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Playing music in the workplace

Playing music in the workplace

In this article you’ll learn

  • What a PPL licence is
  • How to apply for a licence to play music at work
  • How much a PPL licence costs

Do you use music in your business to give your customers something to listen to while they’re browsing your shop? Have you got the radio or a TV on in the background? If you’re playing music in the workplace, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got your PPL licence. Playing music is one of our top tips for bringing more customers into your store, and you can check out the others here

A PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) licence gives you the permission to use music that has been copyrighted without having to go directly to the artist or record company. If you’re playing music without having an up-to-date PPL licence, you could face legal action, as you are in breach of copyright law. This means you could be forced to stop playing music and pay a substantial fee for licencing and PPL’s legal costs.

If you’re playing music in the workplace via a radio station, TV channel or from a CD or audio file download that you’ve previously paid for, you’ll still need to have your PPL licence. Buying music only allows you to use the tracks in a domestic setting, not a business one. You can use your CDs at family parties without needing a licence, but if it’s a work’s event, or anything that could be classified as a business activity, you’ll need one. You can find out more about your legal responsibilities as a business owner here.

Young businessman filling out paperwork to legally cover him for playing music in the workplace

How much does a licence to play recorded music cost?

Purchasing your licence to play recorded music doesn’t cost as much as you might think. Your PPL licence could cost as little as 19p a day. There are several factors that influence how much you’ll need to pay:
What type of business you run
The size of the area that the music can be heard in
How you use the music in your business (i.e. is it background music, on the TV, as part of a telephone on-hold system etc.)
The type of activity (dance classes are different to restaurants)

You can browse by business category to find out how much a PPL licence will cost you each year. Find your price here.

Apply for a licence to play music at work

To get your licence to play music at work, you can apply:
Online http://www.ppluk.com/I-Play-Music/Businesses/Apply-for-licence-business/
By emailing applications@ppluk.com 
On the phone at 02075341070

Summary

If you are playing music in the workplace, you need to make sure that you’ve got a PPL licence to avoid breaking copyright law.