Whether you're a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, or CrossFit coach, you want your DJ game to be strong when it comes to choosing workout music for your classes. Music streaming apps are easy to use and a lot of them have pre-made workout playlists that make them a solid choice for fitness instructors. However, there are a few costs, and rules and regulations for gym owners to consider in regards to broadcasting music at your gym.
The first things to consider when selecting a music app for your gym are the costs and what's included in the plan. Be sure to look for the pro or business subscriptions that promise to be ad-free. Nothing ruins a good workout more than a commercial break. The paid subscriptions also often include access for multiple users. However, if they don't be sure to give your instructors and coaches access to your account login information.
Another cost to consider, which is often overlooked in the fitness industry, is licensing fees. As the gym owner, you want to protect your business by making sure that you and your trainers or coaches are not infringing on any copyright or federal laws. If you are a for-profit gym or studio you may be required to pay a licensing fee to play music during workout classes otherwise you could be hit with a fine. In the U.S. music licensing is managed by a handful of Performing Rights Organizations (PROs): ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers), BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) and SESAC (Society of European Stage Authors and Composers.)
Rules And Regulations For Fitness Businesses
Make sure to do your homework before signing up for a music streaming app or subscription for your gym! Many music apps state under their Terms and Conditions that their music is for personal entertainment only and not for commercial use. This means music from their app can’t be broadcasted or played publicly from a business, such as gyms, studios, boxes, etc. Even some business accounts might sound like they will offer your gym protection, but often list fitness centers as not covered in the fine print. Lastly, The U.S. copyright Law does have some exemptions for small businesses that meet certain criteria which is worth looking into if you own a small gym or studio. We recommend that you speak to a trusted attorney to ensure that you are meeting all the requirements of the law.
That all being said, when you're ready to choose a music streaming app for your gym, we've got you covered. We asked multiple coaches and gym owners to share what they use for workout music and compiled the ultimate list of music streaming apps for gyms below--including a few that cover music licensing in their subscription fees!
From national fitness chains to boutique studios and CrossFit gyms, Rockbot's licensed background music solution enables owners to engage members, customize their soundtrack and eliminate music complaints. Pricing starts at $24.95 per month and ranges to their enterprise package which requires you contact them for pricing.
This app is also licensed for business in the fitness industry and includes fees in U.S. & Canada. Soundtrack offers a cool feature where you can import playlists directly from Spotify and it will automatically generate a soundtrack with new songs matching the same mood. Your soundtracks will be updated with new songs, matching the same mood.
Perhaps the most affordable paid music streaming app, Pandora is an ideal choice for personal use and for personal trainers to consider. The plus version is $4.99 per month, while premium (which includes higher quality tunes) is $9.99/month. Pandora also offers a business account through MoodMedia at $26.95 per month which is worth looking into to see if it offers licensing and protection if you're a gym owner.
One of the most popular music apps out there, known for its ease in sharing playlists, is Spotify. Their premium subscription is $9.99 per month (note: this is a personal account and you may not be able to get a receipt for and may not be tax deductible.) While this app is a great choice for building workout playlists and sharing them with your personal training clients or your workout buddies, be sure to read their fine print before broadcasting publicly at your gym. One gym owner we spoke to who used Spotify told us the EU version offers a business account at about $30 a month.
5. Fit Radio
Referred to as the "No. 1 Workout Music App Worldwide," Fit Radio app pricing is $27.99 per quarter or $99.99 per year vs their web pricing which is $17.99 per quarter or $59.99 per year. They do not currently offer a business plan, but their website says there is one coming soon.
6. GYM Radio
A workout music service for Gyms, CrossFit and Fitness Studios, Fit Radio offers multiple pricing options. GYM Radio has secured all necessary licenses from music rights holders so that you can play music in your gym and don't have to think about licenses, fees or fines for unlicensed music, ever. You also save money on licenses as well. They forewarn you that however, in some countries, you must also have a "public performance" right license that you can obtain from your local societies.
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