Transport Music Licence

Music has become an integral part of our lives, and it is not surprising that we want to enjoy it wherever we go. Public transport is no exception. Music on public transport can make the journey more enjoyable and entertaining. It can help us relax, pass the time, and even make new friends.

Music and transport are two things that might not seem to have much in common at first, but they can actually complement each other quite well. People use transport for everything, from getting to and from school or work, to holidays and cruises around the world. And music makes our journeys that bit more enjoyable.

Having entertainment available on public transport, planes and cruises can make those long journeys a more enjoyable and less stressful for passengers. It also has the ability to help pass the time and make the journey seem shorter.


Do I need a music licence for my Transport business?

Music is protected by copyright, and businesses and organisations have to get permission from the music creators to play or perform their works in public (see FAQ ‘What does playing music ‘in public’ mean?’). TheMusicLicence allows you to legally play music for passengers and employees through radio, TV and other digital devices.

To steer you in the right direction in understanding if your service requires a music licence, please see the list below, which outlines scenarios which will typically require a licence:

  • • Train station platforms (including underground)
    • Train carriages
    • Cruise liners and other seagoing vessels
    • Local ferries, lake, river and pleasure crafts
    • Buses & Coaches (including stations and platforms)
    • Planes (on/off boarding music and TV, Music & Radio included in inflight entertainment)

Plane sailing passengers

Listening to music or watching TV has the potential to help pass the time and make the journey feel shorter. It can also help you relax and de-stress after a busy day or a long journey on bus, train, vessel or plane.

Although music and transport may seem like an unlikely pair, they are deeply connected, whether it’s making the daily commute more enjoyable & entertaining, or providing a soundtrack to our traveling adventures, music can be an integral part of a transportation experience.

Staff Morale

Listening to music is a great way to boost morale, and this applies not only to passengers but also to the staff who work on public transport. Studies have shown that music can have a positive impact on mental health and well-being, which can lead to increased productivity and improved job satisfaction.

For public transport staff, who often have to deal with challenging situations and difficult customers, music can be a valuable tool for reducing stress and anxiety. By listening to their favourite songs or playlists, staff can create a more pleasant working environment for themselves, which can lead to better performance and higher levels of customer service.

How is my music licence cost calculated?

The cost of TheMusicLicence depends on a number of factors, including the type and size of carriage or vessel you want to licence and how you use music in the day-to-day operations, whether that be for background purposes or other usages such as in-house entertainment. You can use the quote list below to check whether or not your service requires a licence, or you can contact us:

Quote Checklist

Before contacting us, please ensure you’ve read our 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 workplace music licence in the Transport sector.

Background Music

  • Number of employees, working days and hours of operation.
  • The areas where music is used, such as platforms, vessels, planes, waiting areas and staff areas.
  • Type of devices used to play music, such as radio, CDs, TVs etc.
  • The square meterage of each area where music is audible.
  •  Number of passengers music is audible too.
  • Shops on board.
  • Bar & Restaurants

Music for Entertainment

  • Inflight entertainment- for example TVs showing music, films and radios.
  • On/off boarding music.

On board live entertainment  

  • Performances for passengers such as musicals, cabaret and live music, DJs

Music On Hold

  • Number of external lines.

Automotive & Transport FAQs

  • 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.

  • 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 office or workplace, 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.

  • Who are PPL PRS?

    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.

  • Who are PPL and PRS For Music?

    PPL and PRS for Music are both collective management organisations. They issue licences and collect royalties for certain uses of copyright-protected music, on behalf of their many hundreds of thousands of members. They then distribute those royalties to members.

    PPL represents record companies and performers for the use of recorded music, while PRS for Music represents songwriters, composers and music publishers for the use of musical compositions and lyrics (for both recorded music and live performances).

    PPL and PRS for Music set up PPL PRS Ltd to offer a single joint music licence, on behalf of them both, for playing and performing music in public (see ‘What does playing music ‘in public’ mean?’).

  • How can I play music legally in my Transport business?

    You can play music at your workplace in different ways. Whether it’s playing background music for your office via digital devices or tuning in with workplace radio. You can play music in the following ways:

    • Radio & TV
    • Streaming services - this may require a commercial streaming service. Before using platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube, please check that their terms & conditions allow for commercial use before playing music in your restaurant or café.
    • CDs, MP3s & other recordings

    We also license the playing and performance of music in other ways, such as live performances. To discover the different ways you can play music in your business visit our “how to play” section in the navigation.

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-6pm, Monday-Friday)

Ready to play music?

Set up a new music licence for your business today.

Get a Quote

Hospitality Brochure

Read our full guide to using music in your hospitality based business here

View Brochure

Brochure Download

Complete this form to receive our accommodation brochure:

Error: Contact form not found.

Related articles

Thinking about playing music in your hotel, B&B or guesthouse 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 to 6pm Monday to Thursday and 8am to 3pm Friday)

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