Web radio and instore radio

Web radio and instore radio

The exploitation of commercially published sound recordings via web radios is subject to a fee. If you operate a web radio you must register with GEMA and GVL. Since GEMA and GVL represent different groups of rights owners, you need to acquire both licences in order to use the music. While GEMA represents claims arising under copyright on behalf of composers and lyricists, among others, GVL represents the rights held by performing artists and producers of sound recordings.

Instore radio

A music transmission in a closed Internet system to provide sound to commercial businesses in Germany is licensed by the GVL as a so-called "instore radio". The license conditions can be found in the license agreement, which must be concluded with GVL for licensing.

Conduct contract as instore radio

Registration commercial web radio

Would you like to register a commercial web radio with GVL? In that case, we need some important information from you.

In order to calculate the licence fees for you, we need to know the anticipated costs and income levels of your web radio as they influence the amount we charge you. Please complete the following pdf, sign and return it to us. In case of any changes, please fill out the form "Commercial web radio – notification of changes".

Non-commercial web radio

Would you like to register a non-commercial web radio with GVL? In that case, we need some important information from you.

We have put all of our questions into the PDF "Non-commercial web radio – first time registration". Please use this PDF to register your web radio and send it back to us filled in and signed. If you would like to notify us of changes to your personal data or to your web radio, please use the "Non-commercial web radio – registration of changes" form. We also provide you with an aid to fill out the registration form, in which we define, among other things, important terms of the form.

Questions about non-commercial web radio?

List of countries web radio

You must obtain a web radio licence for each country where you have an audience. Should the number of people accessing the service from abroad remain under a minimum threshold of 2% of the total number of users accessing your service, a multi-territory licence is not necessary. Please note that GVL's license can only cover the following countries even if the minimis limit is exceeded. You can easily find out where your listeners come from by checking their IP addresses via your access statistics.

In order to achieve effective rights management processes, GVL has entered into arrangements with the relevant collective management organisations in many countries that allow us to offer licences covering the respective foreign territories. As at November 2013, the countries thus covered are:


Argentina Australia Belgium Bulgaria
Costa Rica

Dominican Republic

Ecuador Estonia
Finland France Greece Guatemala
Hong Kong Ireland Iceland Israel
Italy Jamaica Latvia Lithuania
Malaysia Mexico  New Zealand Netherlands
Norway Austria Panama  Paraguay 
Peru  Poland Portugal  Sweden 
Switzerland Singapore Slovenia  Spain
Thailand Czech Republic Hungary Uruguay 

United Kingdom  



Operating conditions web radio

A webcaster must fulfil the following operating conditions in order to obtain a webcasting licence in compliance with the agreement for the assignment and administration of rights.

1. No previews

The webcaster may not publish or arrange the publication of any previews or other kinds of announcements revealing the titles of the individual music recordings or the titles of the album including such music recordings featuring as part of the programme. Names of performers being played in the programme may not be mentioned except for illustrative purposes. This does not exclude the webcaster from making an announcement that a performer features in the programme in an unspecified timeframe. 

2. Music programme

Broadcasts by the webcaster may not include the following within three hour-segments of his programme:

(a) more than three different titles from a specific album; no more than two of which in a consecutive order; or

(b) more than four different titles by a specific performer or a compilation of music titles; no more than three of which in a consecutive order.

3. Pre-recorded programmes and broadcast loops

The transmission may not be part of:

(a) a pre-recorded programme of less than five hours; or

(b) a pre-recorded programme of five or more hours which is being transmitted for a period of more than two weeks; or

(c) a broadcast loop of less than three hours.

4. Programme repetition

The transmission may not be part of a programme that can be identified as one that plays music recordings in a predetermined order (except in pre-recorded programmes and broadcast loops) if this programme is transmitted 

(a) more than three times within a previously publicly announced period of two weeks, as long as it is a programme lasting less than an hour; or 

(b) more than four times within a previously publicly announced period of two weeks, as long as it is a programme lasting an hour or more.

