Posted on: 12 April 2019

Playing music in public

If you play music at your business for customers or employees, through the radio, TV, live performance or other digital devices, you will most likely need “TheMusicLicence” which will allow you to legally play music on your premises.

As copyrighted material, music can only be used in public at the discretion of the holder of the copyright under the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patent Act, which is why you need to have a licence in order to play music. By not having a licence and continuing to play music, you could be infringing copyright and are leaving yourself open to be sued for damage.


In February 2018, Performing Rights Society (PRS) and Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) created a joint licence called “TheMusicLicence” that covered all artists under both companies. Prior to this, the two companies were separate, and represented different artists, which meant that you would need to have a licence from both companies to cover all of the music that you were playing.

Having this joint licence means you will be covered to play the music of all of the artists registered under the two companies.

Who needs a licence?

The short answer is any business or organisation that plays music, whether this is performance or background music. Companies such as charities and other not-for-profit organisations are usually eligible for a charity and community discount, but are not completely exempt.

Check here for an extensive list of the different tariffs that apply to different types of companies  

Business insurance with Premierline

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Whether you  require pub insurance, restaurant insurance, hairdresser insurance or retail insurance, we can find you the insurance policy that will allow you to keep doing what you love doing.

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