I would like to know if restaurants, lounges, clubs and places like that need a licence to play music. I'm a developer and I would like to develop a solution that would allow them to play music in a convenient way, but I'm not sure if this should be considered as a "commercial use". I live in West Africa, but I would like to sell my software in other parts of the world if possible so I would like a solution that is rather generic.

I can see that the prices for licences are quite high, so if I do need one, what solutions do I have? Do I need to purchase a licence for every single song, or is there any way to have a discount, a monthly fee or something like that? I'm pretty new to all this and I'd like to know who I should contact and how all this works. I've contacted Sony via their website but I haven't received any reply yet. However, I've seen on forums people claiming to have received a reply from Sony and having to pay over $2500 for a single song (to be played in a video).


  • Yes, it is a problem. That's why some companies specifically market their solution as public-place friendly, e.g., SiriusXM sat radio in the US. – cnst Aug 31 '15 at 22:34
  • @cnst Thanks for your reply. I like what SiriusXM offers, but do you know any similar service that would allow me to choose from a music catalog or something like that? – user1319182 Aug 31 '15 at 23:53

I don't believe there's a worldwide scheme here, you're likely going to have to negotiate this on a per-country basis at the very least. Talking about the UK specifically, there is a scheme run by the Performing Rights Society where you buy a license to play music in public places: https://www.prsformusic.com/USERS/BUSINESSESANDLIVEEVENTS/MUSICFORBUSINESSES/Pages/default.aspx. I assume other countries have similar schemes.

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