To help instructors stay legal and to appreciate the costs associated with using music in group exercise classes, the following graphic breaks down the music options available on Pure Energy website, based on a simple traffic light system indicating whether a music licence is required and how much you pay per class to PPL and/or PRS.
- Red indicates the music used in the release is owned by a 3rd party record label and music publisher, registered with PPL and PRS, and so both licences are required to use the music
- Amber indicates the music used in the release contains copyrighted songs, owned by a 3rd party music publisher, so a PRS licence is required.
- Green indicates that Pure Energy owns all the rights to both the song composition and the master recording so no licence is required. This music can also be used online.
Why are there costs associated with playing music in exercise classes?
When music is written by a songwriter and recorded by an artist they have created intellectual property (IP) and within this IP there are two types of copyright:
- The master recording – Owned by the recording artist and record label
- The mechanical recording – Owned by the songwriter and music publisher
For example, Manic Monday, performed and released by the Bangles in 1988, was actually written by Prince. This means the Bangles and their record label own the sound recording and collect royalties every time the record is bought or streamed, BUT Prince’s estate and his music publisher own the rights to the song and also get paid royalties every time the song is bought or played. This is known as the ‘primary exploitation of music’ which covers personal use. If I choose to buy a physical album, download it or stream it, the artist and songwriter get paid.
When it comes to group exercise (or any other professional/business setting) and music is used, there is a different cost associated with using the music. This is because you, as a professional, are now using that music to enhance your product and make money from someone else’s IP! This is called the ‘secondary exploitation of music’.
The record labels and artists become members of PPL, who then collect royalties on their behalf when their copyrights are used on the radio, in night clubs, fitness classes etc. Whereas, the songwriters and music publishers become members of PRS who then collect royalties on their behalf every time the song is used in a professional setting!
The tariffs for use of copyrighted music in group exercise classes are set by PPL and PRS and collected accordingly.
For more details on the tariffs, definitions and consequences of not being properly licensed please click the links below:
To offer fitness professionals and gym operators an alternative, Pure Energy introduced the GO label, working with artists, producers and songwriters to provide an ‘all rights included solution’ which is free of any PPL/PRS licence costs. You can simply buy and download any album or subscribe to Pure Energy GO and have access to high quality new music for fitness with no on-cost.