Music Licencing

What is rights-inclusive music?
  • We deal directly with the artists and cut out the middleman. Audencis buys the rights to all the music we use, or we make our own. We then licence it directly to you, so you no longer have to deal with PRS or PPL or any other PRO (Performing Rights Organisation) around the world. We are in essence our own collection agency('s). We offer you carefully chosen and programmed background music that is appropriate for businesses and won’t be heard everywhere else. It’s designed for business. Unlike other streaming services (like Spotify and Napster) that are illegal to use in a commercial environment and are designed with personal use in mind, we are designed for business and allow you to offer a competitively priced service and be legally compliant.
What is a Public Performance License?
  • This is a short guide to music licensing and your legal obligations when playing music in business premises:
    When a business plays music to customers or staff it's classed as a public performance (as opposed to personal use). Public performance requires a licence so that money can be passed back to the rights owners.
  • In the UK, PRS (the Performing Rights Society) represents the composers and publishing companies that own the copyrights in the song / composition. It collects public performance licence income and distributes back to the rights holders. There are equivalents all over the world (e.g BMI, ASCAP, SESAC in the USA).
  • The purchase of a CD only grants the owner limited personal rights to the music not the right to publicly perform or broadcast it.
  • That right is what you are paying for when you purchase a Public Performance Licence and it is a legal obligation in most parts of the world.
  • The likes of iTunes, Napster and Spotify are not licensed by the rights owners (labels & publishers) to be used for business use in any event - whether you have a public performance licence or not!
  • In the UK, PPL (Phonographic Performance Ltd.) has a similar role. It is the collection agency for the owners of sound recordings, i.e. the physical or digital record itself rather than the piece of music, typically a record label and its recording artists. It is also a legal obligation to have a PPL licence to play sound recordings in public in most situations. Many countries combine the songwriter (royalties) and publishing collection into a single body. The tariffs that both use are notoriously complicated and many small businesses only become aware of their licensing obligations when they are pursued by one or both of these bodies. Tariffs are calculated based on various criteria, for example audible area, which can result in huge bills for larger sites. To avoid paying these fees you must play rights-inclusive music exclusively in a given defined space.