Our music licensing class does not enable us to cover artists who are truly independent.
What does "independent" truly mean?
When it comes to licensing and playing music across the internet, this means that the artist has not submitted their material to a record label or Performance Rights Organization to be covered or represented by them. For example, perhaps they only play at open mic nights or have never released their material.
There is a difference between a small-scale independent record label, the "independent" music genre and a musician whose material is not associated with any performance rights. Same word, different meanings. A musician can be independent and run their own distribution and still be registered with a Performance Rights Organization.
There are ways to search PROs catalogs to see if artists are registered with them. If you receive permission from the musician or group directly granting use of their tracks on your station (via email or written permission), then they effectively are allowing you to play their songs without expectations of royalty compensation.
Our music licenses from BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC (as well as their Canadian counterparts, SOCAN and Re:Sound, and U.K. counterparts, PPL and PRS for Music) cover approximately 95% of all commercially produced music (both for composers and performers). If your collection is derived from major record labels then you are assuredly covered with Live365 Broadcaster packages.
Most musicians are covered or represented by these PROs (Performing Rights Organizations). As for international music, the reciprocal agreements from the PRO licensing bodies allow you to play any commercially produced foreign music without having to acquire additional licenses.