Being a personal trainer and setting up your own fitness business requires more work than you may initially perceived, right? There are loads of things happening behind the scenes that you never even thought about when starting out and now you've been told you might need a music license.
I know what you're thinking. More bills, more paperwork, is this a joke? So in this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about music licenses for personal trainers, whether you need one and the most popular places to get one for US, UK and Australian personal trainer.
What is a music license?
A music license is basically a specific license you get that enables you to play music for your clients through the radio, TV, or any other devices. Or, more specifically, it lets you do this legally without infringing on copyright laws.
The whole purpose of this type of license is to ensure that musicians are suitably rewarded for their work. Otherwise, they’d have hours of their songs played for free, without getting any money out of it whatsoever. It also allows fitness businesses to play music, which can enhance the client experience they create for their PT studios or gyms.
Do personal trainers need a music license?
The short answer is that it depends on how you run your business. Technically speaking, it’s not a necessity for every single personal trainer. For example, if you do most of your work outdoors and conduct private training sessions in the park, then you won’t be playing music for your clients. The same goes for any online personal trainer that just provide digital plans and consultations.
However, for the vast majority of personal trainers that operate in a commercial setting, you will need a music license. The easy way to figure out if you need one is to just consider one simple question;
Do you play music for your clients?
Most trainers don't but anyone running a studio or even a home gym, will answer ‘yes’ as we all know that music helps generate a good atmosphere when working out. It can be used to motivate people and make your premises feel more inviting. Imagine a gym with no music playing at all - it would be utterly bizarre.
There is one way in which you can still play music without needing a music license, and it’s by finding license-free music online. But, you will likely never find popular songs from top artists that can be used for free. So, if you want to deliver all the hits to your clients, then you have to get a license.
What is the best license for personal trainers?
Once you’ve established that you need a music license, it’s vital you find the best suited one for your circumstances. There are plenty of options out there. Below, we’ve listed the three top offerings for personal trainers in the UK, USA, and Australia.
The Best Music License for UK Personal Trainers
In the UK, the best option is TheMusicLicence from PPL PRS. This is a joint company that combines PPL and PRS for Music together. They collect license fees from you, and each company will distribute the money accordingly. PPL deals with fees for record companies and performers, with PRS dealing with payments for musical compositions and lyrics on behalf of songwriters, publishers, and composers.
There is no set cost for TheMusicLicence, it depends on various things such as the size of your business premises, the number of employees you have, the devices you use to play the music, and much more. To figure out how much it will cost you to pay for this license, you should contact PPL PRS directly. Paying for this license is as easy as setting up a direct debit to PPL PRS Ltd, which can be done when you’ve agreed on the fee.
The Best Music License for US Personal Trainers
ASCAP is the best choice for any personal trainers working in the US. They have a range of different music licenses you can choose from, and there’s even one specifically for Fitness Facilities. The company allows you to purchase a single ASCAP license which lets you play music from any ASCAP member. They currently have well over 670,000 members, many of which are the biggest artists around today.
When you obtain the license, you can play all the licensed songs as often as you want, via many different devices. Even if you bring in a DJ for a special event, the songs they play are also covered. Once again, the cost varies depending on the size of your business and the way you use the music. But, ASCAP states that it generally costs less than a bottle of water per day.
Also, another good thing about this license is that 88 cents of every $1 from the license fee go back to the musicians.
The Best Music License for Australian Personal Trainers
Now, if you’re a personal trainer working in Australia, then turn your attention to APRA AMCOS. Again, they have a license specifically for fitness centers and instructors, so that’s perfect for you. Recently, they’ve been in contact with Fitness Australia to help fine tune the license , so it fits current industry needs. Now, the license will cover all fitness centers and fitness instructors - even if you work outside of a traditional fitness center. This is great as it means you can get a music license even if you have your own small gym.
The cost of the license is again dependent on business size and music usage. APRA AMCOS even offer tariffs for music that’s played on your phone when someone is put on hold.
There are also other specific tariffs for things like virtual fitness classes and real-world classes. For a general music license that covers background music on your premises, then it’s $0.88 per member of your fitness center, and there’s a minimum fee of $206.13.
Music licenses: A summary
To round everything up; you will need a music license if you play any commercial music for your clients. Otherwise, you run the risk of being hit with copyright claims and ending up in legal trouble. There are plenty of music licenses out there, but we’ve shown the best ones for UK, US, and Australian personal trainers.
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