Music Licensing for Business in Canada

Playing music in a business is a little different from listening to music at home. Since you're playing for an audience with a business and commercial purpose, you will need different licenses.

Calle concurrida de Ottawa con varios negocios

Music Licenses in Canada

The content shown is a guide and not to be taken as direct legal advice. As per our terms and conditions, you are solely responsible for obtaining the correct licenses.

Businesses need three different licenses to legally play music in their physical venue.

  • icono de grabación

    Recording License

    Recording License

    This covers the right to use a specific recording of a song.

  • Notas musicales

    Publishing License

    Publishing License

    This covers the right to use the original composition.

  • Tienda abierta

    Public Performance License

    Public Performance License

    This allows you to play the song in a public environment.

Soundtrack Your Brand covers all three licenses for background music in Canada. Public performance licenses through SOCAN and Re:Sound are included in our offering.

For information on music licensing in another country, please click here.

Soundtrack Your Brand

The Value of Soundtrack

We offer a licensed music service for commercial use, with great features such as scheduling tools and an explicit filter.

Soundtrack Your Brand is able to provide this via direct relationships with publishers, performing rights organizations and record labels (including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and more).

Our technology allows royalties to be fairly and accurately distributed back to music creators. Our Unlimited tier provides royalty payments that are approximately 5 times higher than those from streaming services for private use.

Reproducir música en casa

Unsupported Services

Services such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, Tidal and Deezer are not suitable for use in business. These platforms are for personal, private use only - it is not legal to use them when playing music to an audience and you could risk being faced with a fine.

"You can’t broadcast or play Spotify publicly from a business, such as bars, restaurants, schools, stores, salons, dance studios, radio stations, etc. To play in a commercial environment, check out our friends at Soundtrack Your Brand."

Spotify Support Page

Steps to become fully licensed in Canada

1) Trial Soundtrack

Start our 14 day free trial to use our properly licensed business music service immediately. No payment or commitment required.

2) Verify use case

If your business charges admission, does instructed fitness or hosts live music you might need additional licensing on top of Soundtrack through SOCAN and Re:Sound. Visit their websites and verify your use case.

3) Subscribe to Soundtrack

Enjoy the world's best business music service while staying fully compliant. Select a plan and add your payment details to officially join Soundtrack.

More Information about Music Licensing in Canada

Overview

Music licensing in Canada is dominated by four organizations - SOCAN, CMRRA, CONNECT and Re:Sound. SOCAN has a focus on the collection of royalties for public performance of music on behalf of songwriters and composers, whereas CMRRA collect on behalf of CMRRA. Master rights owners of sound recordings are looked after by CONNECT, whilst Re:Sound acts to collect neighbouring rights royalties.

Contact

SOCAN

CMRRA

CONNECT

Re:Sound

History

SOCAN, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada was founded in 1990. SOCAN was actually created as a merger between two existing PROs - CAPAC, which was in operation since 1925, and PROCAN, which had been running since 1940.

The Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency or CMRRA was launched in 1975 with a focus on physical and digital mechanical licensing.

Re:Sound was formed in 1997, under the original name of NRCC, the Neighbouring Rights Collective of Canada. It was created to help artists and record companies gain fair compensation for their performance rights.

CONNECT Music licensing was later created on behalf of owners and controllers of music copyright for the majority of sound recordings and video content across Canada.

How to get a license in Canada

Much like in Finland, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, the two primary licensing organizations in Canada have formed a united front so that businesses can more easily access a singular music license with complete coverage.

It is not yet possible to purchase a license online via ConnectMusic, but it is simple to view the different tariffs available, as well as many related costs. While customer service will need to be contacted to arrange the license, ConnectMusic is the only company that will need to be communicated with.

Note: When using Soundtrack in Canada, all licenses are included.

FAQ

Am I fully licensed with Soundtrack?

Soundtrack provides all the licenses you need to legally play music in your business, and they cover all of our 100 million + songs. 

There are a few exceptions if music is a primary part of your business. If so, you may have to acquire special public performance licenses through SOCAN and Re:Sound. This affects these business types:

  • Live music venues (DJs, karaoke, or traditional live music performances)

  • Businesses that charge admission

  • Businesses that conduct physical exercises and/or dance instruction to music (but the common areas of the gym like the lobby, locker rooms, and lounge areas are all covered)

Do I have to pay PRO fees separately, like to SOCAN or Re:Sound?

No. Except for exceptions described above, your Soundtrack subscription includes all the licenses you would otherwise need from SOCAN and Re:Sound.

Does it cost more to go through Soundtrack than to pay SOCAN or Re:Sound directly?

No. You may actually save money using Soundtrack as your subscription includes SOCAN and Re:Sound licenses at a discount. The savings are big for a small business like a café that seats 12, and huge for a large business because the fees quickly scale when you purchase these licenses directly.