Simplifying music licensing

What licenses do I need? Can I play Spotify in my business? Get straight answers to questions all businesses should ask.

Licensing

Which licenses do businesses need to stream music?

Music law is complicated and exactly which licenses you need vary by country. Generally speaking, you need licenses to stream music and to store it on a device.

You also need a license for on-demand streaming if you want to play specific songs exactly when you want. Soundtrack is the only music service that provides this for businesses.

Playing music in your brick-and-mortar business is different from listening to music at home or playing it on a website, so these must be commercial licenses.

Next, you need public performance licenses to play the music for your customers and staff because the law considers your business to be a public place.

Soundtrack has more than 15,000 licensing deals with labels, publishers, performing rights organizations – and through them, artists. So yes, it’s complicated. That’s why we’re here.

fully licensed

Which licenses does Soundtrack provide?

Almost all of them. Your Soundtrack subscription gives you the required commercial licenses to stream the music, store it on a device, and for Soundtrack Unlimited customers, to play any song on demand. And we provide these licenses for every song in our massive catalog. 

The only other license you need is a public performance license tied to your specific business location. Each country has its own performance rights organizations (PROs) that base their fees on characteristics like business type, floor space, expected customer traffic, and number of speakers.

And because each country can have its own rules, no commercial streaming service includes these licenses outside of the US and Canada. But to help you get started, you can find the contact information for your local PROs here.

Soundtrack website stream

Can websites stream Soundtrack?

No. Soundtrack is for places with a door – streaming online requires a different set of licenses. The music has to play within, or within a reasonable distance of, a physical business location.

Playing personal streaming services like Spotify or iTunes in your business

Playing personal streaming services like Spotify or iTunes in your business

Is it against the law or just against the terms and conditions of the streaming service?

It’s actually both. You’re not only breaching contract T&Cs, but also your local copyright laws. All but three countries in the world have them, and everywhere Soundtrack is available.  

Why is it illegal? 

Personal streaming is for recreation, but you’re playing music in your business primarily to make money. This is why the copyright laws require different licenses. Commercial music licenses cost more because the artists should earn more when you play their songs.  

What happens if you’re caught?

Massive fines. Big companies like Peloton have been sued for many millions of dollars for playing music without the right licenses, and small businesses, like local bars, stores, and restaurants, for hundreds of thousands. It can be devastating no matter who you are.

Olivia rodrigo

How do artists get paid when businesses stream their songs?

Most services use a radio-model approximation that credits the most-popular musicians far more than less-streamed artists. Why? Because it’s easier than actually tracking who is being played.

Unlike other commercial music services, Soundtrack tracks every song streamed, and when and where it was played. We then report this to the various rights holders and managers so that all artists can get paid properly – not just the big stars.

Performers and songwriters make up to ten times more for each song streamed to a business than when streamed to a home. So, tracking this information is really important to make sure that your favorite artists can keep making the music you love. This is why we’ve built the most ethical music service around. It’s fair-trade music.

Pricing

Soundtrack

Essential

Thousands of playlists and stations. It's licensed music for your business made easy.

Includes:

  • Licenses for business use

  • 1,000+ Soundtrack playlists

  • Thousands of artist playlists

  • Custom stations built for your brand

  • Drag-and-drop scheduling

  • Explicit lyrics filter

/ per zone and month

Bill monthlyBill annually

Try Soundtrack risk-free for 14 days.

No credit card required.

Soundtrack

Unlimited

Play whatever, whenever, legally. Make your own playlists from any songs in the catalog.

Everything in Essential plus:

  • Play exactly what you want

    Take any songs from our massive catalog and turn them into playlists

  • Save time by editing what’s already there

    Add or remove songs from the 1,000+ ready-made playlists to make them yours

  • Make your Spotify playlists legal

    Just drag them into the app to legally play them in your business

  • Play offline

    Licenses to store and play music offline

/ per zone and month

Bill monthlyBill annually

Try Soundtrack risk-free for 14 days.

No credit card required.

Soundtrack

Enterprise

Support and service designed for businesses with 20 or more zones.

Everything in Essential or Unlimited plus:

  • Assisted onboarding

  • Priority support

  • Billing options

  • Dedicated account manager

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