Disclaimer: Radio.co does not provide any form of music licensing or coverage for royalties. We recommend always consulting with qualified professionals or the relevant authorities for your country regarding copyright and licensing. The following suggestions aren't to be taken as legal advice.
You should know what you can do to protect yourself and the licenses available to you.
Do I Need a License?
Unlike terrestrial radio, you do not need to actually own a license in order to broadcast your stream online.
However, if your station is going to be playing commercial music, as opposed to a talk radio station, you may need to obtain a license in order to fully protect yourself and ensure you are not infringing on anyone else’s copyright. In most cases, the copyright is normally held by the recording artist or record label.
Internet radio station’s cover themselves by paying for what’s known as a “blanket license” or “umbrella license“, it covers their station and allows them to play any type of music.
Most licensee’s like this are paid on a yearly basis and can vary in price depending on the country you are broadcasting from and the countries you will be broadcasting to.
In some instances if licenses covering particular countries aren’t in your price range then you can block access from listeners by using “geofencing“.
Geo-Protection – AKA Blocking Listeners
Radio.co's Geo-Protection feature allows you to easily block or allow listeners from any country, which is handy depending on the license your radio station holds.
Allow countries access to your station, blocking all others from entry which you don’t want tuning in.
There are a variety of organisations and bodies who look after music copyright and royalties depending on your country, for example here are the UK’s licensing bodies:
- PRS: The “Performing Rights Society” collects royalties on behalf of artists, composers, and cover music that’s played on TV, radio, and online.
- PPL: The PPL represents the interests of record labels and collects royalties from radio stations on their behalf.
Choosing licensing solely rests on where you intend to broadcast audio, for instance, if your audience is in the USA then you can use SoundExchange. Here are a few internet radio licensing bodies by country:
United States of America
if you want to broadcast just talk or royalty free music then you don’t necessarily require a license.
Royalty Free Music
You need to pay for a music license once and then you can use the music for as long as you want and play it however many times as you want without yearly fees.
A royalty free license is usually a lot cheaper than a statutory license because you are not buying tracks for a set amount of time, instead, you are purchasing the rights to use to use tracks forever.
3 Royalty Free Music Sites
There is an abundance of great services online that represent artists’ royalty free music, here are just a few of the best:
- Jamendo Music: Independent music community to discover and download trending tracks.
- AudioJungle: Thousands of royalty free audio files from just $1.
- AudioBlocks: Unlimited royalty free audio that offers music, sound effects, and jingles.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for royalty free jingles or voice overs for your radio station then try Fiverr.