What is TheMusicLicence

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

TheMusicLicence from PPL PRS allows you to legally play music for employees or customers in your business through the radio, TV, other digital devices and live performances.

Previously, businesses and organisations had to obtain separate music licences from PPL and PRS for Music. However, we have now come together to form PPL PRS Ltd and launch TheMusicLicence.

One contact. One invoice. One licence.

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How it works

We collect licence fees from UK businesses and organisations on behalf of our parent companies, PPL and PRS for Music.

PPL then distributes these 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.

This ensures that the people who create music are fairly rewarded for their talent and work.

How is the cost calculated?

The cost of TheMusicLicence depends on a number of factors including your type of venue and how you use music in your day-to-day operations, whether that be for background purposes or specially featured entertainment.

In most cases, both a PPL and PRS for Music tariff will apply to your music licence. Tariffs continue to be set separately and independently by PPL and PRS for Music.

Do I need a music licence?

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.

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.

Like to know if you need a licence or not?

Call us 0116 290 0525.

TheMusicLicence FAQs

  • 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.

  • What is TheMusicLicence?

    TheMusicLicence allows you to legally play and perform music in your business, whether through the radio, TV, other digital devices and/or live performances.

    If you play or perform music in your business or organisation in the UK, you will usually need TheMusicLicence. It will cover you, with one licence and one invoice, for the use of virtually all commercially released music available – millions of songs and recordings, including the most popular and well-loved music not just from the UK, but also from around the world.

  • Do I need TheMusicLicence?

    If you play or perform music 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

    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.


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

    Even if you are only playing music in your business or organisation for employees, then 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

    (8am–6pm, Monday–Friday)

    I work alone, do I still need TheMusicLicence?

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

    Speak to our friendly team today

    (8am–6pm, Monday–Friday)

    I only play the radio, why do I need TheMusicLicence?

    If you are playing the radio in your business or organisation, you’ll usually need TheMusicLicence. Although the radio stations pay both PPL and PRS for Music for the right to broadcast, it does not include playing the radio in public, such as business premises.

    TheMusicLicence allows you to legally play music for employees, customers or visitors in your business or organisation.

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

    Speak to our friendly team today

    (8am–6pm, Monday–Friday)

    I only use the TV to play sports, why do I need a TheMusicLicence?

    Sports programming uses more music than people realise, such as opening and closing titles, highlights and featured sequences as well as the advertisements during commercial breaks. You'll therefore usually need TheMusicLicence to use the television for showing sports and other programming in public.

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

    Speak to our friendly team today

    (8am–6pm, Monday–Friday)

    I already have a TV licence, why do I need TheMusicLicence?

    It is easy to forget that music is used all the time within TV programmes, advertisements during commercial breaks and other broadcasts. A TV licence only allows you to receive the broadcast signal for the television.

    If you wish to use the TV in public, such as at your business premises, you will usually need TheMusicLicence to cover the music included in those programmes.

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

    Speak to our friendly team today

    (8am–6pm, Monday–Friday)

    I have music on my telephone on hold system, do I need TheMusicLicence?

    If you are using commercially-released music on your telephone system in your business or organisation, then you’ll usually need TheMusicLicence.

    The music on your telephone system is being played for your customers and is classed as public performance. In some cases, PPL and PRS for Music have agreements in place with telephone on hold music suppliers who provide you with TheMusicLicence as part of the service they offer.

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

    Speak to our friendly team today

    (8am–6pm, Monday–Friday)


    I use music at an educational establishment, do I still need TheMusicLicence?

    If you are using music in an educational establishment, including nurseries, pre-schools, playgroups, crèches, schools, sixth forms, colleges or universities, please contact us to discuss your music usage so we can ensure you are correctly licensed.

    If you are unsure about whether you need TheMusicLicence for your music, please contact us.

    Speak to our friendly team today

    (8am–6pm, Monday–Friday)

    I use a royalty free music supplier, do I still need a licence?

    TheMusicLicence covers virtually all commercially released music available. Where you have chosen not to use that music, there are a number of circumstances where you may not need TheMusicLicence.

