April 24, 2014

Do You Have a License for On-hold Music?

When you’re pulled over for rolling through a stop sign (“I’m sorry, officer; was there a stop sign there?”), you’re asked to produce a driver’s license. It’s standard procedure and expected if you want to drive a car. If you don’t have a license, you can look forward to hefty fines. But did you know the same procedures hold true if you want to play music for your callers when they’re on hold? That’s right, you need a license for on-hold music to be legit.


As a cost-effective (i.e., free) on-hold option, companies may choose to route their phones through a system to play CDs, local radio stations, or satellite or Internet radio. Certainly, something is better than nothing, but if the companies doing this get caught, the fines can be hefty — into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some cases.


You may wonder why you need to a license for on-hold music. Essentially, everyone has to pay to replay that music; that’s one of the ways in which recording artists make their money. To be sure that you’re in compliance, the best option is to go through a company that is a member of the On-hold Messaging Association; they would be in compliance with all licensing agreements.


A company that provides on-hold messages also can do just music, and many companies also provide overhead music for your location (for which you also need licenses). So no matter why or where you’re playing music for your customers, be sure that you are covering your bases and have your licenses. Otherwise, you could be needing an attorney and some deep pockets.


America On Hold is a member of the On-hold Messaging Association and ensures that you have the appropriate licenses to play music. Contact us at 877.239.HOLD to learn more.

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