ASCAP Radio License Information
If you're hoping to start running your own radio station on the web, a CRITICAL component is legal permission to broadcast the songs. This is where an ASCAP license is necessary.
The ASCAP is the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. This organization handles the rights to broadcast all songs of its members. This is a HUGE boon for internet radio stations. Instead of having to go from artist to artist for permission, and pay all of the artists separately for that permission, you get ONE contract signed with ONE organization, and pay them ONE lump fee for those rights.
The amount of money they charge varies depending on how many songs you play, how many visitors you get, how much money your website earns, and so on. It can range anywhere from around $300/year up to $2000/year and more. If this seems like too much money for your small web site, it might be easier to look at the radio stations that exist on the web that charge $20/month and handle the ASCAP licenses for you. However, those radio stations often interject tons of ads into your station's rotation, so it might actually be worth it to pay the extra $10/month or so to get the station into your own hands.
To get properly registered with the ASCAP, simply visit the ASCAP.com website and fill out their new media license. They have a rate calculator online for you. Print out the contract, fill it in and send it in to the ASCAP. Within a few weeks you'll get back your signed contract, and be ready to go!
Note that the contract allows you to BROADCAST the music written and played by ASCAP members. But you must OWN all of that music legally before you broadcast it. Be sure to buy legal copies of every CD you broadcast!
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