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Audio marketing and music is a powerful combo, but beware of copyright infringement

Either combined with video or text, or as standalone media, audio is an engaging and ascending tool for entertainment, journalism, and marketing. In 2020, when the Covid 19 pandemic began, audio content became a way to feel more connected with humans during isolation: an estimated 100 million individuals in the United States listened to podcasts in 2020; and in Brazil, in the first 5 months of 2020 alone, podcasts grew to 103%.

In 2021, the format is still on a rise, with new audio-based social media platforms (like Clubhouse), features (like Twitter Spaces), radio shows, and podcasts forms emerging every day.

Even musicians, songwriters, and music critics found in podcasts, radio stations, and listening rooms a way to generate income and market their work to bigger audiences.

However, music and audio marketing can be a complicated combo. That’s because the use of copyright-protected music in audio content is no exempt from licensing, even if the songs are played for only a few seconds. Because some platforms are less rigid (or some content creators are just luckier), not all audios containing copyright-protected music are taken down, nor all the creators face legal problems with the copyright owners. However, infringing copyright laws can be a harmful mindset for business and passion projects, and counting on “luck” is a terrible strategy.

Featuring copyright-protected music in audio content and audio marketing requires proper licensing, and payment.

Exceptions such as the United States’ fair use, or Brazil’s “3 steps rule”, may not apply, even the content is not produced or shared for profit, and even if the songwriters, producers, and performers are properly credited.

As an alternative, many audio content creators chose to create their own music, commission producers for original music, or use music from royalty-free libraries, while startups like Stationhead provide alternatives to host radio shows in integration with streaming from music platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.

In all cases, but especially in audio marketing, it’s always recommended to seek for solutions to comply with Intellectual Property/Copyright laws.

If your business model or marketing strategy involves the use of music in audio content, seek Intellectual Property advisory.


This blog post is published for informational purposes only and is not intended to promote any of the brands or services here mentioned. The information on this blog post is based on the laws in force at the time it was written, and its use does not create an attorney-client relationship, as this blog post does not consist of or replace legal advice neither business consultancy services.

3Três Consultoria e Criação (Consulting & Creative) specializes in the intersection of creative, Intellectual Property Law, and communication services.

Contact us at: contato@3trescc.com



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Ana Clara Ribeiro

Ana Clara Ribeiro

Intellectual Property attorney (BR). Writer of songs & content. Top Writer in Music on Medium. Consultant at 3Três Consultoria e Criação (BR).