BMI, ASCAP and SESAC are organizations that work in a similar way: they were created to represent composers and protect their music in public performances.
However, this legislation took little into account the evolution of the industry thanks to the Internet, nor did it take into account a multitude of possible cases, such as what a business owner should do when playing background music on it or how to control exactly what music plays who.
That’ is why many times they charge disproportionate monthly economic amounts to small and medium businesses, whose owners see as excessive.
Here we will see several alternatives that have been appearing over time to be able to reduce the financial cost.
Music Copyright in the United States
Each time anyone creates a piece of music becomes the author of it, however, there may be a large number of creations daily that potentially can match others somewhere in its structure.
Therefore, and in order to respect its legitimate origin, there is copyright in music, which aims to avoid suspicion about who was the first person who created the piece of music.
The main goal of some organizations (called PRO or Performance Rights Organization) is that the music composers obtain the benefits generated by their creations, not only in economic terms but also in the aspect of social recognition.
In general, all that is needed to enter these organizations that protect music rights is to record some songs.
The three dominant PROs in the American music industry are these below:
Broadcast Music Inc. is an organization that supports composers and publishers by taking into account one of the most important aspects of their careers: that they receive a payment for their creations.
The organization is compatible with both companies and organizations that play music publicly since it offers general music licenses that enable them to play almost 13 million musical works.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers is an organization in the United States responsible for protecting the copyright in the music of all its members.
To do this, they monitor public presentations, whether they are made by broadcasters or through a live presentation, and ensures that the musicians are compensated accordingly.
Nowadays it has around 30,000 composers and more than 400,000 compositions in its catalog. Unlike BMI and ASCAP, which operate nonprofit, SESAC retains some income as profit, for performance royalties.
It is also the only one of the copyright organizations in the United States that does not offer an open membership, but that the interested party must be approved to join.
What kind of alternatives are there?
The good news is that there are alternatives of all kinds to not pay a single cent to the organizations mentioned above. They charge a lot of times too much for profiting themselves instead of giving it to the authors.
We just have to know where to go on the Internet. Depending on where we want to place the music, we have several options to choose from:
Music for Business and Stores
If our goal is to play background music in our restaurants, clothing stores, boutiques or in any location facing the public, there are two options:
-Soundtrack Your Brand-
The creators of Soundtrack Your Brand are former Spotify employees and have a partnership agreement through which they allow their users to use their playlists on Soundtrack Your Brand in an easy way.
However, they maintain their own essence and platform, so they should not be confused with each other.
Soundtrack Your Brand offers more than 300 different soundtracks with a very simple online tool that allows you to find the perfect type of music for your business. They constantly add new music, specifically 10,000 music tracks per day, a feature that makes new songs sound without being repeated.
You don’t need to buy anything else, with any Windows, Mac, Android or iPhone device you can use and manage it. They offer a free one-month trial, which can be canceled at any time via the Internet.
They have a single license to make the process easier. For each location, the cost is $34.99 per month for the United States and Canada
. To be sure of the price of their services in other countries, check their pricing page here
-Cloud Cover Music-
Cloud Cover Music is the best option if you are located in the United States or Canada. They offer more than 120 different radios with royalty-free music sorted by genre, according to which best suits the environment you want to offer in your business.
The radios are available online without announcements or interruptions, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Their licenses are based on plans, which will depend on your own needs:
|PLANS||PRICES PER LOCATION|
|Music||From $16.16 / month|
|Manage||From $20.61 / month|
|Messaging||From $26.96 / month|
|Custom plan (5+ Locations)||Contact here|
SoundSuit is the main competitor of Soundtrack Your Brand and Cloud Cover Music and, despite being the youngest platform of the three, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be considered even better than them.
In fact, its innovative “Digital Music Assistant” selects, schedules and updates playlists like no other, and has already managed to captivate such innovative brands as Fitbox, Design Hotels, Nestlé, and Audi, as well as small independent businesses.
You’ll quickly notice the difference with other streaming music services from the moment you first sign up.
When you do, the SoundSuit application asks you what kind of business you have, what your brand positioning is (if it’s mainstream, a local service, etc.), your ideal audience (age, style, etc.), and their mood preferences.
This is all you have to do to get the service up and running to set the musical environment of your business and start multiplying sales.
After all, you know you might be wondering how much this service costs, right? And I’m sure if I tell you that it only costs $29,99 / month for each location you’d like to try it out, wouldn’t you?
Well, with their free 30-day trial you can do it at zero cost and see if SoundSuit is really what you’re looking for. Just click here and it’s all yours.
Music for Youtube and Social Media
If our goal is to put background music on Youtube videos or social media, these are our best options for acquiring licenses for specific songs:
Epidemic Sound is the service used by the big YouTube channels and the best-known Youtubers around the world. It’s amazingly easy to use and they have a library of more than 30,000 royalty-free songs.
Their service works by subscription instead of single payments and the actual cost is:
- $15/month for personal channels
- $49/month for business channels
Thanks to them you can monetize your videos without further problems and you will never receive a copyright notice from YouTube again. Also, you can try it for 30 days for free!
Envato Elements is, without a doubt, the best option on the Internet when opting for music licensing.
It currently has more than 90,000 music tracks and sound effects, in addition to a search engine that allows you to find just the kind of music you need from all possible genres: pop, rock, classical, funk, etc. and both with lyrics and without lyrics.
Songs are available in WAV and MP3 formats and usually have several versions, to save you time when editing the video.
Their subscription price is $16.50/month and it offers you unlimited downloads.
Music for Ads, Movies and Products
If you want to use music for television ads, radio, movies, series, mobile apps, games, audiobooks and any other use that you can imagine, the best option is Envato Elements.
The subscription will provide you with these advantages:
- Access to all tracks
- New tracks added every week
- Unlimited downloads
- Unlimited use in all your owned and operated channels
- No copyright claims or royalty fees – Fully monetize your videos
- Cancellation at any time
Previously and due to a lack of knowledge or options, many companies and individuals didn’t see an alternative to their monthly payments to PRO.
However, in recent years, thanks to the Internet, many news sites have been appearing little by little with amazing teams that offer much cheaper solutions, as we have seen throughout the article.
Most of them offer free temporary trials so you can see if their service fits what you are looking for, as well as a spectacular customer service so you can forget about this aspect of your business leaving it in good hands while being more cost-effective.