5. Prohibition of use for advertising and dubbing purposes

The webcaster may not transmit music recordings as such or as part of a service offering the transmission of images or films in a manner that is suitable to create the false impression of a connection between the owner of the copyright and/or related rights with the webcaster or a specific product or service that the webcaster is advertising for. Furthermore, the webcaster may not create the impression that his activities over and above the transmission for music recordings itself are sponsored by the owner of the copyright and/or related rights (incl. the performer).

6. Prevention of programme scans and recordings

In the case of consecutive music recordings being used for his programme, the webcaster must either talk over them or cross-fade them. Should this not be possible in an individual case, the interval between two transmitted music recordings must not exceed 0.25 seconds. Unless it entails disproportionate costs, the webcaster must use effective technical measures, widely available on the market, which are targeted at preventing that:

(a) the person receiving a transmission or any other person can automatically scan the webcaster's programme itself or together with the transmissions by other webcasters in order to filter out specific music recordings from the programmes; and 

(b) the person receiving a transmission can create copies of the music recordings (except thereof are transient copies made for technical reasons). 

7. Support of technical measures

The webcaster shall support technical measures used by producers of sound recordings in order to identify and protect their music recordings. As long as such technical measures can be transmitted by the webcaster without any substantial costs and without any noticeable interference with the transmitted signal, the webcaster may not disrupt them.

8. Providing information for rights management purposes

(a) The webcaster shall provide information on the music recordings in a way that they are displayed to the person receiving the transmission via a specific device, during but not prior to the transmission: Title of the music recording, if possible, title of the album containing the track and name of the performer. 

(b) The transmission of music recordings shall, if technically feasible, be accompanied by the transmission of the information on title and performer as implemented into each music recording by the rights owners. This obligation shall apply subject to the conditions pursuant to no. 6.

9. No transmission of unauthorised music recordings

The webcaster may not transmit any unauthorised music recordings; those include, without exception, so-called bootlegs (unauthorised concert recordings) and recordings which have not yet been published for webcasting purposes in the country where the webcaster is headquartered. The webcaster may not remix or change the music recordings in any other way so that the music recordings transmitted are different to the original recordings. 

10. Automatic channel skipping and personalised programmes

The webcaster may not support any devices that enable automatic skipping from one programme channel to another. The person receiving a transmission shall, however, have the option to use pause and skip functions. The webcaster must determine fixed gaps applying to functions for skipping individual titles or for skipping a time interval in a forward direction which cannot be influenced by individual persons receiving the transmission. The skip function must not enable more than six skips to skip individual titles within 60 consecutive minutes of play. The webcaster may also offer personalised programmes ("preference functions"). The preference function shall provide the persons receiving the transmission with the possibility to inform the webcaster of their preferred genres, performers or music recordings. The combination of skip and preference functions may not lead to transmissions of recordings by specifically requested performers or albums. The combination of unlimited skip functions with preference functions shall be excluded. 

11. Maintaining integrity of works and performances

When using music recordings, the webcaster shall preserve the moral rights of the authors and performers. The webcaster must, in particular, refrain from any distortion or other interference which might endanger the reputation and standing of such moral rights holders. This applies in particular to the combination of music recordings with images or films.

12. Prohibition regarding linking

The webcast must be made from a server which is cotrolled by the webcaster. The webcast may only be accessible via the webcaster's website including applications (apps) specifically designated by the webcaster. The webcaster must use effective technical measures generally available in the market which prevent a simultaneous and unaltered transmission of the webcast on third-party websites. Access via third parties' websites, e.g. by linking webcasts may only be grantes if the webcaster is named, and require GVL's prior permission.

13. Geoblocking

The webcaster guarantees by installing technical measures such as geoblocking that its webcast channel can only be reached from countries for which it has obtained a licence. Except thereof are cross-border usages permitted by law, especially those under the portability directive. A multi-territory licence is required for cross-border usages.

14. Prohibition to sublicence

The webcaster shall not be entitled to grant the licence to third parties such as online aggregator services, for example.

Contact web radio

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Questions about webcast?

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