easily and commonly streamed anywhere you go.

Music for business

To many business owners, playing music helps provide the right ambience in the workplace, and serves as a form of entertainment for clients.

Especially for massage therapists, music has a powerful influence on the way your clients feel when they arrive and throughout treatment. The style and type of music can be seen as a subtle part of the treatment itself.

What APRA does is to make sure that the musicians and the producers behind the music being used for business are paid rightfully for the use of their music creations.

What does it cost?

A license with APRA AMCOS covers you to play almost any commercially released music.

According to their website, they charge based on how big your business is and use the number of employees you have to determine this. The complete license is 97c for each employee, with a minimum of $63.92 a year; and 97c per employee for copying music, with a minimum of $63.92 a year.

If you copy or reproduce music that can also impact the pricing structure.

There are also special rates for music being used in reception areas and retail outlets, and for when you will use music for when a caller is put on hold over the phone.

Basically you are paying the musicians, composers and music publicists for the potential number of people who will listen and benefit from their music.

Licenses are renewable annually, but you may cancel your license by informing them one month ahead if you will no longer use music for business. You can visit APRA AMCOS official website to see their charts on rates and fees.

Don’t want to deal with APRA AMCOS? Here are your options:

Applying for a corporate music use license through APRA AMCOS is already an easy and cost-effective way to comply to copyright laws, but you can go directly and seek permission from the copyright owners of the material you want to use if you wish to do so.

One of the members of MBSN mentioned applying for his license at PPCA, another non-profit music licensing organisation. PPCA functions similarly to APRA AMCOS, ensuring that musicians and producers are compensated fairly for their work.

You may not need to apply for licenses if you are already using an authorised background music supplier like Soundtrack business. You can check with either APRA or PPCA if you have already been covered by your supplier’s license.

If finances are an issue, you can use royalty-free music. Many musicians put out free music on the internet that you can take advantage of. But be careful where you get free music to ensure it is actually copyright free.

Not all downloadable music is free

Apps and websites like YouTube or Spotify make it super easy for anyone to stream or download music, but just because it’s easy to do doesn’t mean it’s legally correct to play it in your  business.

This is why APRA AMCOS and PPCA now exist. To make sure that the rights of the people behind the music are not being abused.

Even YouTube has imposed its own regulations on what  music people add to their videos, and it will take down those that overstep copyright laws.

The easy way to win is to apply for a corporate music licence at APRA AMCOS.

Paying for music in this way may seem daunting the first time, but in the end it’s just another expense you pay for in business. This is a legal obligation after all, and one that is being implemented all over the world.

How do you feel about having to pay for the music you use for your massage business?
Let us know your thoughts! Join our MBSN community on Facebook and join the discussion.


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