Pubs & Bars Music Licence

Legally play music in your pubs, bars & nightclubs in a variety of ways with TheMusicLicence.

Whether you’re hosting live performances and DJs, using music segments in your quiz or playing background music via audio devices and TVs, you’ll usually need a music licence from PPL PRS in order to play music in your pub, bar or nightclub.

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


Do I need a music licence for my pub or bar?

You might not realise it, but 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

A music licence allows you to legally play music for customers and employees in your bar, dining, and outside areas through the radio, TV and other digital devices.

Once you have purchased TheMusicLicence for your venue you will be legally licensed to play or perform music to your customers and staff.

Playing music in your pub or bar

Playing music in your premise could enhance your atmosphere, improve employee morale and create a more enjoyable customer experience.

Amongst activities such as karaoke, quizzes and watching sport – people come to your pub or bar to relax, unwind, socialise and soak up that all important atmosphere. For many, music is part of their daily lives, that’s why something could feel out of place or missing if it’s not playing in their downtime.

Whatever the weather, the mood is lifted by music, a friendly face with a drink in hand. People, food and music in a traditional country pub, what really could be more pleasurable than that?

Berkley Inns Group

In fact, this may account for why one in five* pub goers that we surveyed have chosen the door over a drink after realising no music was being played upon entering a venue.

So, with this in mind, how do you play music in your pub or bar? Do you play curated playlists through digital devices or does the radio provide you with more flexibility? TheMusicLicence allows you to be flexible and adaptable. Whether it’s through a surround sound system in your dining areas, outside in your beer garden or via a retro jukebox, music is an essential part of the entertainment experience.

*A survey of 2,101 UK respondents by Perspectus Global in September 2021.

The power of background music

The type of background music you play in your pubs and bars can vary greatly depending on the atmosphere you are trying to create. Do you want a relaxed atmosphere, or is it time to party?

The repertoires covered by TheMusicLicence contains millions of songs and recordings, including the most popular and well-loved music not just from the UK, but also from around the world. This can allow you to create the environment you want for your customers and staff whilst differentiating you from your competitors.

The Tamworth Tap understand the importance of connecting music to their brand identity whilst remaining authentic to their establishment.  

“Our music suits the building, the time of the day, week and year. It’s unique to our venue and evokes positive reactions from tourists and locals alike.”

From your regulars to the impromptu drinkers, no matter your clientele you want your customers to feel comfortable in your establishment. Playing music could facilitate positive customer interactions and drive conversation.

Our staff love our playlists. They also enjoy the interaction with customers who discuss the music.”

Tamworth Tap

“Our staff love our playlists. They also enjoy the interaction with customers who discuss the music. We never play inverted music. It’s all deliberately chosen for its genre.”

Did you know 40% of adults that we surveyed said that they are more likely to indulge in an extra treat if pop music plays in a pub or café. 

*A survey of 2,101 UK respondents by Perspectus Global in September 2021. 

Live music & events

Live music has the power to bring people together, whether it’s in your pub and bar or at Wembley Stadium. Hosting live music and events could help to establish your brand identity and create a community with customers returning time and time again.

TheMusicLicence legally covers the use of recorded music in your pubs, bars and nightclubs but also a vast range of music usage including live music performances, open mic nights, karaoke, comedy shows and film screenings. That’s why introducing live entertainment could help your venue stand out by offering something different.

Hosting live events could help to attract fans of the music, genre or style of music that is used; particularly if you showcase artists and local talent through live performances. PPL PRS generally only charge a percentage of ticket sales for events, meaning that live entertainment could potentially be an economical way of generating new custom.

Hosting events also gives artists the opportunity to perform live and could act as an important platform for upcoming talent to showcase their work. While this could strengthen the music scene in your community, it also has the potentially to increase the reputation and popularity of your business.

We have a huge local music following and showcase the best local acts… These types of events bring people into the town and support other hospitality venues.”
Tamworth Tap

How much will a music licence for a pub or bar cost?

The cost of TheMusicLicence depends on a number of factors in your pub or bar, including how you use music in your day-to-day operations, whether that be for background purposes or other usages such as music on hold. 

Please find cost examples below:


Starts from...
£1.42 per day

Background music

Starts from...
£1.11 per day

Live music performance

Starts from...
per attendee

*All cost examples are subject to change, price correct as of December 2022

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 pub or bar music licence.

Background music

  • The areas where music is used, such as in a café, bar or staff office areas.
  • The square meterage of each area where music is audible.
  • Type of devices used to play music, such as TV, radio, CDs etc.

Live events

  •   Number and capacity of live events held p.a.

Specially featured entertainment events

  • Number, capacity, duration and attendance of specially featured events p.a.
  • Number of karaoke sessions.


  •   Number and type of jukeboxes in your venue (and name of supplier if rented).

Music Videos

  • Number of TV screens music videos are played on.

Pubs & Bars 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.

  • I am hosting an event, do I need a licence?

    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.

    Contact us to set up TheMusicLicence.

    Speak to our friendly team today

    8am–6pm, Monday–Friday

    Existing licence holders

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

    Speak to our friendly team today

    8am–6pm, Monday–Friday

    Live music venues

    If you are a live music venue, or you're planning frequent events, such as music festivals, Theatre productions or pantomimes, etc. you will need to set up TheMusicLicence.

    Contact our Live Music Team to arrange TheMusicLicence.

    Speak to our friendly team today

    8am–6pm, Monday–Friday

  • I am hosting an event and I need to submit a setlist to you

    If you are a venue that is hosting a live event and have been asked to submit a setlist, you can do this by email or post.

    Please use the details below to send your set list to us:



    Live Music (setlist submission)
    PPL PRS Ltd
    Mercury Place
    St George's Street
    LE1 1QG

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Is it illegal to play commercial music at my pub, bar or nightclub without TheMusicLicence?

    If you play or perform music in your venue, 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.

  • How can I play music in my pub or bar?

    You can play music in your pub, bar or nightclub in different ways. Whether it’s playing background music for your customers via digital devices or by tuning into the radio. You can play music in the following ways:

  • I already have an entertainment licence. Why do I need TheMusicLicence?

    An entertainment licence is issued by your local authority. It gives you permission to provide entertainment on your premises. It may be subject to certain conditions such as time restrictions or number of people attending. You will still need a music licence for your bar or pub.

    TheMusicLicence gives you permission to play or perform the vast majority of commercially available music.. Consequently, this means that you don’t have to spend your time and energy contacting potentially hundreds of thousands of rights-holders – those people who create music – to get permission to play or perform their music in your business.

  • I only use the TV to play sports in my pub, why do I need a TheMusicLicence?

    Sports programming uses more music than people realise and will often contain music that will be played in your pub or bar. 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.

  • Can pubs or bars play music outside?

    Yes. Whether it’s background music via your sound system or live performances on a packed Saturday night, pubs and bars can play music in outside spaces and will usually need TheMusicLicence to do so.

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)

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Thinking about playing music in your pub, bar or nightclub 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.