Did you know that nine-in-ten Australians listen to recorded music at least once a week, that’s equivalent to 1.1 millions hours a day. Playing music in your business or premises has been proven to enhance your client/customer’s experience, influence the decisions of clients/customers and motivate staff to perform within your business.
You may then be surprised to learn that you must have a license to play copyright protected music in your business or premises. If music plays a part in your business, then you must make it your business to get the right license.
Why do you need a music license?
Recorded music and music videos are the intellectual property of their creators and therefore are protected under the Copyright Act, which provides copyright owners the right to allow their recordings to be played in public places such as retail stores, restaurants, fitness centres and websites. The Copyright Act doesn’t, however, require a business owner to obtain a license to play traditional radio or television.
Who do I obtain a music license from?
PPCA (the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia) is a national, non government, nonprofit music licensing company which represents the interests of record companies and Australian recording artists. The PPCA grant blanket licenses for the public performance of recorded music and music videos in clubs, hotels, bars, restaurants, fitness centres, cafes, shops, halls and dance studios, as well as radio and television stations.
PPCA collect license fees on behalf of artists, in exchange for granting a license, and pay the royalties to artists who are providing you with the music to your business. They are able to do so as they have arrangements with more than 850 PPCA licensor record labels, including the major labels (EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner).
The PPCA license will cover almost every original sound recording you are likely to play in your business.
How much does one cost?
A music licence cost depends on the type of business you operate. For example, to have a music license for ‘on hold’ music for 3-5 external telephone lines for your business, it will cost approx. $153 per annum per location. If you require a license to play background music for the reception area of your business or for a retail store, hair salon, beauty salon etc. up to 140m2 in size, the license will cost $76.67 per annum. This is different again for restaurants.
The cost of your music license is also a tax deductible expense to your business so keep your receipts!
It is illegal to play music within your business without a music license from either the individual artists or the PPCA. The PPCA also operates as an enforcement program, fining businesses who are playing unauthorised music in their businesses throughout Australia.
How do you apply for a license?
To apply for a music license or for more information about which music license is right for your business, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.