Music can be used throughout a cinema

Whether you’re playing music in a cinema foyer, bar area or in films, you’ll usually need TheMusicLicence.

By obtaining TheMusicLicence you’ll be able to play PRS for Music and PPL music legally in your cinema and enjoy its benefits whilst ensuring that its creators are fairly rewarded for their work.

Cinema Background Music Licence

The power of background music

Whether you’re playing music in a cinema foyer, bar area or in the auditoria between film performances, background music in your cinema has the potential enhance the experience you provide to your customers and staff. The right playlist could even help you to promote future performances and upcoming releases.

Find out more about the power of background music for cinemas…

How is my music licence cost calculated?

The cost of TheMusicLicence varies from cinema to cinema, depending on their specific characteristics, so please contact us for a quote . Before doing so, please ensure you’ve read our Music Licence Quote Checklist for each section that is applicable to you, and have the relevant information ready so we can provide an accurate quote for your cinema music licence.

Quote Checklist

Background music

  • Number of cinema screens
  • The areas owned and managed by the cinema, where is music is audible such as foyers, bars and restaurants
  • Number of seats in those restaurants where music is audible
  • The square meterage of those separate bars, restaurants or shops where music is audible
  • Details of areas operated by third parties, such as bars or restaurants where music is audible.

Music in films

  • Annual admissions or annual receipts
  • Number of cinema screens

Understanding your music licence royalties

To help you understand how much TheMusicLicence could cost for your cinema, you can view the individual PPL and PRS for Music tariffs that may be applicable to you.

PPL Tariffs
  • Background music in cinemas
  • Background music pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes
  • Specially featured entertainment
  • Telephone music on hold
PRS for Music Tariffs


Do I need TheMusicLicence?
  • Under The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, permission is needed from the copyright holders – generally those who create, record and publish music – in order to play or perform music in public (broadly, this means in any other context than a domestic one).
  • Through their many thousands of members, PPL and PRS for Music manage these rights in the vast majority of commercially released music available, and license that music for use by businesses and organisations in the UK via TheMusicLicence.
  • This means that, if you play or perform music in your business or organisation in the UK, you will usually need TheMusicLicence. Instead of potentially having to contact many thousands of music rights holders individually for permission to play or perform their music, TheMusicLicence gives you those permissions in a single, simple transaction.
Can I play or perform music by specific artists only?
  • TheMusicLicence covers millions of songs and recordings, including the most popular and well-loved music not just from the UK but also from around the world.
  • You can play or perform the music of specific artists only if you wish, but it will not affect the cost of your licence. That’s because the cost is not calculated based on which music artists you play, but instead depends on factors such as the size of your business or organisation and the ways you use music.
Where does the money go?
  • When businesses and organisations pay PPL PRS Ltd for TheMusicLicence, we pass those royalties on to our parent companies, PPL and PRS for Music (after deduction of our running costs). The royalties are shared between PPL and PRS for Music based on which of their respective licensing tariffs apply to the music usage under your licence, and the costs due under those tariffs.
  • PPL and PRS for Music each have databases storing details of millions of musical compositions and recordings. Together with a wealth of information about what music is being used by customers, this enables PPL and PRS for Music to determine fairly and efficiently which of their members to pay, and how much to pay them.
  • This means that, by purchasing TheMusicLicence, you are supporting the future of music by helping to ensure its creators are paid for their work, so that the people who write, perform and record it can continue making the music you love.