Monday 16 December 2019

Do I need a license/copyrights to play music on my radio?

Can I play music on my Radio Stations?

Do I need Copyrights or License for my Online Music Radio Station?

There are thousands of online radio stations out there, broadcasting all different types of content. This makes you wonder if you can start your own radio, but if there is any legal issues you have to consider. Well, the answer is yes! You have to be cautious and follow the laws.
Here is a short guide on finding out if you can play the music or content you are planning to play on your online radio station. Read through the post to ensure your safety.

Copyrights for Talk Shows on Your Radio

Talk Shows on your online radio
If you are having a talk show where you are discussing anything - music, sports, movies or politics etc., you do not require a license. Because you are generating your own content. You have the right to have an opinion (in most places in the world). You do not need any license, given that you are not breaching freedom of speech through 'hate speech' etc. Some platforms have very strict guidelines when it comes to 'hate speech' - hence you have to be careful not to make racist or other ethnically charged remarks.

Even with the talk shows, you often require small clips of music or sound effects to engage the audience. When you pick this, make sure to pick clips which are free to use (royalty free music). Otherwise, you could accidentally fall in to trouble. 

If you have a talk show where you discuss sports or movies - and you want to play clips from the source (movie or sports game), you would have to be careful with the copyrights. Not every country and place has the same laws. It is best to check. In North America, it is often alright to play a small clip, as long as it is done for discussion/educational purposes.

Copyrights/Licensing for Playing Music on Your Radio

Unless, you know the music you are playing is 'royalty free', you would most likely require a license. To make it simple, realize that the music you are playing on your radio, it is not produced by you. The creator of that music has a right over it. Hence, using someone else's work to gain audience and generate money for yourself, would be completely wrong. 

If you want to play any music, make sure to acquire necessary licenses (from the recording company and/or the artist). 

Is there any copyright-free Music that I can play on my radio?

Look for Copyright-free music
Based on the US laws, anything that was published before 1922, it is public domain. Such songs that pass this criteria, are public domain. Hence they can be played on your online radio station without any issue. It is possible that there is a song which came out after 1922, and still be in public domain. You would have to find that out.

Other than the above case, there is royalty free music out there. Several sites that distribute such music. You can utilize it (particularly for talk shows sound effects or background music). Even these sites sometimes require a small payment. 


If you are unsure about a particular content if it is copyrighted or not, don't use it. This can lead you to serious trouble where you might not be able to carry on with your radio. Hence, be safe and verify the licensing of whatever content you are planning to play. 

If you are still unsure about what you are playing, keep researching or leave me a comment to see if I can help you any further. 
If you have found some information which I have not mentioned, please do share for everyone's benefit in the comments!


  1. Hello Guys, In your Video i Will Learn How To Get Copyright Free Music . and I try to understand if you want to grow your Video Quality then must add Non-Copyrighted Background Music in our video and get rid of the copyright issue and copyright problems and get Non-Copyright Background Music For Youtube Videos for content creators. thanks to you ....describe your knowledge.

  2. Thanks for publishing such great information. You are doing such a great job. This information is very helpful for everyone. Keep sharing about online music player free. Thanks.


Thank you!