Music Licensing for Business

Playing music in a business setting differs from listening to music at home. When you play music for an audience in a commercial environment, you need to obtain specific licenses to comply with legal requirements.

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Music Licenses in Canada

Businesses need three different rights to legally play music in their physical venue:

Recording Rights

This covers the right to use a specific recording of a song.

Publishing Rights

This covers the right to use the original composition.

Public Performance Rights

This allows you to play the song in a public environment.

CloudMusic covers all three licenses for background music in Canada.

CloudMusic licensing
CloudMusic licensing

The Value of CloudMusic

CloudMusic is a premier Canadian music streaming company offering licensed music for commercial use with features like scheduling tools and an explicit filter. It provides competitive pricing plans to suit any business size.


By understanding the local market and complying with Canadian regulations, CloudMusic ensures businesses have access to a vast music library tailored to their needs. CloudMusic is a reliable, affordable, and culturally aligned partner for creating the perfect auditory atmosphere for customers.

Unsupported Services

Services like Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, Tidal, and Deezer are intended for personal, private use only and are not suitable for business use. Using these platforms to play music for an audience is illegal and could result in fines. 

Coffee Shop

Steps to become fully licensed in Canada

1) Trial CloudMusic

Start our 14-day free trial to use our properly licensed business music service immediately—no payment or commitment required.

With over 1 million song combinations and 220+ curated stations with flexible customization, you can create the perfect musical atmosphere for your business effortlessly.

2) Verify use case

If your business charges admission, conducts instructed fitness classes, or hosts live music, you may need additional licensing through SOCAN and Re:Sound even with CloudMusic. Click the buttons below to learn more.

3) Subscribe to CloudMusic

Enjoy the world's best business music service while staying fully compliant. Select a plan and add your payment details to officially join CloudMusic.

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More Information about Music Licensing in Canada

Music licensing in Canada is dominated by four organizations - SOCAN, CMRRA, CONNECT and Re:Sound. SOCAN has a focus on the collection of royalties for public performance of music on behalf of songwriters and composers, whereas CMRRA collect on behalf of music rights holders. Master rights owners of sound recordings are looked after by CONNECT, whilst Re:Sound acts to collect neighbouring rights royalties.


The content shown is a guide and should not to be taken as direct legal advice. As per our terms and conditions, you are solely responsible for obtaining the correct licenses.


SOCAN, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada was founded in 1990. SOCAN was actually created as a merger between two existing PROs – CAPAC, which was in operation since 1925, and PROCAN, which had been running since 1940.

The Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency or CMRRA was launched in 1975 with a focus on physical and digital mechanical licensing.

Re:Sound was formed in 1997, under the original name of NRCC, the Neighbouring Rights Collective of Canada. It was created to help artists and record companies gain fair compensation for their performance rights.

CONNECT Music licensing was later created on behalf of owners and controllers of music copyright for the majority of sound recordings and video content across Canada.

How to get a license in Canada

Much like in Finland, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, the two primary licensing organizations in Canada have formed a united front so that businesses can more easily access a singular music license with complete coverage.


It is not yet possible to purchase a license online via ConnectMusic, but it is simple to view the different tariffs available, as well as many related costs. While customer service will need to be contacted to arrange the license, ConnectMusic is the only company that will need to be communicated with.


Note: When using CloudMusic, all licenses are included.


Am I fully licensed with CloudMusic?

CloudMusic provides all the licenses you need to legally play music in your business, and they cover all of our millions of songs.

There are a few exceptions if music is a primary part of your business. If so, you may have to acquire special public performance licenses through SOCAN and Re:Sound. This affects these business types:

  • Live music venues (DJs, karaoke, or traditional live music performances)

  • Businesses that charge admission

  • Businesses that conduct physical exercises and/or dance instruction to music (but the common areas of the gym like the lobby, locker rooms, and lounge areas are all covered)

Do I have to pay PRO fees separately, like to SOCAN or Re:Sound?

No. Except for exceptions described above, your CloudMusic subscription includes all the licenses you would otherwise need from SOCAN and Re:Sound.

Does it cost more to go through CloudMusic than to pay SOCAN or Re:Sound directly?

No. You may actually save money using CloudMusic as your subscription includes SOCAN and Re:Sound licenses at a discount. The savings are big for a small business like a café that seats 12, and huge for a large business because the fees quickly scale when you purchase these licenses directly.

Discover what sets CloudMusic apart from the rest.

CloudMusic sets itself apart with tailor-made playlists, adaptive algorithms, licensing compliance, brand identity customization, detailed analytics, and a vast licensed library, ensuring an unmatched music experience for businesses.