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What are my options for streaming music in my café?

We are often asked ‘do I need a licence to play music?’ The short answer is maybe, well probably. It depends what you want to achieve with your music, just simple back ground or something to entertain and add to the overall experience. You will definitely need to pay something to someone but how much and to who is up for discussion.

The way we see it, you have 3 main options for streaming music in your business, this applies if you are a Café, Restaurant, Holiday Resort, Office, Pub, etc. any business premises must be paying something to someone to play music.

License Free Music

Your first option, and likely the cheapest option, would be to play licence free music. This means you wont be listening to the UK Top 40 but you don’t need to pay a licence fee to listen to it. If all you are after is setting the tone with some background music this is probably the way to go. Using a streaming service such as Back Ground Sounds could be a good option to achieve this, with pre-built playlists and the ability to stream from any device with a web browser

A statistic worth a thought, 62.4% of people think it’s important for a café to play music they like.

Live Stream Radio

Many places opt to stream or broadcast a commercial radio station, a great option to make things simple. You don’t need to manage playlists its all done for you by the station. With the vast amount of online streaming services, you have plenty of choice. Surely this is free? The station are paying to play the music? Umm no, in the UK you need a Music Licence from PPL/PRS.

What is the licence fee for?… This “PPL distributes the music licence fees for the use of recorded music on behalf of record companies and performers, while PRS for Music distributes music licence fees for the use of musical compositions and lyrics on behalf of songwriters, composers and publishers.”

How much you need to pay will depend on a few factors, ultimately based on the number of people that can/will be able to listen to the pre-recorded music. Points covered are around the size of the establishment in square meters and number of seats. For more information on the costs take a look here.

Streaming Service

You may be thinking “can I use my Spotify account in my business”, again, sorry but no. They say “As laid out in our Terms and Conditions, Spotify is only for personal, non-commercial use.” Other streaming services exist for commercial uses BUT be careful which you go for, make sure they comply with the UK rules. You will also still need to pay the PPL/PRS Music licence fee on top of your streaming subscription.

Our recommendation is Soundtrack Your Brand this Streaming Service was born out of Spotify to service the business community. Some key points to this one;

  • Their subscription fee does cover the relevant licences (excluding PPL/PRS)
  • If you have multiple sites you can schedule in playlists so that they all play the same music at the same time of day.
  • Explicit music is filtered out.
  • Optional extra to insert your own ads, jingles etc.
  • Optional dedicated streaming box to connect to your existing equipment.
  • Works seamlessly with WiiM audio products

Which is best for me?

Getting music right in your restaurant is important, after all 81.3% of people notice the background music in restaurants and 40.8% stay longer (and hopefully spend more!!) when they like the music.

If you would like to talk through your options set up a Zoom call with us or call 01209 20 50 50.