Streaming music for business: the best commercial music services

Playing music in your business is a great way to attract customers, create a welcoming atmosphere and enhance the overall ambiance of your establishment. But did you know that streaming music in your business can be illegal if not done properly? This means you could face a fine of up to $150,000. 

In this article, we’ll break down the legal aspects of streaming music for business, as well as several commercial and free music streaming options you can use. 

The legality of business music streaming

The Performing Rights Organization (PRO) hires investigators to check for licenses in businesses. It can seem daunting but don’t worry, there are legal ways to play top hits in your business without getting into any legal trouble.

So how can you play music legally? There are a few different options available, both paid and free. Here’s a quick overview.

  • Purchase a public performing license
  • Soundtrack Your Brand 
  • Pandora Business
  • Mood Media
  • SiriusXM for Business
  • Jukeboxy
  • Rockbot
  • Radio stations
  • Classical music

Purchase a public performing license

Playing music directly from streaming platforms like Spotify or Pandora in your business is illegal because it’s categorized as a public performance, but you can purchase certain software that comes with a license. 

According to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Use commercial music services 

Commercial music services provide small business owners with a legal way to play music in their establishments. These services typically offer a wide range of music genres and playlists that are licensed for commercial use.

Here are some of the most popular commercial music services. 

1. Soundtrack Your Brand 

Services offered:

  • Custom playlists by genre, sound, and business type. 
  • 100 million songs and 1000+ playlists to choose from.
  • Schedule your music, use pre-made playlists, or build your own playlists. 
  • Make your existing Spotify playlists legal for commercial use. 
  • Subscription works at multiple locations. 
  • Explicit-lyrics filter.
  • Streamlined controls for staff. 
  • ASCAP and BMI licensing included.
  • Starting at $37.00/month/location and comes with a 14-day free trial.

2. Pandora Business 

Services offered:

  • Download the app for easy control from your mobile device.
  • Create custom schedules to automatically change music.
  • Fine tune your music with thumbs up for songs you like and thumbs down for songs you don’t like.
  • Use pre-existing playlists or create your own with less repetition–no looping playlists.
  • Explicit content filter. 
  • Fully licensed music. 
  • No ads or interruptions
  • Explicit content filter
  • ASCAP and BMI included.
  • $26.95/month/location for subscription with music player or to use on your own device. Music player removes disruptions from phone calls, text messages or other notifications and connects with your audio system. Music player fee is an additional $99. 

3. Mood Media

Services offered:

  • The industry’s largest music library.
  • Create your own branded mixes from the world’s largest library of fully-licensed music for business use.
  • Create branded mixes from the world’s largest library of fully-licensed music for business use.
  • Filter unwanted and explicit content.
  • No ads or interruptions.
  • Choose from 250+ professionally-designed playlists, each fully produced and regularly refreshed.
  • Ability to include audio messaging. 
  • Access to professional music designers.
  • Customized schedules.
  • Mobile controls. 

4. Play Network 

Services offered:

  • Access over 200 business music mixes including holiday content.
  • Manage overhead music using our online music management program.
  • Tailor a custom blend of up to 5 business music mixes and specify blend percentage.
  • Find mixes by genre, era, artist, or song.
  • View detail including mix description, representative artists, marketing strategy, and more.
  • Search and preview individual songs and mixes.
  • Block individual songs and artists from mixes.
  • Assign music programming to groups of locations.
  • Mixes are regularly updated to keep the music fresh.
  • Pricing available upon consultation. 

5. SiriusXM Music for Business

Services offered:

  • Ad-free continuous music.
  • No long-term contracts. 
  • 240+ business friendly channels. 
  • BR3 business streamlining player, including remote scheduling and dayparting as well as audio messaging capabilities via the SiriusXM central portal.       
  • Fully licensed music.
  • Music scheduling and messaging. 
  • ASCAP and BMI included.
  • Exclusive business channels, plus the ability to create Pandora stations based on your favorite artists.
  • Pricing starting at $26.95/monthly. 

6. Jukeboxy 

Services offered:

  • Manage your business’ music from a mobile app, either on-location or remotely
  • Broad music licensing for business use (BMI, ASCAP, SESAC)
  • Be hands on and customize OR let Jukeboxy run itself
  • Dedicated Hardware when mobile or computer players are not an option
  • $24.95/month and 14-day free trial. 

7. Rockbot

Services offered:

  • 16 Million Songs & Hundreds of Stations
  • Fully Licensed (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC)
  • Pick Your Playlist or Build Your Own
  • Control From Web or Mobile
  • Pricing available upon consultation. 7-day free trial, no credit card required.

Play radio stations for free streaming music 

According to the law, if your business is smaller than 2,000 square feet (or 3,750 square feet if you serve food or drinks), you can play a regular radio station in your establishment.

You can also take advantage of this rule if you have less than six speakers and only four of them are in one room, even if your business is bigger than 2,000 square feet.

Classical music for business music streaming 

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

Playing music in your business can help create a positive atmosphere and attract customers, but it’s important to make sure you’re doing it legally to avoid getting fined.

Streamline your business music streaming with Homebase 

Luckily, there are lots of great commercial music services that offer playlists you can use in your business for a fair price. If you’re a small business or have limited speakers, you can even play radio stations for free. 

And don’t forget about classical music, which is free to use since it’s part of the public domain. Plus, using Homebase’s employee happiness tool can help you collect feedback from your team and make sure everyone’s happy with the tunes.

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