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Music Streaming for Business: The Record Label Guide

What every record label should know about music streaming for business

Key areas of focus for a record label often include revenue sources and artist exposure. Though music streaming for businesses is a segment of the music market that is frequently overlooked, it can offer an additional source of both profit and awareness.

For a record label there are a selection of important factors to discover: music discovery, fair payment, music licensing and how Soundtrack can work for you. 

“Every track must be accounted for, legal, and fully licensed for business and commercial use. It’s our collective responsibility to help ensure that the creators and rights holders of music used to enhance brand and commerce experiences are properly remunerated.”

- Ola Sars, Founder, CEO and Chairman, Soundtrack Your Brand

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Fair Payment for Record Labels

The music industry loses $1.38 billion each year from businesses that incorrectly play music. 78% of small to midsize businesses across the United States, are using personal streaming platforms illegally, as a source of their in-store overhead music. 

In 2013, Spotify for Business, now named Soundtrack Your Brand, was launched. By creating a high quality, on-demand music streaming platform with a music catalog that is licensed music for business and commercial use, Soundtrack ensures that record companies are fairly paid.  

With Soundtrack came a global, direct licensing business model for companies to legally play music in their business locations. We are proud to have over 8,000 licensing agreements with labels, publishers and performing rights organizations, so that everyone involved in music creation is correctly paid. 

The technology behind Soundtrack guarantees that music labels and music publishers will be compensated correctly. Plus, your artists will be pleased to learn that for every song that is played using the Unlimited plan, artists can earn up to five times more from Soundtrack Your Brand than with personal streaming services.

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Business Music Licensing for Record Labels

Businesses that use personal streaming platforms are not only in breach of copyright laws, but also the terms of the music service that they’re using. In order for rights holders such as record labels to be fairly compensated for the recorded music that they own, the correct licensing agreements must be in place. 

There are three main licenses that are typically required. 1) The Recording License, to cover the right to use a specific recording of a song, 2) The Publishing License, to cover the right to use the original composition, and 3) The Public Performance License to grant performance rights and allow a business to play a track in a public environment. 

It is essential for all businesses to have the correct licenses from the performing rights organizations that operate in that country. Examples of these are PRS and PPL in the United Kingdom, ASCAP, BMI and GMR in the USA and Re:Sound in Canada. Without the right licensing, it’s not possible for artists, songwriters, producers, publishers and record labels to be paid fairly. 

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Music Discovery for Record Labels

In the United States, 33% of listeners discover new music from background music that’s playing in businesses. With just one visit to a hotel, restaurant, bar or retail store, someone new could join the fanbase of one of your artists. 

Personal music streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Soundcloud, YouTube Music and Amazon Music are only built for personal use. This means that the many businesses who rely on these types of services to play music in their business are breaking the law every single day. The same issue applies with downloaded digital music, for example if iTunes is used. 

The expectation of most customers, staff members and business owners is that excellent playlists will be available at all times, with no restrictions or advertising. The customer experience often relies on the availability of this type of music, meaning that royalty-free options are often not suitable. Managers and owners often incorrectly turn to personal streaming service providers for this reason.  

Though music licensing is often considered to be a confusing landscape, so many business owners are causing harm to the music industry by failing to have a correct setup. Though the music in your catalog might be receiving exposure in these scenarios, you would not be paid fairly for the usage if personal platforms are involved. Soundtrack offers an ideal solution for this issue. 

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Soundtrack Your Brand for Record Labels

The music you release is well taken care of at Soundtrack. We have relationships with major labels including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group, as well as a range of indie labels. These all-important partnerships allow us to have a music catalog that we’re incredibly proud of. 

We maintain a music service with the world’s largest commercial music catalog of business music with over 100 million songs across a broad range of genres, from some of the world’s best loved artists. 

To make best use of this amazing music library, we have an expert in-house curation team who create and maintain over 12,000 different playlists. These sit on our business focussed platform amongst other essential features such as an in-store audio messaging tool, a scheduling feature and an explicit lyric filter. 

We have also built the only official Spotify playlist import feature, so that our users can add their favorite existing playlists to their Soundtrack account - ensuring that the reach of your priority playlists can be maximized. 

Each of your artists can be found through our search feature, with each artist having their own Soundtrack page. That page highlights popular songs, featured playlists, ‘Best Of’ playlists as well as ‘& More’ playlists to blend with similar artists.

If you’d like more information about Soundtrack for Labels, please reach out! Contact us here and stay in touch via our social media channels.

You can also read more from Ola Sars, our founder, CEO and Chairman, via Music Business Worldwide.