Skip to main content

Canadian royalties distributed by ACTRA RACS flow from a number of revenue streams. The ability to collect royalties for each music use must be approved by the Copyright Board of Canada. Each use approved by the Copyright Board is called a “tariff”. Canadian performers are currently entitled to royalties under multiple tariffs, which are described in more detail below. Under each tariff, the use of recorded music is tracked and the performances on those recordings may be eligible for royalties.

ACTRA RACS advocates for the expansion of rights available to recorded performers in Canada, to ensure that artists receive their fair share. Learn more about our lobbying and advocacy efforts.

Terrestrial Radio Broadcast

Tariffs covering the use of recorded music on Terrestrial Radio include Commercial Radio Stations, as well as CBC radio.

Public Performance

Tariffs covering the Public Performance of recorded music include a variety of uses such as: the use of recorded music played in Bars and Restaurants, at live events and to accompanying dance and fitness classes.

Digital Broadcast & Streaming

Digital Broadcast Tariffs cover both Satellite Radio and Pay Audio Stations, whereas Streaming tariffs cover both semi-interactive and non-interactive streaming.

Private Copying

Tariffs covering the Public Performance of recorded music cover a variety of use, such as music played in Bars and Restaurants, recorded music played at live events and recorded music accompanying dance and fitness classes.

Do We Have Royalties For You? Check Our Canadian Airplay Database.

ACTRA RACS’s searchable Canadian airplay database provides information on all recordings found in the Canadian airplay and usage data. If you find a recording that you have performed on, there may be royalties waiting for you.

Terrestrial Radio Broadcast Royalties

COMMERCIAL RADIO (1A): The use of sound recordings as part of Canadian commercial radio programming.

CBC (1C): The use of sound recordings as part of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s radio programming.

Digital Broadcast & Streaming Royalties

SATELLITE RADIO (04): The use of sound recordings by multichannel subscription satellite radio services (such as Sirius XM).

PAY AUDIO (17): The use of sound recordings as part of commercial-free music programming distributed by direct-to-home satellite distribution companies (such as Galaxie or Max Trax) and by all major cable distributors across Canada.

MUSIC STREAMING (8): Royalties for the use of sound recordings on non-interactive and semi-interactive webcasts streaming into Canada. This does not apply to podcasts, on-demand streaming, or simulcasts by Canadian commercial radio braodcasters, CBC, pay audio or satellite radio services.

Public Performance Royalties

BACKGROUND MUSIC: Royalties paid for the telecommunication of recorded music as well as the public performance of recorded music for the use of recorded music in an establishment – bars, restaurants, retail stores – as well as the use of any music with a telephone on hold.

  • 3A – paid by background music suppliers for recorded music use by their subscribers
  • 3B – paid by establishments for the use of recorded music

LIVE EVENTS: Royalties paid for sound recordings used to accompany live events. This tariff is divided in into sub-tarrifs which apply to different types of live events such as receptions, conventions, karaoke, fairs and exhibitions, parades, ice shows, sporting events, comedy and magic shows, concerts, theatrical and dances performances, and fireworks displays. It may apply to a variety of establishments such as hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, banquet halls, golf and country clubs, festivals, fairs, and municipalities.

  • 5A – Music to accompany live entertainment
  • 5B – Receptions, Conventions, Assemblies & Fashion Shows
  • 5C – Karaoke
  • 5D – Festivals, Exhibitions & Fairs
  • 5E – Circuses, Ice Shows, Fireworks Displays & Similar Events
  • 5F – Parades
  • 5G – Parks, Streets & other Public Area
  • 5H – Sporting Events
  • 5I – Comedy & Magic Shows

DANCE AND FITNESS: Royalties paid for the use of sound recordings used to accompany dancing or any similar activity, such as the use of recorded music to accompany dance at any indoor or outdoor venue, including nightclubs, dance clubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, halls, clubs, schools, and campuses.

  • 6A – Use of sound recordings to accompany dance
  • 6B – Use of sound recordings to accompany dance and fitness classes
  • 6C – Use of sound recordings to accompany adult entertainment

Private Copying Royalties

The private copying levy is a royalty for rights holders and is meant to provide compensation to recording artists when copies of sound recordings are made by Canadians for their own personal use. Since it is virtually impossible to track what recordings are being copied for personal use, private copying royalties are paid to recording artists based on the following usage data:

  • Commercial Radio (PC_R)
  • CBC Radio (PC CBC)
  • Album Sales (PC S)


ACTRA RACS has begun the process of closing out past years of Canadian neighbouring rights royalties. Once a royalty year is closed, performances on sound recordings broadcast in that usage year can no longer be claimed.  To learn more about this process, please visit our closeout schedule.

Sound Recording Eligibility

Licensing of Rights & Royalties

In Canada, royalty rights for performances on sound recordings are collectively licensed to music users by Re:Sound, Entandem and the Canadian Private Copying Collective

Re:Sound (formerly the NRCC) was established by ACTRA RACS, Artisti, MROC, SOPROQ and CONNECT, for the purpose of filing tariffs with the Copyright Board and collecting royalties from music users. Re:Sound currently licenses music users under the Broadcast, Digital and Streaming tariffs.

Entandem is a joint venture between Re:Sound and SOCAN and was established to simplify music licensing for businesses, which pay for the use of music in accordance with Public Performance tariffs in Canada.

The Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC) collects the levy associated with the reproduction of sound recordings on blank CD’s. CPCC collects the levy on behalf of organizations representing artists, labels, songwriters and publishers, including ACTRA RACS. The CPCC enforces the private copying levy and is actively advocating on behalf of its members to expand the levy to apply to devices.

“RACS has always had my back when it comes to collecting my neighboring rights royalties. Knowing there’s someone out there scouring the world for money I’ve earned is a very comforting feeling as a musician. It’s also like Christmas in July whenever I get a surprise cheque in the mail! “

Tebey Ottoh

Solo Artist

Love your inbox. Join our Newsletter.


Next Steps: Sync an Email Add-On

To get the most out of your form, we suggest that you sync this form with an email add-on. To learn more about your email add-on options, visit the following page ( Important: Delete this tip before you publish the form.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.