Confused about Music Licensing in the Virtual space?

Hi Fit Pros!!!!

I realize music licensing and usage for virtual workouts is very confusing so I will do my best to give you an overview in hopes you can better understand it. My goal is to help you understand the ins & outs of music licensing and how it can affect you as an instructor.

Keep in mind, I am discussing licensing mostly for the USA though much of this also applies to other countries as well.

So WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Well let's see---you risk fines and you risk your content being taken down or even stopped midstream and finally as a professional you should do your best to know the law and to protect yourself.

The rule of thumb is this:

IF YOU DON'T OWN THE RIGHTS TO PLAY THE MUSIC, YOU SHOULD NOT BE PLAYING THE MUSIC!

I know you want to play popular music ... and I know you've been sold a few myths/misconceptions thinking that you're in the clear. Let's debunk these high level ... then we'll get into the nitty gritty

3 Examples of Common Myths/Misconceptions:

1 - Things you WISH were true but aren’t:Putting a disclaimer on your Facebook post does NOT make it OK!

2 - Playing your music at a low volume on Facebook does NOT make it OK!

3 - Not charging for your online classes does NOT make it OK!

Well---here goes.......

#1 - Virtual - Live streaming (like Zoom, Skype)-- an instructor can use any music as long as it isn't recorded to give away or sell at a later date.  If the class has "no shelf life" and is truly livestream and the recording is going away and cannot be accessed in the future, the law seems to state that a Public Performance License is enough. However other professionals state that a Synch license is also needed. 

#2 - Virtual - Social media such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube  - an instructor should only use "royalty-free" music because Facebook, Instagram and Youtube will mute, flag or take down a video which includes music owned by a rights holder. The platform does not want to pay for you using music on their site. Best option is to protect yourself by not using music, suggesting a playlist or use royalty-free music.

#3 - Virtual - On-demand - whether you work for a club or are doing this on your own, a synchronization license if required which can be very expensive and time-consuming. It's best instructors use only "royalty-free" music for any video class that is recorded and saved for resale or as a giveaway. This is also true if you create an online streaming library for people to access on demand as part of a subscription service.

#4 In person - classes taught physically in person at your studio or gym, any music may be used provided the venue has a Public Performance License from a "PRO"- a Performing Rights Organization. In some countries this varies slightly. Please check your country's music licensing laws.

So where does Muscle Mixes fit in? 

Muscle Mixes is offering 3 package options for virtual classes:

LITE Package - $12.95 USD per mo or $129 USD for a year will give you our MM Now App and access to both our popular music and royalty-free music. The royalty-free music can be used on numbers 1 & 2 - Live streaming & social media and our popular music can be used for #4 In-person classes. More on this HERE

PRO Package - $629 USD for a year will give you our MM Now App and access to both our popular music and royalty-free music. The royalty-free music can be used on numbers 1 , 2 & 3 - Live streaming, social media AND on-demand. The music can be used on an UNLIMITED number of videos for 1 year. Our popular music can be used for #4 In-person classes. Good for 1 user.  More on this HERE

BUSINESS Package - $4,129 USD for a year will give you our MM Now App and access to both our popular music and royalty-free music. The royalty-free music can be used on numbers 1 , 2 & 3 - Live streaming, social media AND on-demand. The music can be used on an UNLIMITED number of videos for 1 year. Our popular music can be used for #4 In-person classes. You get 20 instructor memberships who work at that business.

Best of luck to you and I hope this helps!!!

{**Disclaimer---Oh and one more thing. Here's where I have to include a disclaimer. I am providing you the best information I have today compiled from many resources; however, music licensing, especially in the digital space, is evolving. The information is meant to be a guide, a resource, but I do suggest you consult with attorneyand keep an eye out for new information as it’s available}

Stay awesome,

By Denise Imbesi

CEO/Founder

Muscle Mix