SOCAN… Who Are They and What Do They Do?

Who are they?

SOCAN stands for “The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada.”

Why do they charge?

This society works on behalf of government copyright laws with the purpose to protect its members by ensuring copyright is respected, and creators are remunerated for the use of their work. In other words, when you buy a CD, you only have the right to listen to it in private. Any public performance of most musical works is subject to copyright laws. This means you need a SOCAN licence to play the music in public.
You can find more details at

Does music-on-hold require a SOCAN License?

Did you know that playing the radio on the hold line could actually cost you significant fines and penalties from copyright enforcement organizations like SOCAN? You do not automatically have the royalty or performance rights to play each piece in public…and your hold line is considered a public performance.

SOCAN governs the use of music playing over phone systems, radio, TV’s in a waiting room, and even YouTube. Be sure your company has the correct licence for any and all music playing over the phone lines; remember, that includes playing the radio, streamed music or a purchased CD.

Think it’s not worth the hassle? Why not just leave callers dangling in silence? As you are probably aware, silence on-hold can confuse the caller into believing you may have hung up on them. And, that’s not a wise option. Imagine a world without music – just complete silence. Music makes a ball game that much more exciting. It fills in otherwise awkward lulls in conversations with friends. In fact, it really is the one thing that makes everything in life so much more enjoyable!

If you want to entertain your caller, while at the same time also avoiding the worry of playing music which may not be licensed, On-Hold Marketing has the solution! We’ll take care of everything. Let us provide your company with message/music productions at a minimal cost. Music and a customized script written by our scriptwriters will assure the caller that assistance is just moments away. And, you will also have the opportunity to answers questions your callers frequently have and promote other products you offer.

Check out our library of licensed music and voice talent. On-Hold Marketing’s music is 100% licensed so we’ve always got you covered!

Is music-on-hold worth the money?

Be sure to let your callers know you care with a great music-on-hold program…and make sure it’s legal. Contact us today; you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how little it really costs.


Where words fail, music speaks.” – Hans Christian Andersen

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 NOTE: On-Hold Marketing continues to be available for your phone system recording updates including COVID-19 messages. Read More