SOBuzz: Music Licensing Break-Down

I will dance to a different drum…
unless that drum beat is owned by BMI.

It's that time of year again… music licensing!  If you're like my dance studio, you may have recently gotten an invoice from ASCAP and are contemplating hiring a band of musicians just so you don't have to pay the necessary evil that is music license fees every year.

(Dear ASCAP, BMI & SESAC… just kidding – I will still be paying you this year!)

I get many requests for what I actually pay for my studio's music license, so I thought why not do a post now?

Before you scroll down further, if you're a new dance studio owner, fitness instructor or dance teacher and want more information about WHY we you may need to pay music license fees, check out my previous posts on music licensing:

  • License-Free Alternatives – really don't want to pay BMI, SESAC or ASCAP?  Use only live musicians or license-free music.  Check out the pro's and cons here.
Ok.  All studied up?  Alright, let's move on to the money.

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Music Monday: License-Free Alternatives

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Our most popular post to date has been Dance Studio Music Licensing FAQ.  If you haven't checked it out, it's worth a read whether you're a studio owner or instructor – including the comments!

After seeing more comments pop up, I became interested in researching royalty-free music.  While there are not that many specifically for dance studios, I did come across some alternatives.

My favorite alternative for royalty-free class music is the use of live music!  However, when live musicians are not easily available (or affordable), you maybe looking for some options.

You will notice that the prices for license-free music is much higher than the 99 cent or $1.29 per track cost of licensed music.  Because license-free artists do not receive royalties, the prices are higher. Either way, here are the tracks which you can use in class or for performance without paying ASCAP, BMI or SESAC:

1) Lynn Stanford's Ballet CD collection – I love Lynn Stanford's ballet music – possibly because my ballet teachers used his CDs throughout my childhood and then again in college.

The only one available on iTunes is #8301 "More Music For Ballet Class" More Lynn Stanford Music for Ballet Class - Lynn Stanford, but you can find the rest on danceclassmusic.com – The ballet music titles that are without license are: #8001, #8301, #8403, #8712, #9121, #9122 (prices range from $16.00-$30.00).

He also has Music for Modern Class ($26.00).

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Studio Owner Buzz: Music Licensing FAQ

Musica comprimida  -  Compressed MusicAfter just receiving my ASCAP licensing fee invoice for 2011, I thought it might be a good idea to do a post about music licensing.  I dove into researching the topic and came up with the answers to my own questions along with some interesting other facts.

Full Disclosure:  I only researched copyright laws of the United States, so if you have any information about international music licensing, please comment!

So without further ado, here are some frequently asked questions about music licensing (after the jump):
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