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Broadcasters

Whether you broadcast a TV or cable TV show that includes music in some of the programming, or operate a terrestrial, satellite or online radio station that broadcasts music, getting Licensed To Play by SOCAN means that the people who created that music are compensated for your use of their work. You’re also making sure that the music used to build your viewership or listenership is used fairly, legally and ethically. The license fees that broadcasters pay to SOCAN for the public performance of music – whether via cue sheets for individual music performances or blanket licenses for all music performances within a given time period – compensate songwriters, composers and music publishers that make up SOCAN.

Question

Why do I need a SOCAN music license?

A.

A SOCAN license grants your business permission to use music in a specific way, and it’s quite straightforward to work with SOCAN to obtain the right license to play music. When a business uses music, it’s adding value by using the work of music creators and publishers. Those who composed, wrote, and published the song are entitled to be compensated for the time, effort, and money they put into the creation and promotion of that work when that music is played in public. In accordance with Canada’s Copyright Act, any public performance of copyright-protected musical works requires a license. When a song is played in public, music creators (not just the performers) are entitled to be compensated – it supports their livelihood. Without SOCAN, you would have to get permission from every composer, songwriter, and publisher of every musical work you intend to use in your business –a feat that most of us have neither the time nor the means to achieve. This permission isn’t granted when you buy a recording, whether through a CD, downloading, etc., which only allows you to privately use the purchased music. SOCAN simplifies this complex process for businesses through licenses. A SOCAN license grants your business permission to use music in a specific way, and it’s easy to work with SOCAN to obtain the right license to play music.

Shawn Mendes
Member

Shawn Mendes

SOCAN member Shawn Mendes’ first hit single “Stitches” reached the Top 10 in the U.S. and Canada, and No. 1 in the U.K. His albums Handwritten and Illuminate both debuted atop the U.S. Billboard 200. In only a few years, the 20-year-old pop star has already opened a tour for Taylor Swift and headlined at Madison Square Gardens. He earned a SOCAN Breakout Award in 2015 and Pop/Rock Award in 2016, and the Allan Slaight Honour from Canada's Walk of Fame. After 10 JUNO Award nominations, in 2017 Mendes finally won the Fan Choice Award. A few days later, he joined his hero John Mayer onstage.