Are you looking for a service to play music in your business? You’ve come to the right place! We’ve put together some options for you, both paid and free, but make sure to read everything carefully. 

Did you know that playing music in your business can be illegal if not done properly? You could pay a fine of up to $150,000. For your own safety, don’t try to stream and think it will stay private. The Performing Rights Organization (PRO) hires investigators to visit businesses to check for licenses—yikes! But fear not—there are legal ways to play the top hits in your business without getting into any legal trouble.

Music is an important piece of your business—it sets the mood! Using music to give your business a certain image and vibe is called atmospherics, and it’s critical because guests pick up on every detail, especially sound. 

Have you ever walked into a retail store during the holidays and heard the jolly tunes overhead? How does it make you feel? It probably makes you feel the joy of giving gifts (to others or yourself—treat yourself, we won’t judge). And that is exactly the point! The store wants you to buy gifts during the holidays, so they’ll get you in the mood with the sights and sounds.

So how do you play music legally? There are a few different options (paid or free). 

Purchase a Public Performing License (Paid) (No free versions)

Streaming platforms like Spotify or Pandora in your business is illegal because it’s categorized as a public performance, but you can purchase certain programs that come with a license.

Soundtrack (formerly known as Spotify Business)

Services offered: 

  • Curated playlists by genre, sound, and even business type! 
  • You can schedule your music, use pre-made soundtracks, or build your own soundtracks. 
  • You can listen to small samples of each station on their website.
  • If you have your own Spotify playlist you enjoy, you can turn it into a playlist and Soundtrack will add other songs that match the mood so it will always stay fresh.
  • It comes with an explicit-lyrics filter
  • Fully licensed music and ready to play in your business! 
  • $26.99/month/location and comes with a 30-day free trial. 

Pandora Business (Powered by Mood Media)

Services offered:

  • Download the app to easily control your music, schedule content, thumbs up or thumbs down music to customize your playlists. 
  • You can use pre-existing playlists or create your own with less repetition–no looping playlists! Explicit content filter. 
  • Fully licensed music. 
  • $26.95/month/location and comes with a 30-day free trial. Also a one-time fee of $99 to install a ProFusion iO player. (The player makes the connection extremely reliable for sound quality, zero ads, and continuous music).

Mood Media

Services offered:

  • Fully licensed ad-free music and in-store and on-hold messaging.
  • You can create your own playlists, or they can pair you with a dedicated Music Designer to collaborate, create, and regularly update your soundtrack to ensure it’s the mood you want to be portrayed in your business. 
  • Pricing on consultation.  

Apple Music for Business (Powered by PlayNetwork)

Services offered:

  • Playlists tailored by country and region, adding local flavor and recognized artists.
  • Playlists for every genre or mood that are frequently updated.
  • Schedule when and what music plays by using the app!
  • Apple Music network even lets customers find your playlist and take it with them. (That will produce customer loyalty!)
  • If a customer starts an Apple Music trial using your branded link, you could earn referral rewards with no cap.
  • Dedicated customer support team to always help and insights to see what music your guests like. 
  • Pricing on consultation. 

SiriusXM for Business

Services offered:

  • Ad-free continuous music.
  • They even have station samples on their website so you can listen!
  • Fully licensed music.
  • Quite a few options for streaming or satellite – you can purchase a streaming radio device, a streaming music player device, or a subscription service to the app. 
  • Mobile app is $24.95/month and 30-day free trial. 

Jukeboxy 

Services offered:

  • Manager app allows you to fully control your music from anywhere — even away from the business! 
  • Fully licensed music and 40 Million songs to choose from in the music library.
  • Your cached music continues to play even without internet access.
  • Mobile app works on iOS and Android devices.
  • $24.95/month and 15-day free trial. 

Rockbot

Services offered:

  • Automatic start and stop depending on business hours.
  • Schedule your music and ban artists or tracks.
  • Customers can even request songs through the app (they must be approved by you first).
  • Fully licensed music
  • Pricing depends on consultation. 7-day free trial. 

Play radio stations (Free)

You can play the radio in your store if it is smaller than 2,000 square feet. If it’s larger than 2,000 square feet, just make sure you have 6 or fewer speakers. (No more than 4 speakers per room). 

Classical Music (Free)

Any piece written before 1922 is part of the public domain and can be used without paying.

There are many different options, and it truly depends on the nature of your business to determine which is right for you.

Almost all of the paid plans with licenses come with curated playlists to make it easy to pick one and get back to running your business. While others come with specific details – like music even when offline, or the ability for customers to request music (which could come in handy if you like to interact with your guests.)

I recommend visiting every website and researching each one for yourself. After all, it’s going to be up to you to determine what’s going to fit your business model. To be on the safe side, it’s the best bet to go with a paid license to have full control of what is played and when — all while remaining within the legal realm.

Remember that customers care about ambiance and mood. If you do decide to play music, make sure you’re portraying the right mood and image–and make sure it’s legal!