CDs, MP3s & Other Recordings

Tangible, cost effective and high quality. Is it any wonder there’s been a resurgence in popularity?

CDs, MP3s and other recordings offer something other channels of listening cannot. From the warm character defining crackles of vinyl to the high audio quality of CDs; these tangible modes of listening are not just a nostalgic commodity for presentation but a way of listening to music in its truest form.

So, from CDs to tapes and vinyl records, why do you need TheMusicLicence to play these and other music recordings in your business?

In order to play or perform music in public within your business or organisation you may need TheMusicLicence. This ensures permission is granted from the relevant copyright holders in relation to the vast majority of commercially available music.


Why play CDs, MP3s & other recordings?

Playing music in your business could define your brand and attract a customer base that you want to be associated to. You now have access to a wide variety of music with the ability to create a tailored experience for your customers.

If you’re looking for variation in your choice of music, compilation records might be better suited to your brand than playing a full album from a particular artist. Did you know 40%1 of people prefer listening to playlists? So, why not play the original ‘playlist’ and put on a compilation album!

Nevertheless, playing an album to your customers via CDs, MP3s and other recording could create an atmosphere that is complimentary to its surroundings. With each track having a similar speed, tempo, and style for the entirety of the album. As a result, you could maintain a balanced ambience within your establishment.

This cost-effective way of listening to music is having a resurgence in demand. However, with 15%2 of people aged 25 and under having, unbelievably, never listened to a full album before, it’s time to get your sound system out and play your favourite artists and musicians for your customers today!

Do I need a licence to play CDs & MP3 recordings?

If you play or perform music via CDs, MP3, vinyl or other recordings in your business or organisation, the chances are you need TheMusicLicence.

Under The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, permission is needed from the relevant copyright holders – those people who create music – in order to play or perform music in public, this includes any presentation of music outside of a domestic setting.

Obtaining TheMusicLicence gives you this permission, in relation to the vast majority of commercially available music. This ranges from grassroots and independent artists and composers through to the biggest names in the business.

How much does it cost?

If you are playing via CDs, MP3 and other recordings in the UK the cost of a music licence varies. Things like the size of a business are measured in different ways under different tariffs, depending on what is appropriate for each business type.

To calculate your fee, we may need you to provide information such as square meterage, number of employees, or venue capacity. We may also need to know the types of devices you use to play recorded music, and information about any live performances of music.

Play background music in your business from just 36p* per day!

An office or workplace could play music from

per day

A retail premise could play music from

per day

A salon could play music from as little as

per day


  • I am a new customer and would like to get TheMusicLicence

    Ready to play music? Great!

    Now all we need are some details from you so we can get in touch, set up TheMusicLicence and have you playing music in no time.

  • Who is PPL PRS Ltd?

    PPL PRS Ltd was created to provide customers with a streamlined music licensing service – TheMusicLicence – with a single point of contact to make it easier to legally play and perform music in public. PPL PRS Ltd is equally owned by PPL and PRS for Music.

    PPL PRS Ltd started trading in 2018. Prior to 2018, businesses and organisations would have had to purchase two separate licences from PPL and PRS for Music instead.

  • I work alone, do I still need TheMusicLicence?

    If you are using music via CDs and other recording in a business or organisation that has employees, customers or visitors to the premises then you will usually need TheMusicLicence.

    PPL and PRS for Music do however operate a discretionary policy whereby they do not apply a charge to homeworkers (within a private residence working on their own) or for workplaces with only one worker, where music is not made available to any visitors/customers coming onto the premises.

  • If I have already purchased CDs, MP3s and other recordings, why do I need to pay for a licence?

    Purchasing music either digitally on a CD, record or tape etc permits you to listen to it at home for your personal use. However, if this music is played outside your home as a public performance, then you’ll usually need TheMusicLicence.

  • The music is only for the employees, do I still need TheMusicLicence?

    Even if you are only playing recordings in your business or organisation for employees, you’ll usually need TheMusicLicence.

    Music that's played outside of a domestic environment is classed as a public performance, even if the music can only be heard by employees in the workplace, canteen or staff areas.

    TheMusicLicence gives you permission to play music in your business or organisation for your employees.

    If you're unsure about whether you need a licence, please contact us.

    Speak to our friendly team today

    0800 051 6833

    (8am to 6pm Monday to Thursday and 8am to 3pm Friday)

  • I use international music on CDs, MP3s and other recordings, do I need TheMusicLicence?

    Not only do PPL and PRS for Music represent millions of musical compositions and recordings from UK artists and music creators. They also represent international artists and music creators through over 100 affiliated societies, that all operate under reciprocal agreements, in over 150 different countries around the world.

    The royalties collected are passed to the relevant overseas society who will in turn pay the artists and music creators. So, if the international music is covered by a reciprocal agreement, you will require TheMusicLicence.

    You can use the PPL and PRS for Music repertoire searches to see what music is covered.

  • What does playing music ‘in public’ mean?

    Under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, permission is needed from the relevant copyright holders – those who create, record and publish music – in order to play or perform music in public.

    Broadly speaking, this includes any presentation of music outside of a domestic setting. For example, it will include using music in the following ways as part of your business or organisation (for the benefit of customers and/or employees): playing recorded music via any device including the CDs, MP3, vinyl, tape and other records; showing TV broadcasts or other audio-visual content containing music; or putting on live performances of music.

    There are a range of tariffs to cover the different uses of music across various venue types. However, the use of this music will usually require permission from the copyright holders and TheMusicLicence will give you that permission, covering the vast majority of commercially released music.

  • What happens if I continue to play music recordings without a licence, or without paying the applicable fees?

    It's your responsibility to ensure that you are properly licensed for any music use taking place in your business or organisation.

    Playing music without the appropriate licence could amount to copyright infringement.

    When taking out TheMusicLicence from PPL PRS, your rights and obligations are set out in our Terms & Conditions, including your obligation to pay a royalty and to provide us with information required under the applicable tariff to assist us in calculating that royalty.

    If any payments under the licence become overdue, we will contact you by post, email or telephone. If appropriate, we may refer the account to our enforcement team or a debt collection agency. In some cases we may even terminate your licence, which may then lead to legal action for copyright infringement.

    More information is available in our Terms & Conditions.

Get a quote

If you’ve got all your information ready, please contact us or complete our Get TheMusicLicence form to arrange a quote.

Call us on 0116 290 0525

(8am to 6pm Monday to Thursday and 8am to 3pm Friday)

Related articles

Thinking about playing the radio or TV in your business and want to know more?

What is TheMusicLicence?

What is TheMusicLicence

TheMusicLicenceallows you to legally play music for employees or customers in your business through the radio, TV, other digital devices and live performances.
Learn more

Do I need a music licence?

Do I need a music licence?

If you use, play or perform music in your business or organisation, the chances are you need a music licence.
Learn more

Where does my money go?

Where does my money go?

After our business costs, music licence fees are distributed to all those involved in making music via our parent companies PPL and PRS for Music.
Learn more

How do I get TheMusicLicence?

Call us on 0116 290 0525

(8am-6pm, Monday-Friday)

Alternatively you can complete the online form and an adviser will be in touch.