I have been in the fitness business for 30 years and just now am being harassed by a music licensing company demanding me to get a music license for my studio. I use music through a Yes app and my own Cd’s. Since when did this become or is it an issue for us small business owners? Is anyone else dealing with this matter, please respond to my question…This company calls and emails me all the time…
I think that sometimes group-ex instructors are more likely to hear about this than studio owners, especially if studio owners haven’t done group-ex. It was covered in my instructor curriculum in 1990 and I’ve heard the information many times since. But two different owners of personal training studios where I rented space looked at me like I had extra heads when I asked them if they were covered by ASCAP for music licensing.
But the rules are real, and the fines can be large.
That’s why there’s elevator music. It costs less to broadcast covers than original artists. It costs even less for a store or gym to license a playlist (or a few) that loops over and over and over.
I started teaching back in the ’80s, and I remember discussions a long way back on this issue. I just pulled out my 2nd edition of the ACE Group Fitness Instructor Manual and found a section on this topic.
I do think a lot of people do not know about it, and it can be hard for the companies to publicize the law, so unless someone comes after you it could easily be a surprise. And I think lately they have been doing more to make sure the laws are followed.
These music licenses have been required for some time now. I can remember being approached about this at a small gym I was working at in the early 90’s. It sure sounded like a scam to me, but it turned out to be real. Unfortunately, it’s something you’re going to have to look into. Good luck Stacy.
Nancy has given you a great answer. This question has come up before:
I hope this helps.
If you are playing music around people, it’s considered performance and yest, you need a license (assuming you’re in the US< I don't know other countries' laws). BMI, Seasac, and ASCAP can give you more information. Your rate will depend on the number of classes that you hold and the average number of people in class. The only way around it is to purchase license-free music, which is NOT easy to find.