15 Sep 2017

(Edited 13/02/2020)

Music streaming services offer millions of tracks to stream for your listening pleasure.  You can make playlists that serve the image that you want your customers to have of your business without having to trawl through iTunes or your CD collection, so how good would it be to just plug your smartphone into the amplifier and keep everyone engaged?  The obvious way to entertain your customers while they’re on your premises, no?

The answer is “because you can’t”. It’s illegal.  Although you may use music in your staff room or even in the office for the relaxation of your employees, a Private Performance, using other people’s music in your business is classed as Public Performance.

To entertain your clients or staff, even with something as simple as the radio, you will need both a Performing Rights Society (PRS )For Music licence and a Phonograph Performance Limited (PPL) licence. The first ensures that the composers and song writers receive the fair royalties, the latter protects the record companies and performers.

“PPL and PRS for Music do however operate a discretionary policy whereby they do not apply a charge to homeworkers (within a private residence working on their own) or for workplaces with only one worker, where music is not made available to any visitors/customers coming onto the premises. If you are unsure about whether you need a licence, please contact us.” (https://pplprs.co.uk/helpie_faq/do-i-need-themusiclicence/)

So, now you’ve got the licences and can listen to the radio, why can’t you use something like Spotify? Simply, it’s for personal use only and not permitted for commercial use. In case you’re not convinced, here are a few of the clauses in the T&Cs of some of the most popular streaming services.

Spotify: “As laid out in our T&Cs, Spotify is for personal entertainment only, and not for commercial use. This means it can’t be played in public places such as bars, restaurants, stores, schools, etc.”

Napster: “You may only use the Services for your personal, non-commercial use.”

Tidal: “The Service shall be for private use only and use of the Service in commercial or public settings is not permitted.”

Quite simply, it’s only for you and yours, and not for them and theirs.

So what can you do? (Other than just listen to the radio)

There are other music services out there that give you the variety you’re after which you can use to provide music to your business totally legally to engage and entertain your clients,. One method is to use a ‘profiled music service’. Working closely with you and your business, they will create personalised playlists to suit your company image and the vibe you want to create for your customers. They can set different playlists to play through different parts of the day and at different volumes (think; calm jazz cafe by day, hard rock cafe by night). The music played will be updated every month so you won’t be listening to the same playlist every day. Your staff is left to do what it does best, and bothered with sorting out music. Some services even give your clients the opportunity to download an app and to choose what to play next from your curated playlists; every night can be ‘free jukebox night’ which can encourage people to stay longer.

For more information on licensing and profile music services for your business, feel free to give us a call. We like a chat.