I got a call from a company a few months ago that addresses this in the contract they used. I could send them my own contract too, but their legal department required that I also sign theirs. They paid their fees to SESAC but they wanted me to play nothing but Big Band era music. I checked online to see what SESAC covered. You can look up individual titles. So few of what the client wanted was covered by their SESAC agreement that I declined the job. There was no way to comply with both requests. They apparently buy their in house recorded music from a supplier who complies with SESAC so they didn’t have a problem until they brought someone else in.
My understanding has been that if at least one of the collecting agencies was being paid, that everything was covered but the legal department in this case was convinced otherwise. I would have had to submit a playlist verifying that everything I’d play was covered by SESAC and they went as far as to deny anything public domain because it wasn’t specifically covered under SESACs agreement with them.
Patricia, thank you for this detailed answer.
I think it’s only going to get stickier. Legal concerns have a lot of companies trying to cover all the bases. I had another place require that we have a $3 million liability coverage on any vehicle brought on their property to deliver the harp and coverage on the harp in the same amount. They were treating all outside contractors the same, so the requirements for the harpist were the same as for a contractor coming in to do construction work.