Music Licensing for Business in South Africa

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 different licences from SAMPRA, SAMRO and CAPASSO.

Restaurant in South Africa

Music Licences in South Africa

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

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    Recording Rights

    Recording Rights

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

  • Music Notes

    Publishing Rights

    Publishing Rights

    This covers the right to use the original composition and compensates the songwriters and composers.

  • Open store

    Public Performance Rights

    Public Performance Rights

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

In South Africa, public performance licences are obtained through companies such as SAMPRA, SAMRO and CAPASSO. It is vital that you obtain the correct rights to use music in your business.

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.

Playing Music at home

Unsupported Services

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 South Africa

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 have licences from SAMPRA and SAMRO, please visit their websites to get your licences.

3) Subscribe to Soundtrack

Select a plan and add your payment details to officially join Soundtrack.

More Information about Music Licensing in South Africa


In South Africa, there are three primary music licensing organisations to consider. The first is the Southern African Music Rights Organisation, which is more commonly named SAMRO.

The second is commonly known as CAPASSO, which stands for The Copyright Association of Performers, Songwriters and Composers. While there is some crossover between the two companies, SAMRO handles royalties related to public performances of music, whereas CAPASSO primarily deals with the mechnical reproduction of music.

The third is SAMPRA, or the South African Music Performing Rights Association, is a non-profit organisation concerned with neighbouring rights.






In 1961, SAMRO was set up to champion music in South Africa and collect licence fees from music users such as broadcasters, radio stations, clubs, restaurants and more.

CAPASSO was established 24 years later, in 1985. It set out to make sure that performers, songwriters and composers were fairly paid for the use of their creations.

SAMPRA is the youngest of the organisations. It exists to collect for Needletime Rights (also known as Neighbouring Rights) on behalf of artists and record labels.

How to get a licence in South Africa

You can enquire online for the music licences, which will require some essential information about both your business, and how you intend to use music.

However, it is likely that an assessment of your business will need to be made, so it is recommended to enquire about the licences that you need ahead of time.