    If you do not think that the music you use is covered by PPL PRS you should ask for confirmation from your supplier. If you then forward the confirmation through to us, we will update our records.

    If you are unsure about whether you need TheMusicLicence for your music, please contact us.

    Speak to our friendly team today

    (8am–6pm, Monday–Friday)

    I use international music, 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.

    If you are unsure about whether you need TheMusicLicence for your music, please contact us.

    Speak to our friendly team today

    (8am–6pm, Monday–Friday)

    If I have already purchased the music, why do I need to pay for a licence?

    Purchasing music either digitally on a CD, record or tape 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.

    If you're unsure about whether you need TheMusicLicence for your music, please contact us.

    Speak to our friendly team today

    (8am–6pm, Monday–Friday)
  • What does playing or performing 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 radio; showing TV broadcasts or other audio-visual content containing music; or putting on live performances of music.

    All these uses of music will usually require permission from the copyright holders and TheMusicLicence will give you that permission, covering the vast majority of commercially-released music.

  • I need a licence or permit for an event?

    New customers

    If you don’t currently have TheMusicLicence for your business or organisation, but are planning an event that includes the playing or performing of music in public, we can arrange for a temporary permit to cover the music usage at the event.

    Please contact us to arrange a temporary permit for your event.

    0116 290 0525

    (8am–6pm, Monday–Friday)

    Existing customers

    If you already have TheMusicLicence for your business or organisation and need to include an event on your music usage, we can amend your music usage in your existing licence to ensure you are legally covered for the music at your event.

    Please contact us to amend your music usage.

    (8am–6pm, Monday–Friday)

    Charity & Community Events

    Charity and community organisations may apply for a discount against the standard royalty made for events or featured music sessions in certain circumstances.

    Before you apply for Charity and Community Discount, please make sure that you have read the qualification criteria for a possible discount.

  • Is it just 'another' form of Tax?

    The fees payable for TheMusicLicence are not a form of tax.

    We work on behalf of our parent companies, PPL and PRS for Music, who between them, represent thousands of music creators whose music is protected by copyright, and whose permission is therefore needed in order to play or perform music in public.

    When businesses and organisations purchase TheMusicLicence, after deduction of our business costs, all of the licence fees collected flow back to PPL and PRS for Music to process, allocate and distribute royalties to the music creators they represent.

    Learn more about PPL and PRS for Music and where the money goes.

  • What are the Terms and Conditions of TheMusicLicence?

    You can view TheMusicLicence Terms and Conditions online.

  • Why should I play music in my business?

    Whatever your business – coffee shop, beauty or hair salon, cocktail bar or restaurant, clothing retailer or offices, factories and workplaces - music has the potential to enhance the experience you provide to your customers, visitors and employees.

    The music you play can be as much a part of your brand image as your logo. It could be the deciding factor for a customer when choosing between you and your competitors!


    Purchasing TheMusicLicence for your music usage ensures you are legally entitled to play millions of commercially released songs and recordings from all over the world. And in doing so, you are also helping the writers and performers to be fairly rewarded for their work.

    Get TheMusicLicence for your business or organisation and put the essential energy of music at the heart of your business!

  • How much does TheMusicLicence cost?

    The cost of TheMusicLicence for a particular business or organisation depends on a number of factors, such as the size of the business or organisation and the ways it uses music.


    Things like the size of a business are measured in different ways under different tariffs, depending on what is appropriate for each business type. So, 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.


    PPL and PRS for Music will continue to set their respective licensing tariffs separately from each other. Those tariffs will be applied by PPL PRS Ltd when issuing TheMusicLicence to customers. PPL and PRS for Music will each continue to review the cost of their respective tariffs from time to time, but the launch of TheMusicLicence will not in itself affect the costs under those tariffs.

  • Still unsure about whether you need TheMusicLicence?

    Call us on
    0116 290 0525

    (8am-6pm, Monday-Friday)

    Alternatively you can complete the online form and an adviser will call you back soon.