Music Licensing for Business in the United Kingdom

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 licence from TheMusicLicence.

Interior de un pub londinense de estilo clásico

Music Licences in the United Kingdom

The content shown is a guide and not to be taken as direct legal advice. As per our terms and conditions, you are solely responsible for obtaining the correct licenses.

Businesses need three different licences to legally play music in their physical venue.

  • icono de grabación

    Recording Licence

    Recording Licence

    This covers the right to use a specific recording of a song.

  • Notas musicales

    Publishing Licence

    Publishing Licence

    This covers the right to use the original composition.

  • Tienda abierta

    Public Performance Licence

    Public Performance Licence

    This allows you to play the song in a public environment.

Soundtrack Your Brand covers the first two licences, and in the United Kingdom, public performance licences are obtained through TheMusicLicence which is a collaboration between PPL and PRS for Music.

For information on music licensing in another country, please click here.

Soundtrack Your Brand

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 organisations 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.

Reproducir música en casa

Unsupported Services

Playing private use services such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, 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.

"You can’t broadcast or play Spotify publicly from a business, such as bars, restaurants, schools, stores, salons, dance studios, radio stations, etc. To play in a commercial environment, check out our friends at Soundtrack Your Brand."

Spotify Support Page

Steps to become fully licensed in the United Kingdom

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 Licence

If you don't already have TheMusicLicence for your business, you will need to contact PPL PRS Ltd to arrange this.

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 the United Kingdom

Overview

In the United Kingdom, under The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, permission is needed from the relevant copyright holders – those people who create music – in order to play or perform music in public.

This is done via TheMusicLicence - which gives you this permission. PPL PRS Ltd collect licence fees from UK businesses and organisations on behalf of their parent companies, PPL and PRS for Music.


PPL then distributes these music licence fees for the use of recorded music on behalf of record companies and performers, while PRS for Music distributes music licence fees for the use of musical compositions and lyrics on behalf of songwriters, composers and publishers.

This ensures that the people who create music are fairly rewarded for their talent and work.

Contact

Go to TheMusicLicence

History

Originally named The Performing Right Society, PRS for Music was founded in 1914 by a group of music publishers who set out to protect copyright whilst enabling songwriters, publishers and composers to receive an income.

Twenty years later, PPL was formed in 1934 by two record labels, Decca Records and EMI, following a notable court case involving a Bristol based cafe who played records to their customers.

Despite focussing on different areas of music licensing, the two organisations came together in 2016 to form PPL PRS and with a new offering named TheMusicLicence. This allows companies the opportunity to purchase one overarching licence to ensure that music creators are paid for their work, whilst also streamlining the process for businesses.

How to get a licence in the United Kingdom

Various tariffs exist and the licence cost is based on the type of business you have, as well as the nature of how music is being played. More information can be found on the website and an accurate quote can be requested online. Once purchased, the licence is instantly activated and will last for an entire year.