Music Licensing for Residential Communities
BMI Makes It Simple to License the Music Used in Residential Communities
From TVs in fitness centers and common areas, to music at events and showings, a BMI music license gives your residential community the copyright clearance to play any of the over 20.6 million songs in BMI’s award-winning repertoire. Here’s how you can get started:
Call (888) 689-5264 to get
a license over the phone.
Fill out our Online Form and a BMI Representative will get back to you with more information.
License and Report Form
For multiple locations, visit the Franchise Page.
To learn more about when a music license is needed in residential communities, click here for a downloadable one-sheet.
BMI’s Music License Saves You Time & Money
- SAVE TIME & MONEY A BMI license saves you the time and expense of contacting each songwriter or composer for permission to play their music publicly.
- SIMPLICITY Eliminates complex reporting and allows you to make music use changes online or over the phone.
- Pay your bill online securely and easily.
- Schedule your payments by choosing the billing plan that is right for your business, and you can also opt for automated payments.
Common Music Licensing Questions for Residential Communities
If you have questions about music licensing and how it affects your Residential Community or Homeowners Association, please see the most common questions below.
If you have additional questions, please review our full list of Licensing FAQs or contact a BMI representative.
No. Even though your event is open only to residents of your community, you must still secure a BMI Music License. The United States Copyright Law defines a public place as any place where persons outside of “a normal circle of family and friends” are gathered. In other words, even though your event is closed to the general public, the residents of your community, in attendance, are considered a public. They are not an informal gathering of family and friends. So, any music that is accessible to all your residents would require the appropriate music licensing.
Commercial music services, which are licensed with BMI, provide BMI music for background use only. For example, this could include background music in your lobby, club house or elevator. If your music use includes TV, radio, a DJ, karaoke, or live music performance, it falls outside of the scope of coverage afforded by your CMS agreement. Please contact a BMI representative for more information and to obtain a BMI license to cover your music performances.
Yes. A music license with another performing right organization allows you to perform only copyrighted music represented by that organization. It does not cover public performances of the award-winning music licensed by BMI. This is because each songwriter or composer may belong to only one performing right organization at any given time, so each PRO licenses a unique repertoire of music.
Q: If my residential community or apartment complex has TVs or plays radio stations in the common areas, do I still need a BMI license? Aren’t TV, cable, and radio stations already licensed with BMI?
Yes, but those agreements do not authorize the performance of TV, cable and radio to the public by businesses and other organizations. However, there are certain exemptions provided by copyright law, including the size of your establishment, how many TVs you have in each room, their screen size and how many speakers you have. Contact a BMI Representative to learn if these uses need to be licensed for your business.
Q: Is a BMI License necessary if my business purchased self-directed fitness equipment for use in the residential gym?
Providers of self-directed fitness equipment are not licensed by BMI for use in public areas such as fitness centers.