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BMI Makes It Simple to Connect Your Digital Business to Millions of Licensed Songs
A BMI digital music performance license gives you copyright permission to play over 22.4 million songs in BMI’s award-winning repertoire.
Music is used digitally in a variety of ways to enhance businesses around the world, but determining the best license for your needs can often be confusing. This is where BMI can help. If you’re operating a digital service (i.e., website, mobile app, digital music provider, podcast, etc.) with music streaming by audio or video, our easy-to-use online form will guide you to the best BMI music license that fits your needs. To get started, simply click the apply button below and complete a quick form. You’ll then have the option to purchase a BMI digital music license immediately, or if you need more information, request that a BMI representative contact you and we’ll walk you through the process.
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Do I need a license?
A “performing right” is granted by the U.S. Copyright Act to owners of musical works to license those works for public performance.
Digital Licensing FAQs
A BMI music performance license grants businesses the right to publicly perform BMI affiliated music. With one agreement, BMI provides unlimited access to over 22.4 million musical works by more than 1.4 million BMI-affiliated songwriters, composers, and music publishers.
BMI offers flexible licensing options for websites and/or mobile applications that take into consideration the diverse and evolving nature of digital business models. On behalf of our affiliated songwriters, composers and music publishers, BMI licenses all types of digital business to publicly perform the musical works in BMI’s repertoire.
U.S. Copyright Law provides that to “perform” a work “publicly” means to recite, render, play, dance, or act it, either directly or by means of any device or process…(1) at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered; or (2) to transmit or otherwise communicate a performance or display of the work to a place specified by clause (3) or to the public by means of any device or process, whether the members of the public are capable of receiving the performance or display receive it in the same place or in separate places and at the same time or at different times.
Musical compositions, like other intellectual property, belong to their creators. U.S. Copyright Law grants certain exclusive rights to copyright owners, including the right to publicly perform and the right to authorize others to publicly perform the work. Websites and/or mobile applications that publicly perform music must obtain a license from the copyright owner or their representative.
Songwriters and publishers affiliate with a performing rights organization like BMI which, on behalf of these affiliated writers and publishers, provides license agreements for all types of businesses. With more than 1.4 million songwriters, composers and music publishers and a repertoire of 22.4 million musical works, a BMI digital music license is an economical and efficient way to obtain the right to publicly perform BMI music.
Yes, a digital music license is required regardless of whether there is no cost for your users/subscribers/listeners to access your service or if you operate as a non-profit.
BMI represents over 22.4 million musical works by 1.4 million songwriters, composers and publishers from across the musical spectrum. Our catalog includes musical works written by Luke Combs, Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton, Miles Davis, Lady Gaga, Elton John, Dolly Parton, Aretha Franklin, Sheryl Crow, Michael Jackson, Paul Simon and Halsey just to name a few. BMI TV, film, theater and classical composers are equally successful. BMI legends such as Mike Post of “Law & Order,” fame or Ed Kalehoff, who wrote the opening for “Monday Night Football,” Charlie Fox, who penned numerous TV hits, including “Happy Days,” and WG Snuffy Walden, whose first big theme was for “ThirtySomething” are a small sample of the composers we represent. BMI also represents the primary composers of many of the top grossing films of all time, including E.T., Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and Star Wars, which were scored by John Williams, and The Lion King with songs by Elton John and Tim Rice. For a complete of BMI featured musical works, you can refer to Songview on the homepage of bmi.com.
Even though there may be many artists on your service that have not yet reached public recognition, they may be BMI affiliated songwriters or performing music in the BMI catalog of over 22.4 musical works (cover songs, BMI co-writers, etc.).
BMI digital music licenses start at a minimum rate of $350 per year and can increase at a variable rate depending on how music is used on the service being licensed.
Aggregate streaming hours are the total number of hours that have been streamed from the website and/or mobile application within the licensed territory (e.g., if 120 consumers each listen to one 30 second stream, licensee would report one aggregate Stream Hour).
BMI digital music licenses are typically one-year in length and include a minimum annual fee. Depending on your business and BMI license type, your license may be auto renewed each year and may include additional quarterly reporting and payments.
Revenue generated by the licensee in connection with the operation of the service which typically includes revenues from advertising, sponsorship, subscriptions, transactional purchases, donations, commissions from third party transactions, the fair market value of goods and services received in lieu of cash consideration (trade and barter), and proprietary software.
Your licensing fee goes to BMI’s affiliated songwriters, composers and music publishers in the form of royalties. Your payment supports the continued creation of music, which enhances the overall experience for your customers.