Licensing Your Sonic Universe: Internet Radio Do’s and Don’ts

Updated December 22, 2023

Starting a radio station can feel overwhelming, especially when it comes to legal compliance and licensing. With the growth of internet radio, it’s crucial to ensure that you operate within the boundaries of the law. This article will discuss the aspects of licensing for your internet radio station. Let’s get started!

Understanding Copyright

Sonic Universe Internet Radio

Before diving into the complexities of licensing, it’s important to have a grasp on copyright laws and how they apply to music broadcasting. Copyright grants musicians rights to their work, protecting their creativity.

License Aggregators – An Overview

When it comes to playing copyrighted music on your radio station, using an internet radio license aggregator is highly recommended. These aggregators simplify the licensing process by offering catalogs of cleared songs from various record labels and artists.


Research Different License Aggregator Options

Take the time to explore license aggregator options in the market. Compare their pricing models, catalog availability, reporting capabilities, and customer support services. Select an aggregator that fits your budget and provides licenses for your genres and artists.

Be Transparent 

Ensuring transparency with artists and rights holders as complying with licensing agreements requires accurately reporting data about every song played on your station. A reliable license aggregator usually offers tools or templates that make it easy for you to generate reports.

Take Licensing into Consideration 

If you intend to reach audiences, make sure the license aggregator you select provides global coverage for streaming licenses. Having a radio license will enable you to broadcast music without any restrictions.

Things to Avoid

Assuming that You Can Use any Music Without Permission

Using any type of music without permission or licensing can have legal consequences for your internet radio station. It is crucial not to assume that you are allowed to use any music of its popularity or obscurity.

Paying Less Attention to Specialty Genres

While it might be more challenging to find licensing options for niche or known genres, neglecting this aspect can lead to copyright infringements. Explore license aggregators that cater to a range of styles and ensure compliance across all the genres featured on your station.

Considering Licensing

Copyright holders may choose to offer their licenses instead of going through a license aggregator. Although this process may take time and require negotiation skills, it offers many advantages.


Establish Connections with Artists and Music Rights Holders

Reach out directly to artists, record labels, or music rights holders to inquire about the possibility of obtaining licenses. Building relationships can help you secure terms and access unique music collections for your radio station.

Be Aware of Costs

It’s important to understand that negotiating licenses may involve extra expenses compared to using license aggregators. The costs can vary with each licensing agreement.


Assume Direct Licensing Will Always Be Easy

Negotiating licensing agreements requires time, effort, and persistence. It’s important not to assume that every artist or rights holder will grant permission as they might have criteria or preferences when partnering with others.

Staying Updated with Changing Laws

Copyright laws change frequently and adapt in response to evolving technologies and industry practices. It is crucial to stay informed about these changes in order to remain compliant.


Follow Industry News Sources 

Stay updated by following news sources that report on copyright laws specifically related to internet radio broadcasting.

Seek Professional Legal Advice When Needed

If you have any concerns or uncertainties regarding the aspects of operating an internet radio station, it’s wise to consult with experts who specialize in copyright and licensing. Their expertise can provide insights and help you make informed decisions.

Things to Avoid

Not Reviewing Licensing Compliance Regularly

Establish a routine for reviewing your licensing compliance practices. This ensures that all licenses are up to date and in accordance with the regulations. Neglecting these reviews could put your radio station at risk of infringing on copyright laws.


Licensing an internet radio station is crucial not only for complying with the law but also for respecting the creativity and hard work of artists. By understanding copyright laws, utilizing license aggregators, engaging in licensing agreements, and staying updated with industry changes, you can confidently create an online radio experience that complies with all legal requirements. 

Enjoy broadcasting!

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