Recording Artist Listens to Music Playback as she Sits in the StudioImage of Recording Musician Working in the Studio

Music Streaming for Business: The Artist Guide

What every artist should know about music streaming for business

Music streaming for business offers an opportunity for artists that is often overlooked. As we’ll explore, background or overhead music can provide an additional source of revenue as well as exposure for your music.

There are several key areas to consider as an artist: music discovery, renumeration, music licensing and how Soundtrack works for you. 

“Today, artists and creators are losing money because of the lack of education and clarity around the use of music in business and commercial spaces. If we allow misuse to continue at this level, we diminish the value of music globally.”

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

Recording Artist works hard in the studio to create new music

Music Discovery for Artists

A simple visit to a coffee shop, restaurant, gym or hotel could be all it takes for someone new to connect with your music and join your fanbase. An impressive 33% of consumers in the United States discover new music when played as background music in business and commercial locations.

Most business owners, staff and customers expect to hear great playlists featuring their preferred artists playing ad-free at all times. The right music can make or break the customer experience for businesses. This means that owners and managers typically need an easy to use music  solution to play the best music for their brand. This sometimes means that free music from royalty-free tracks or their personal music streaming service accounts simply aren’t suitable.

While Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, Apple Music and Amazon Music are all popular music streaming platforms, they are not licensed to play music in business or commercial locations. Even for businesses who may have some PRO licenses, as noted on Spotify’s website and laid out in our Terms and Conditions, Spotify is only for personal, non-commercial use.  However, businesses are breaking the law on a daily basis by using these consumer DSP’s to play music in-store for their customers.

The world of music licensing can be confusing for business owners and managers who are unaware of the damage that they are causing. Though your music might be receiving exposure to prospective fans in these scenarios, you should be earning a higher rate for each track played. Soundtrack offers a solution for this.

Group of Artists Working together to Write and Record New MusicArtist Writing New Music in the Studio

Proper Remuneration for Artists

The music industry is currently losing $1.38 billion per year in the U.S. alone. That loss comes entirely from the misuse of music playing in business and commercial spaces. The unfortunate reality is that in the United States, 78% of small-to-midsize businesses are using personal music streaming platforms for their in-store overhead music.

Soundtrack Your Brand was launched in 2013 with a mission to protect the value of music while providing businesses with a legal alternative that has the selection and depth of catalog that today’s businesses seek and music creators can benefit from. We set out to ensure that music creators are properly remunerated, by providing licensed music for business and commercial use in the form of a high quality, on-demand music streaming platform.

For every track that is played using the Unlimited plan, artists can earn up to five times more with Soundtrack Your Brand compared to personal music streaming services. This is because our technology guarantees that royalties are properly tracked and reported back to you as the music creator and/ or performer.

Soundtrack launched a global, direct licensing model for businesses to legally play music. We have more than 8,000 direct license agreements with labels, publishers and performing rights organizations. This means that everyone involved in music creation, including you as the artist, are properly remunerated.

Image of Recording Musician Working in the Studio

Business Music Licensing for Artists

When using personal streaming platforms, businesses are breaching the terms of that service and also all-important copyright laws. Fees can vary based on the size and the type of business, but the rules are crystal clear: businesses that play music for an audience with a commercial purpose need to be correctly licensed. This applies even for a small business that’s just starting out.

Each track typically requires two copyright types. First, one for the ‘musical work’ - the lyrics and written music. This is usually owned by the songwriter and publisher.  Second, a copyright for the ‘sound recording’ or ‘master’ - this protects the work of the producer, engineers, recording musicians and the recording artist. It’s common for this to be owned by the record label or independent artist. Your PROs will often collect and distribute the royalties associated with  the public performance of your  musical works. When your music is played digitally, additional tracking is accounted for the sound recording and the underlying musical work. 

Soundtrack provides businesses with each of the three proper licenses required by music rights holders. The three main licenses that are typically required include: 1) The Recording License, which covers the right to use a specific recording of a song, 2) The Publishing License, which covers the right to use the original composition, and 3) The Public Performance License which allows businesses to play the song in a public environment.

Soundtrack licenses the rights from the PROs globally, including ASCAP, BMI and GMR in the United States, SOCAN and Re:Sound in Canada or PRS and PPL in the United Kingdom. We manage playlists and content to avoid any music which isn’t licensed. Our systems track and enable payment to artists, songwriters and publishers each time a track is played. No more estimating - the artists that are played are those being properly reported, to help ensure proper compensation.

Vocalist Sings in a Recording Booth in a Music Studio

Soundtrack Your Brand for Artists

Our business users can easily search for your music by artist name, song and album. Each artist has their own page within Soundtrack, similar to those you’re familiar with on consumer DSPs.

On our artist pages we feature your most popular songs, the playlists that you appear on, followed by your albums and singles. In many cases, you’ll also see your bespoke ‘Best Of’ playlist featuring your most played songs, as well as the ‘Artist & More’ playlist that blends your tracks with music from similar artists and any collaborations.

Soundtrack also offers  a unique official Spotify playlist import feature so that business users can easily add their favorite Spotify playlists, making them legal and compliant to play in their businesses. This means that any playlists that you have created on your Spotify artist page can also be transferred.

Soundtrack has made significant investments and is proud to have grown the world’s largest commercial music catalog for business to play the world’s greatest artists legally. With more that 100 million songs across a wide range of music genres, we update over 12,000 expertly curated playlists monthly and provide tools for businesses to create playlists based on genres, moods and spaces. 

If you’d like any more information about Soundtrack for Artists or have questions on how you can help encourage your local or favorite businesses to play music that ensures you’re properly remunerated, 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.