When to get permission

If you perform music or play recorded music on the radio, or stream (non-interactive) online, you need to obtain a public performance license. Artists typically do not need to secure public performance rights for radio because they are covered by the station. Also most reputable web services (such as Pandora) handle this for you. However, if you plan to stream on your own web site, you need to obtain rights. Radio station operators and web site administrators also need to secure permission. Licenses should be secured before the music is used. You do not need to license songs that you wrote yourself or songs that you know are in the public domain.

How to get permission

To obtain licenses for any type of radio in the United States, please contact the following performing rights agencies:


Outside of the United States, please contact your local performing rights society. To obtain licensing for any type of web radio that will be broadcasted in the United States, even if the originating server is outside of the United States please contact the following agency:

How the royalties are paid

Radio operators, web administrators, and others seeking public performance rights, should contact the agencies listed above to inquire about licensing for their station, web site, or web service. Expect to report your playlists to these agencies, and share a small percentage of your revenues for royalties, which the agencies then distribute to the copyright holders.

Relevant music license you need

If you want to perform music in public or play recorded music publicly.