Getting a License: First Thing to Consider

If you have in mind launching a radio broadcasting channel, you probably think of the licensing. However, you should mull over the content you are going to broadcast to get if you need it. If you are going to play music and voiceovers that are royalty-free – you don’t need one. Another option: you own a talk-based internet radio with royalty-free music – no need for license too. However, if you are going to launch a station with commercial music, then getting a stream license is a must. You might ask what you need to get it. Well, the requirements and terms vary depending on the country. You should check out at the licensing establishments of your country. Yet, for a quick overview of US and Canada, read further.


USA Radio Licensing

Application for a statutory license is the first thing you need to get licensed in the USA. Here you have three options to choose from: ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. They are Performance Rights Organizations that gather and share royalties. They allow commercial music to be available for broadcasting over the radio, TV, and the Internet. Another service is Sound Exchange – it’s only appropriate if you are going to launch an Internet-based radio station.

If you’re going to track all of the royalty fees – you should check out which of the PROs takes the royalties for the music tracks you’re planning to broadcast via your means. Then you should get a license of one or a few of them (depending on the musicians’ registration) and you’re ready! However, it should be a pain in the neck to check every single track and musician and cope with all the payments. No worries – there’s a solution. Some companies do it for you – they get the fees you’re going to spend on license and (surely) payment for their services and get licensed for you. Live365 is perhaps one of the most well-known ones.



Canada Licensing

In Canada, there’s a governmental body responsible for giving licenses to owners of radio broadcasting channels. All the radio broadcasters should be licensed under the CRTC and pay a certain fee for it. Moreover, among the leaders in the industry, there is also SOCAN – the largest rights management organization in Canada.



Ok, you’ve got licensed. Yet, keep in mind one other thing that is a must-have when starting your new Internet Radio Station. You need to ensure you have top quality Radio Imaging so your listeners understand what they are listening to and the personality of your radio station. We at LFM Audio can help you with that!