Can I License My Podcast With a Cover Song License?
No. For Cover Song licenses (a.k.a. Compulsory Mechanical Licenses) we have to follow strict guidelines for how we use copyrighted music and distribute it. You are only covered by this type of license if:
- you did not change the existing lyrics on your recording,
- you did not change the fundamental melody of the song,
- you are not sampling any music or using karaoke tracks,
- you are reproducing all the instrumentals and vocals yourself.
- use is for private listening to the end user.
A mechanical license does not cover other licensing permissions such as: Synchronization (Video / Films), Master Use (Audio you do not own), Derivative / Adaptations (Altered or Original Lyrics / Melody).
Podcasts cannot be licensed with cover song licenses because the music is being adapted into the context of a larger work and so we have to obtain the correct permission in this larger use, and not just the portion when the music is playing.
How Do I License Music in a Podcast?
To license music in a podcast, you will need direct permission from the copyright holders in the form of a custom negotiated license. Most publishers will refer to this type of license as a Podcast License.
In order to be fully covered for the music used in your podcast, you should know that in licensing, there are two parts that make up a song. There's the music composition, which is the intellectual property of the composer(s) who created it, or their publishers. It includes aspects like the lyrics, melody, rhythm, and harmony. Then there's the sound recording, which is the physical and digital property of the recording artist or recording label that produced it. Any time you are using the sound recording, you are also using the music composition of the song.
To use a copyrighted music composition in your podcast, you will need a Podcast License from the composer or their publisher. To use a copyrighted sound recording in your podcast, you will also need a Master License from the artist or their record label.
Easy Song can help you get both of these licenses through our Custom Licensing services.