ascap, bmi, sesac electronic music licensing

I know there is a current thread dealing with some of these issues but I am unclear about something. A previous post got me thinking about per song licensing.

I would like to buy music over the Internet to save to an ipod and play in my shop. Is there a legal way to do this, for instance, can one purchase a license with downloaded music? Where would I find the specifics of how to do this, such as how much it costs per song, how often you have to pay the license fees, etc. Right now we use the radio but I despise all the ads.

Thank you.

When you purchase a song online, you are technically buying a license - but for personal use only.

The only legal way to do this is for commercial applications is to use ASCAP, BMI or SESAC. You could probably buy a license for single songs, but that would be a PITA. I guess you could also contact the artists and songwriters yourself, but they’re going to refer you back to BMI or ASCAP The BMI and ASCAP licenses for mecanical music are about $150 each. $300 for the year and you can play pretty much whatever you want (you still have to purchase the song though.)

Check their websites to see if they cover the songs that you want - they have their entire catalogs available for search. SESAC is pretty small and has mostly obscure stuff, so you might be able to get away without it if none of your songs are in there.