The Custom Channels Blog

Here Comes Another Music Service Not Designed For Businesses

Posted by John on October 22nd, 2015

Every few weeks we read of another music service that’s offering “uninterrupted listening”, “ad-free music”, “offline listening”, “free, no subscription”, “curated radio”, “the latest albums and singles”, “35 million songs” and more, more, more!!!

The latest offering is YouTube Red. Google is rolling its Play Music on-demand music into YouTube (owned by Google) for a bundled video/audio subscription service. There are many music services out there trying to appeals to millions of users, each offering the most, fastest access EVER in the history of recorded music (that’s true). It’s a great time to be a music listener. But what if you’re a business owner?

Google Play Music (soon to be YouTube Red) and other music services have one major, unpublicized drawback: they’re for individual listeners, not for business use. They have many, well publicized benefits that are attractive, entertaining and easy to use making the logical conclusion for business owners and mangers: “I use it personally, so I’ll use at my business.”

As we’ve written before, these consumer services, including Spotify, are not licensed for business use. Federal law outlines different copyright and licensing rules for a song you listen to on your own versus a song that’s played as a “public performance”, aka in-store, in-restaurant, in-business play where the song adds to the atmosphere and esthetics of the business space and many people can potentially hear it.

“Not for use in business” is specifically detailed in the terms of use of consumer music services. As of this writing, YouTube Red had not launched but the Google Play Music terms of use states: “…for your personal, non-commercial use only” and “No Public Performance. You must not display (in part or in whole) the Content as part of any public performance…”

Personal music services are designed to be used for people in their apartment, on public transportation, in their bedroom, or at a party.

So what’s a business owner or manager to do? If you like using iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music or YouTube Red, you’ll need to seek out a music service that’s licensed for business, not only to avoid fines and copyright violations but to get songs and sounds that are tailored for your business, not for somebody’s commuter ride on public transit.

Here at Custom Channels, we have services that are similar to consumer grade streaming services and yet quite different and better suited for retail and restaurants. That’s because we’re designed for businesses, not for personal use.

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