You need licenses to legally play and perform music outside your religious services. The Religious Service Exemption allows churches to perform or play music only in their services, but royalties do need to be paid for music played or performed at camps, dances, picnics, youth events, dance classes, coffee shops, concerts and much more. PERFORMmusic allows you to legally play and perform more than 20 million songs from ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.

Why a church performance license?

There is a religious service exemption in U.S. copyright law that allows churches to perform copyrighted music during religious services without paying royalties. The exemption does not cover any music played or performed outside of worship services. If your church is playing or performing copyrighted music outside of your religious services, you need a church performance license.

What can I do with PERFORMmusic?

The PERFORMmusic License covers a wide range of performances of live and pre-recorded music outside of religious services including:

  • Coffee shops
  • Bookstores
  • Concerts (non-ticketed)
  • Retreats
  • Picnics & barbecues
  • Singles groups
  • Dances
  • Carnivals & festivals
  • Graduations
  • Award ceremonies
  • Testimonials & retirements
  • Dance classes
  • Exercise classes
  • Karaoke
  • Conferences & seminars
  • Vacation Bible School
  • Camps
  • Sporting events
  • Movie nights
  • Pageants
  • Youth group gatherings
  • Guest speakers
  • Wedding receptions
  • On-hold music
  • Music before & after service
  • Community events
  • Retirement home visits
  • Day care

What about ticketed events? Once you have the PERFORMmusic License, it’s simple to add on & report on ticketed concerts & events. You can even charge admission!


How much does PERFORMmusic cost?

The PERFORMmusic License fee is tiered by average weekly attendance across all of your church’s services.

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What venues does PERFORMmusic cover?

The PERFORMmusic church performance license covers all facilities on your primary and satellite campuses. PERFORMmusic even travels with you to other venues.

The PERFORMmusic License is not available to Colleges, Universities and Seminaries.


What songs are covered by PERFORMmusic?

The PERFORMmusic church performance license allows you to play or perform over 20 million Christian and secular songs from the combined catalogs of ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. All genres are covered, from Contemporary Christian and Gospel to Rock, Country, Holiday, Patriotic, Pop, Children’s music and much more. To view the songs covered, simply visit each Performance Rights Organization’s Repertory page (links above) and search their catalogs.

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