Legally Pump Up the Jam

Legally Pump Up The Jam

Every Coach and athlete around love to blast a playlist throughout the Box to get everyone ready for a workout. Well, in legal terms this act constitutes a public performance, which would require you to have copyright permission from the content creator.

As a small business owner, the last thing you need to deal with are legal fees for infringing on music copyright when you were only trying get your athletes more excited for a workout.

A safe bet if you are going to play music during a class is to obtain a music license. There are three U.S. entities that license public performance rights, so obtaining a license from all three is the only way to eliminate every risk of copyright infringement.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is the largest music public performance licensing company out of the three. If you choose to pay for one of the three, this one would be a good bet considering it holds the majority of music created under it. Fees for this range just under $100 a year, but when a Box is first starting, this can seem like a lot for just a good playlist.

With the rise of music streaming services like Spotify, it is easy for this water to get muddy. Someone may argue that because they are paying for their Spotify account each month they should be able to use it in a class.


When you sign up for a Spotify account you agree to only make personal, non-commercial entertainment use of the content. However, Spotify has a Soundtrack Business option, which is a commercial license subscription level. It enables you to legally stream and download music from Spotify and play it to anyone visiting your business. The price does jump, however, from $9.99 to $34.99 a month.

For businesses in the U.S. and Canada the public performance right is usually included in the Soundtrack Business subscription, which means you don’t have to pay any additional rights to collecting societies, such as ASCAP. However, it is always a good idea to call a collecting society to make sure your CrossFit Box fits in to the category that doesn’t have to pay both.

Everyone loves a good playlist to get a class excited or to help calm the nerves of first-time students. Just make sure to pay before you play.

Kaitlyn is a staff writer for Peake Media. Contact her at