Brand Execution Guidelines banner image
Brand execution guidelines

Music for events

Music can be an important element of a live event, helping to set the mood and excite your audience. When using music at your events, it is important to confirm you have the appropriate rights and licenses in place. Regulations and laws are strictly enforced, and units must follow the agreements. 


A public performance license is an agreement between a music user and the owner of a copyrighted composition (song) that grants permission to play the song in public, online, or on radio. This permission is also called public performance rights, performance rights, and performing rights. ASU Cultural Affairs currently holds blanket University Agreements for the entire University. These University Agreements are licenses that allow us (give us the rights) to have live public performances of musical works or recorded music. These licenses give us permission to use certain music for almost all events, including sporting events, student unions, classrooms, fraternities/sororities, social, college theater groups, fairs/festival, college ensembles, fitness centers, athletic facilities, student bands, special events like orientations, graduations and music on hold and any campus radio stations.

The following public Performance Licenses for ASU are currently held by ASU Cultural Affairs:

ASU Cultural Affairs Contact:
Stephen H. Potter
MC: 0105

Performance Rights Organization (PRO’s) contracts, account numbers and contact:

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers – (ASCAP)
ASCAP Building
One Lincoln Plaza
New York, NY 10023
ASU Account Number: 500624594
Allen Alexander, College licensing

Broadcast Music, Inc - (BMI)
10 Music Square East
Nashville, TN 37203-4399
ASU Account Number:  0016660
Michael Steinberg, Senior Vice President Licensing
ASU’s Rep: Marisa Missnan

Society of European Stage Authors and Composers - (SESAC)
55 Music Square East
Nashville, TN 37203
ASU Account Number:  08-02-0010   I.D. Number: 138687
Steve Carpenter, General Licensing

Global Music Rights, LLC - (GMR)
1100 Glendon Avenue, Suite 2000
Los Angeles, CA 90024
ASU Account Number:  5061-0000372
Cisco Huete, Licensing

ASU only has the rights to publish livestreaming events or event recordings that include licensed music on These videos may not be published on any other digital or social channels such as Vimeo, YouTube, Facebook, etc.

If you stream or record an event with music, it is recommended to choose licensed music or cut the audio from the feed while non-licensed music is playing. ASU does not maintain the right to use popular music for digital distribution of videos created solely for promotional purposes.

Prior to using any song at your event, please research our music databases to confirm they are covered by one of our agreements. If the song is not included in one of these libraries, ASU does not have the right to include it at a major event and an alternative selection should be made, or you must seek to find the licensing entity, secure individual permission and receive approval from OGC


The SONGVIEW database allows you to search both ASCAP and BMI musical works simultaneously for greater accessibility and transparency. It’s available on both the ASCAP and BMI websites.


  1. Visit
  2. Type in song title and/or performer, click search


  1. Visit 
  2. Use drop-down menu to select artist or title, type in and click search


  1. Visit
  2. Use the search catalog field to search by artist or title


  1. Visit 
  2. Select repertory in menu
  3. Accept terms and start searching

Reporting Requirements for all departments using the blanket music licenses:


Every quarter, each department using the blanket music licenses must provide to ASCAP copies of all programs (the kind prepared for and handed out to the audience, or any program schedules used with a Cable Television System) of musical works performed in any musical attractions presented during the previous quarter.

Send program information to Andrew Shreeves. Each program should be its own PDF.


Every quarter, each department using the blanket music licenses must provide to BMI by the 10th day following the end of the calendar quarter, copies of any programs of the musical works presented by in any Musical Attractions or on any Web Site(s) during that quarter. Programs prepared for audiences or for the department’s own use should be included and should include the presentation of encores to the extent possible.

Send program information to:
Concert Music Administration
Broadcast Music Inc.
7 World Trade Center
250 Greenwich St
New York NY  10007-0030


Every quarter, each department using the blanket music licenses must provide to SESAC copies of any existing programs prepared for distribution to the audience or for the use or information of the department relating to musical compositions performed.

Send program information to:
Royalty Distribution
55 Music Square East
Nashville TN  37203


There are no specific reporting requirements for GMR at this time. Cultural Affairs provides them with all the required information at this time.

