Music Industry

Do You Play Music at Your Business? Then Read This.

SOCAN is the body responsible for collecting public performance royalties.  Any place that plays music to the public is subject SOCAN fees.  That includes gyms, salons, stores and restaurants.

The fees are tiny, but they go a long way to compensating musicians for their art.  It’s morally right to pay the SOCAN fees.  And to make it easy, the organization has coming up with something they called “Licensed to Play.”

SOCAN – the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada – today announced an awareness-raising “Licensed to Play” program for the more than 125,000 organizations across Canada that put music to work to make their business better.”Licensed to Play is a long-term program with a core objective of encouraging businesses and their customers to think of music as an instrumental aspect of their experience,” said Jennifer Brown, vice president of Licensing at SOCAN. “By displaying the Licensed to Play emblem proudly, businesses affirm that they put music to work ethically and legally, and recognize that music adds value to the business and customer experience. Staying current with their SOCAN license enables an organization to be ‘Licensed to Play,’ and upholds its support for those who create the music that they and their customers love.”

The multi-faceted program will begin with the introduction of the Licensed to Play graphic and the distribution of a sticker to more than 30,000 retail establishments, bars, restaurants, fitness studios, clubs and offices that are current with their 2014 SOCAN license. As businesses continue to report directly to SOCAN, more stickers will be distributed. A digital version also will be distributed to licensed new media accounts to display on their websites. Businesses are encouraged to exhibit the Licensed to Play graphic on windows and doors to show their support for music to customers, employees, partners, and the more than 120,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers that comprise SOCAN’s membership.

“Songwriters, composers and music publishers truly appreciate the support that they receive from businesses that are licensed to play music,” Brown added. “The Licensed to Play campaign showcases the implicit partnership and mutual admiration that licensed businesses have with our members. Displaying the Licensed to Play graphic shows our members that businesses putting music to work value their music and support their fair compensation.”

SOCAN’s members will feel a positive impact from the program, allowing them to recognize their partners in business. Multiple Juno and SOCAN award winner Johnny Reid said about businesses that are licensed to play music: “Our music benefits the retail experience for your customers while providing SOCAN members with an outlet for their music. We truly appreciate this mutually beneficial relationship and its contribution to our lives.”

The program includes social media elements, with contests and incentives to SOCAN members, licensees and the general public for sharing sightings and stories when they see the Licensed to Play sticker, which not only represents an ethical and legal business decision, but provides a gateway to the world’s repertoire of music. A SOCAN license covers almost all commercial music in the world, and Licensed to Play symbolizes respect for music creation, fair play and fun.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38065 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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