A Beginner’s Guide To Music & Licensing

A quick introduction to music and licensing for your hotel


Why can’t I use my Spotify subscription in my business?

We get a lot of  questions about what’s allowed and not allowed regarding playing music within your business place.

Being seven years in the background music business, we have plenty of insight on the legalities of different ways to play music and what to look out for. Check out some of the common questions and our answers below.

I am already paying for Spotify/Apple Music/Deezer/etc. Can’t I just use this for my business?

In short… No.

When you sign up for a B2C music service such as Spotify or Apple Music you are agreeing to use the service only for personal use. This means listening to music at home or using your headphones, but does not allow streaming music in public or a place of business.

This is because of different copyrights and royalty models and artists are entitled to a different type of royalty when their music is played in a business

What is a public performance right and why should I pay for playing music in public?

When playing music in public or in a business you are usually required to pay for two things

  1. The music source
  2. The public performance right
This is all too confusing!

The music source is talking about the streaming service or anywhere else you would source the music to be played in your business.

In the case of Play Hotel Music, we are talking about streaming services.

Public Performance Rights are talking about the right to play this music in public places.

The Public Performance Rights are usually administered by “Performance Rights Organizations” or PROs.

The only case where Public Performance Rights are not required is when you have a direct agreement with the artist to be allowed to use their music within a public setting. Whilst this could be simple for a small library, this could be difficult to arrange and organize for a library big enough to service your hotel daily all year round (without your guests or employees going crazy listening to the same music over and over).

Play Hotel Music currently has direct agreements with over 5,000 artists all over the world and through these agreements, we can give you access to over 850,000 tracks spanning all genres.

Play Hotel Music gives you access to direct agreements with artists allowing you to be exempt from paying Public Performance Rights.

This is an alternative and often simpler way of managing payments for both the artists and the businesses using the music.

For artists it allows for them to have more control over where their music is being broadcast. It is also a much more transparent process showing artists exactly where, when, and how many times their music was played.

In many cases it also allows artists to get a fair share of the royalties earned.

Go to http://www.playhotelmusic.com and check the top corners for samples and demo
Find out more about the type of music available at Play Hotel Music.
Try our demo on our website to listen to the music or Click on the upper left corner to listen to some samples

What is a PRO or Performing Rights Organization?

A PRO is an organization represents songwriters and publishers who sign up to them. They will allow businesses to license their music for a fee and redistributes this to the artists.

In the US there are four different types of PROs

  • American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
  • Broadcast Music Inc (BMI).
  • Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC)
  • Global Music Rights (GMR)

They all represent different songwriters and publishers so you have to be sure of which organisation the music you are using is licensed to, and pay the correct organisation.

In reality, for businesses, you will have to pay for licenses with all PROs as it is often difficult to figure out what songs belong to who.

Where does the money go and how much does it cost?

The licensing fees go to the PROs who then distribute it amongst their members.

The costs of these licenses have different rates according to the size of your business and other factors such as how the music is played (CD or streaming) and the number of customers you have.

Each organisation has a different set of calculations and will also bill differently; either monthly or quarterly.

Please visit ASCAP or BMI to find out the exact fees you will need to pay.

How does Play Hotel Music work?

Play Hotel Music simplifies everything in this post into one monthly payment

With Play Hotel Music you will only ever have to pay one monthly fee.

No more worrying about which PRO to register with or what rates to pay.

Our fee includes all the licensing issues you might have had to worry about and simplifies both costs and reporting for you.

And since our system was built just for this service, we will be able to allow our artists to accurately track their music being used and be paid fairly. No more estimations.

Do I have to pay PROs when using Play Hotel Music?

No. All our monthly fees include direct licensing with artists who have chosen not to register with any PRO.

How much is Play Hotel Music?

All our plans come with a one-week free trial

Play Hotel Music’s subscription plans are easy to use and are based on how many spaces you wish to play music in. You do not have to calculate any unnecessary factors a PRO might require such as measure the size of the room, or how many customers enter/exit.

Just one plan where you can even share the spaces between different hotels.


Find Our How Music Can Improve Your Customer Service


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