Music Licensing for Business in Germany
Playing music in a business is a little different from listening to music at home. Since you're playing for an audience with a business and commercial purpose, you will need a license from GEMA.
Music Licenses in Germany
Businesses need three different licenses to legally play music in their physical venue.
This covers the right to use a specific recording of a song.
This covers the right to use the original composition.
Public Performance License
Public Performance License
This allows you to play the song in a public environment.
Soundtrack Your Brand covers the first two licenses, and in Germany, public performance licenses are obtained through GEMA (who also manages background music licenses on behalf of GVL).
For information on music licensing in another country, please click here.
The Value of Soundtrack
We offer a licensed music service for commercial use, with great features such as scheduling tools and an explicit filter.
Soundtrack Your Brand is able to provide this via direct relationships with publishers, performing rights organizations and record labels (including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and more).
Our technology allows royalties to be fairly and accurately distributed back to music creators. Our Unlimited tier provides royalty payments that are approximately 5 times higher than those from streaming services for private use.
Services such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, Tidal and Deezer are not suitable for use in business. These platforms are for personal, private use only - it is not legal to use them when playing music to an audience and you could risk being faced with a fine.
Steps to become fully licensed in Germany
1) Trial Soundtrack
Start our 14 day free trial to use our properly licensed business music service immediately. No payment or commitment required.
2) Get a Public Performance License
If you don't have a license from GEMA, please visit their website to get your license.
3) Subscribe to Soundtrack
Enjoy the world's best business music service while staying fully compliant. Select a plan and add your payment details to officially join Soundtrack.
More Information about Music Licensing in Germany
When operating a business based in Germany, there are two separate music licensing organizations to consider. These are GEMA and SUISA, which are German and Swiss organizations respectively. Both aim to collect and distribute royalties throughout Germany on behalf of music authors, composers and publishers. GVL handles neighbouring rights, but royalties are collected by GEMA.
GEMA or Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte, the Society for Musical Performance and Mechanical Reproduction Rights, was formed in 1933. It operates as a collective management organization. With over 6 million members, it is the largest of its kind in Germany, representing over 90,000 composers, lyricists and publishers.
Operation began in 1923 for SUISA or Schweizerische Gesellschaft für die Rechte der Urheber und Verleger von musikalischen Werken, the Swiss Society for the Rights of Authors and Publishers of Musical Works. However, it was not known under this name until 1942, when a change in law required that it become a cooperative society.
The German Organisation for the Management of Neighbouring Rights, or GVL, was established in 1959 and works collaboratively with GEMA where neighbouring rights for public performance are concerned.
How to get a license in Germany
Licenses from either GEMA or SUISA last for one calendar year. A variety of tariffs are available to suit the specific use of music within your business. Depending on how you make use of music at your company, you will may be required to hold licenses from both organizations. It is possible to make enquiries online for these.
Note: When using Soundtrack in Germany, only a GEMA license is needed.