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Do I still need ascap and bmi licenses?

Do I still need ascap and bmi licenses?

I own a little coffee shop and ascap and bmi are coming after me to pay fees like the mafia.  It feels like another thing that is mean to nickel and diime a small business into shutting down or becoming boring.  If I get a premium account with spotify will this cover me from these types of organizations?

4 Replies

Hello @nubohemia and welcome to the community.


For what I now, these two organizations have nothing to see with Spotify. They are, normally in charge to gather rights of independent authors, songwriters, composers affiliated, for radio plays, or for any public plays (public party, festival, store, etc...).


Spotify premium is only for a personal and non-commercial use. In a case of a store, you will need a commercial license : Spotify Business.
to notice
: if you live in USA or Canada, fee to Ascap or BMI are included in a license Spotify Business.


You will get more information here ==>


Good luck with it 🙂






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The Spotify service the free ad supported, and premium access is intended for individual uses only, and not to be used for public performance settings. A few friends over to the home and playing Spotify is one thing, but playing the Spotify service in a business setting where any number of people can walk into the establishment and possible hear the music being played publicly can cause serious copyright violations for the business if found out about by ascap and bmi reps and / or other copyright groups depending on where your business has been established. 


Spotify does have a music branding service for businesses, you might look into this Spotify link below, there should also be contact information on the page for any in depth questions you might have:



Our condo clubhouse can play music over bluetooth.  I will stream Spotify for a birthday party and a neighborhood party.  I have a personal license.  The clubhouse is not open to the public.  We have a community gate and need a key to enter the clubhouse.  Do I need a BMI, UMG, ASCAP licenses?


Your Spotify account is limited to personal use only. To play music in your business, you need to work with a business music provider. This provider will provide coverage for the PROs like ASCAP and BMI as well as the licenses required to use those recordings in your business. In the US, you need to obtain licensing from ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and GMR. Like you said, if you don't, they will come after you like the mafia and the penalties are steep. The good news is, when you work with a music provider, their fees are going to be much less than the cost of paying each PRO individually. 


Activaire provides an amazing service and they cover all of the PROs you need to play music in your place of business. 


Make sure all PROs are covered and not just some. SYB no longer supports SESAC so there's going to be a lot of music they can't play. 

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