New Music Licensing Agreements Mean Lower Costs for Stations

CPB, NPR and PBS have negotiated new music rights agreements, in which CPB pays the music rights licensing fees on behalf of the public media system, thereby significantly reducing the overall costs.


The “ASCAP Musical Works License Agreement 2018-2022” incorporates both broadcast music license and streaming licenses will benefit from the changes. Here is all you need to know to be covered by these license agreements.


To be covered by these license agreements you must register, or have previously registered, on CPB’s Music Rights site


To be eligible your station must be at least one of the following:

  • Qualified to receive a CPB Community Service Grant; or
  • An NPR member station; or
  • A PBS member station.


The agreements — with ASCAP, BMI, the Harry Fox Agency and SESAC — cover broadcast and internet streaming rights.


In the case of the broadcast music licenses, no additional action is necessary. Your organization may be contacted directly by ASCAP or BMI to provide broadcast music use reports under these agreements.


In the case of music streaming licenses, your organization will need to register and opt-in through the site, if it has not done so previously. If your organization has registered with the CPB Music Rights site in the past, log-in to view the new agreements. All the streaming agreements contain regular music use reporting requirements. Stations that don’t provide the required regular music use reports will violate the terms and could be subject to termination of their license rights.


After you register, you will be able to print and review the reporting obligations license agreements. There is also information about a new provision in the agreements regarding public media funding and other FAQs.


Questions can be directed to Jeff Luchsinger, Director, Radio System Investments for CPB, at or 202-879-9703.