Solutions

A Guide on Distributed Music Licensing

Multi Zone with QSC Q-SYS

Perfect Octave offer multi-zone licensed music for business playback on the QSC Q-SYS platform. This allows the 380+ licensed music channels they have available from their partnership with SoundMachine to be used in venues with multiple zones requiring different styles of music. No extra hardware necessary, no taking up analog inputs, perfect for Dante based systems.

Do you know you need at least two types of licences to play music publicly?

First, you should have a ‘site or venue’ licence, now called TheMusicLicence, available from PRS for Music and PPL. Second, you should also have a ‘MSB2B licence’, if you intend playing background music to the public in retail shops, commercial businesses, pubs, hotels and restaurants. This licence allows for the creation of digital databases of audio only (playlists) to supply background music. PRS for Music and PPL, the UK’s two music collecting societies, have joined forces to set up PPL PRS Ltd, a joint venture combining the two societies’ public performance licensing activities. PPL PRS Ltd launched the joint licence on 26 February 2018 and offers a single licence, called The Music Licence, on behalf of both PRS for Music and PPL, to play or perform music in public.

Do I need a licence?

If you use, play or listen to recorded music in your business or organisation, the chances are you need a music licence. Under The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, permission is needed from the relevant copyright holders – in order to play or perform music in public. Obtaining The Music Licence gives you this permission, in relation to the vast majority of commercially available music. This ranges from grassroots and independent artists and composers through to the biggest names in the business. It means you don’t have to spend your time and energy contacting thousands of rights holders individually to get permission to play or perform their music in your business. Instead of obtaining an MSB2B Licence in addition to The Music Licence it is possible to pay a monthly subscription to providers of licensed music for business – such as Perfect Octave.

Note: Public transmission or performance, including playback of music in a commercial environment or business is not allowed unless the licenses have been purchased.

How is the cost of The Music Licence calculated?

The cost of The Music Licence depends on a number of factors including your type of venue and how you use music in your day-to-day operations, whether that be for background purposes or specially featured entertainment. The Music Licence gives you the right to play or perform music in public, including certain related ancillary rights. It does not give you the right to broadcast music, make it available online or copy it on physical products such as CDs, DVDs or digital devices. These activities are licensed separately PPL and PRS for Music.

Note: You can calculate the cost of TheMusicLicence by visiting this website and putting in your specific requirements: https://pplprs.co.uk/how-is-the-cost-calculated/

Can I play my Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer or Napster Playlist in my business?

The terms and conditions you agree to when you sign up to a streaming music service, such as Apple Music®, Spotify®, Deezer® or Napster® specifically state music is licensed for personal use only and not public broadcast or commercial use. Using playlists from a personal music playlist in a commercial environment, without an MSB2B licence (this is not the same licence as The Music Licence issued by PPL/ PRS) puts you and your business in breach of UK copyright law.

Note: Personal use music licences do not carry over to commercial environments. This means if you are playing a personal Spotify, iTunes or other streaming content playlist, without a commercial licence, you are breaking the law and could be prosecuted.

What types of businesses do music licensing rules apply to?

AIRCRAFT

AMUSEMENT & PLEASURE PARKS

AMUSEMENT ARCADES

BINGO SESSIONS

BUSES & COACHES

CARAVAN PARKS CASINOS

CINEMAS

CONCERT VENUES

FACTORIES & OFFICES

GYMNASIUM WORKOUT

GYMNASTICS CLUBS

HAIRDRESSING & BEAUTY SALONS

HOLIDAY CENTRES

INLAND & COASTAL VESSELS

LASER SPACE GAMES

LEISURE CENTRES & HEALTH / FITNESS CLUBS

MUSEUMS & ART GALLERIES NAAFI / ARMED SERVICES BASES

NIGHTCLUBS, DISCOTHEQUES & DANCE HALLS

PUBLIC HOUSES / BARS

RESTAURANTS & CAFES / HOTELS

RAILWAY, UNDERGROUND & BUS / COACH STATIONS

REGISTERED MEMBERS CLUBS

SHOPS & STORES

SKATING RINKS

SMALL RESIDENTIAL HOTELS & GUEST HOUSES

SMALL WORKPLACES SPECTATOR SPORTS

SWIMMING POOLS

SYNCHRONISED SWIMMING

TELEPHONE MUSIC ON HOLD

TEN PIN BOWLING CENTRES

THEATRES

WAITING ROOMS / RECEPTION AREAS

Note: This list is the common business types that most often need a licence to play music BUT it is not an exhaustive list. If you don’t see your business call a professional for advice.

What are the steps to playing music legally in my business?

Audiologic’s supplier, Perfect Octave, partner with a leading provider of premium, licensed music playlists for business and getting started is straightforward and easy. For a single affordable monthly fee, their music for business service provides you with a comprehensive, licensed and legal music library (MSB2B) and music player, on your preferred platform, for playing music in your business. Sign up and pay for The Music Licence, find out more here: https://pplprs.co.uk/themusiclicence/