Other types of Licenses that may be required, but ASU does not have specific blanket agreements for are:

Mechanical License

A mechanical license is a license from the holder of a copyright of a composition or musical work to another party to “cover song”, reproduce, or sample a portion of the original composition. It applies to copyrighted work that is neither a free/open-source item and is not within the public domain. This license is needed if you are interested in making a recording of any copyrighted work. These licenses are used primarily for distributing and selling copies of audio recordings. One option for securing a mechanical license is The Harry Fox Agency Inc.

Digital Performance Rights in Sound Recordings

Sound Exchange and Record Companies license the rights from the copyright owner to allow for digital transmissions, such as Internet Streaming.

Music Services

Mood Media and DMX have the most music services. The performance rights organizations (PROs) will work with these two music services to get a wide range of background music. Some services have a cost per month based on the number of commercial spaces that are being used. 

Master Use License

A master license gives the license holder the right to use a recorded piece of music in a media project such as a film, TV show, commercial, or another visual creation or audio project. A master license is obtained from the person who owns the recording, which is often the party that financed the recording. Usually, these rights reside with the record label, or the independent artist. 

Synchronization License

A synchronization license is an agreement between a music user and the owner of a copyrighted composition (song) that grants permission to release the song in a video format (YouTube, DVDs, Blue-ray discs). This permission is also called synchronization rights, synch rights, and sync rights. Music Publishers issue these licenses, usually to a producer that allows them to musically compose the work in a timed manner in film or a video recording, such as in a film or TV production.

Public Domain 

Music in the public domain, as defined by copyright law in the United States, generally refers to any musical composition created and/or recorded and published prior to 1926. For newer works, copyrights don’t expire until seventy (70) years after the death of the author, or if work of corporate authorship, ninety-five (95) years from publication date.

Fair Use

Fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder for purposes such as criticism, parody, news reporting, research and scholarship, and teaching. Whether unlicensed use of copyrighted material is a “fair use” is highly fact specific, and this exception to needing permission should generally not be relied on.

Should you have any questions regarding whether a use of copyrighted material qualifies as a “fair use,” please contact OGC.


Other Licensing on campus: 

ASU Athletics maintains specific licensing for certain athletic materials. They have agreements with NCAA and other PAC 12 entities for permissions for specific rights to use materials at athletic events.

ASU Athletics Contact:
Becky Parke
ASU Athletics

ASU PBS/Channel 8 handles all the licensing for Channel 8’s TV Station. These rights and licenses are obtained by them for TV broadcasting.

ASU PBS/Channel 8 Contact:
Alex Kosiorek
ASU PBS/Channel 8 and KAET Radio

Frequently asked questions

ASU Cultural Affairs currently has blanket University license agreements with most of the major professional rights organizations, including, ASCAP, BMI, SEASAC and GMR. Cultural Affairs holds the licenses for the entire university.

Only when there are no recordings used within the performance. If there is any aspect of the event that is prerecorded or any form of recording used as part of the performance, you will need to ensure the artist has permission to authorize our use of the material. If not, we will need to obtain additional licensing.

Yes, as long as it is just a live show with no recordings. If there are recordings as part of the performance, we will need to obtain those permissions to stream the performance and charge.

The easiest way to look at it is, the record business. The Artist sells the rights to a record label for them to record and sell that recording for the music being recorded. When they do this, they also give up all recording rights to that song. Therefore, the record label now owns exclusive rights to record that song. We then have to get permission from the record company to make an additional recording of that song, and they normally give it for a fee.

Yes, we can, however we have to have the proper permissions to use recordings in the streaming world. We need to know who owns the recording and obtain permissions to use it.

Yes, as long as ASU is doing the recording as the person doing the recording owns the recording. Asking others to record their segment is ok, however they will need to obtain all the licenses and permissions to do the recording which will include giving us permissions to use it. However, if we do the recording, we can control its use, meaning that we prerecord segments to ensure quality for the broadcast of the event, but we cannot post or use the recording in any way except to use it for the broadcast and the recording is not posted to any site before or after the live streamed event.

Events and Event Promotion