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FAQ- Music Licensing for Online Concerts

YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, WE’VE GOT  ANSWERS. 

Here are some common questions we’re asked about music licensing for virtual events, concerts, and music festivals.

Q. Do I need a music license to broadcast a concert live online?

You sure do. A music license ensures that your event is using music legally and ethically while supporting music creators.  The license fees paid to SOCAN for the streaming of live performances are used to compensate the songwriters, composers and music publishers who make up SOCAN.

Q. How do I obtain a music license for my online concert?

We’ve made the process super simple. Please note that this license is being administered by SOCAN directly. Please email onlineconcert@socan.com and indicate “Online Concert” in the subject line. Provide a brief description of your music use, including details about the platform you’ll be using to livestream your concert, event, or festival.  If you have an account with Entandem, please let us know as this will streamline the process.

Q. Why is SOCAN administering the license and not Entandem?

Entandem is a joint venture created by RE:SOUND and SOCAN. While Entandem was designed to be a one-stop shop for all your music-in-business licensing needs, we do not administer licensing for traditional or digital media such as music use in TV/film, radio, or online. SOCAN continues to administer these licenses directly. However, we still want to make it easy for you – you can continue to obtain your in-person music event licenses through Entandem once pandemic restrictions have lifted.

Q. What types of online events require a music license?

It would be difficult to name all the events requiring a music license. We encourage you to call us at 1-800-557-6226 or email licence@socan.com and we’ll help you figure it out.

Q. I already pay the performers. Why do I have to pay SOCAN?

When you hire a band or a DJ, you’re paying for their services as performing artists, but not for the performance/communication of the music on the internet, that is, not for the people who created the music being performed. Performing music and creating music are two separate types of creative work, and each deserves fair compensation, even in cases where the performers are also the creators of the music.

Q. Do I need to clear any other rights or obtain any other licenses?

You may require a reproduction rights or synchronization licenses. SOCAN administers these rights for specific uses and repertoire, so we also encourage you to reach out to CMRRA to find out whether you need any additional licenses from them.

Q. What music licenses do I need if I am planning a hybrid event?

If you plan to host both in-person attendees and virtual attendees at your event, you’ll require music licenses administered by both Entandem and SOCAN. But don’t worry, we’ve made it easy for you. Simply connect with us at onlineconcert@socan.com and we’ll make sure you have the licensing required to pull off a successful show!

Click here to learn more about licensing your online/virtual music event.