Do I need a music licence?

When you play music in the client-facing space of your company, you are required to have a music licence. Music licence allows you to use background music in your business – ensuring also that music authors and performing artists get duly compensated for their work.

NB. Music licences for events (company and society parties, gigs, concerts, festivals, etc.) are still being provided by Teosto.

Musiikkia kuunteleva tyttö levykaupassa

When is a music licence required?

You will need a music licence if you play copyrighted music publicly. Public use of music can include for example playing music in the company’s client-facing and personnel spaces and for example in a taxi.

You are required to get a music licence regardless of the source used to play music. In practice, you will need a licence if one or several of the following options apply in your company:

  • You stream radio or internet radio
  • You broadcast CD or LP records
  • You play music on a computer
  • You play music provided by a background music operator
  • You play music over a streaming service
  • You play music on a television (the licence covers for example concerts, background music of sports events as well as music from TV series and movies)

The customers of Musiikkiluvat are typically companies that play background music, such as restaurants, a variety of stores from grocery stores to clothing stores, fitness centres, taxis and hair salons – in general any kind of businesses where music is used to make their client-facing spaces or waiting rooms more attractive to customers. In addition to the background music licence, Musiikkiluvat also provides a reproduction licence, in case you wish to download or copy music for public performance, as well as a music video licence for public performance of music videos.

You are also required to have a music licence when you perform music publicly for example during gigs, concerts, festivals, company Christmas parties or customer events. Music licences for events are still being provided by Teosto. You are required to have a music licence even when the event has no entry fee.

Why do I have to pay for playing music?

Getting a music licence is a way to pay music authors and performing artists for their work. Creative work, such as indeed the work of music authors and performing artists, is protected by copyright laws ensuring the sustainability of the livelihood and creativity of music authors and performing artists. GT Musiikkiluvat is owned by the Finnish copyright organisations Gramex and Teosto, who will ensure the licence payments are directed to the music authors, publishers, performing artists and producers. By taking care of the copyright matters, Musiikkiluvat, Gramex and Teosto are securing the conditions for making music professionally.

Paying for the music licence is comparable with other costs of your company: a designer gets paid for designing the look of the company; a cleaner gets paid for maintaining the company facilities. A music licence is a compensation for using the work of music authors and performing artists in your company. Instead of having to pay several music authors and performing artists for the music usage yourself, Musiikkiluvat and the copyright organisations will do it for you.

Getting a music licence for the public performance of music is an obligation based on the Finnish copyright law: you are not allowed to play copyrighted music without an appropriate licence. If you are not in possession of a valid music licence and you get caught using music, you are required to pay for the licence backdated to the date you started using the music.

Getting a music licence thereby means the following:

  • Music authors and performing artists get compensated for their work
  • It ensures the sustainability of the music industry
  • You can capitalise the creative results of the music authors and performing artists in your own business

When is a music licence not required?

You are not required to have a music licence if you listen to music privately. This means for example listening to music alone, with family or friends at home. You are also not required to pay for using music when it is played in events and gatherings between family and friends, such as weddings, birthday parties, christenings or funerals.

You are also not required to have a music licence if the music you play in your company premises is royalty free. Music is free for example when the copyright has expired. In Finland, the copyright protection lasts for the life of the author and an additional 70 years after the death of the author. Moreover, Teosto and Gramex are not collaborating with the copyright organisations of a few countries (such as Thailand). Thereby, in Finland, you normally do not have to pay for the royalties of the music from such countries. Royalty free music can also mean that the copyright owners have sold the rights of their work to a service provider against a one-off payment. In this case, you are not required to pay Teosto or Gramex for using such music.

By using music covered by Musiikkiluvat, you will have access to the world’s most comprehensive and constantly refreshed music selection where you will be guaranteed to find the favourites both for your personnel and for your customers. According to research, background music with songs recognised by the customer is the most beneficial for the business.

Get a music licence and take full advantage of the potential of music

A music licence is not only a compensation for the music authors and performing artists, but also an investment in your own business. It is proven that background music makes the customer experience more pleasant, increases sales and also helps your customers remember your company and encourages them to tell others about your business. On, you can easily get all the licences you need to play background music in your client-facing spaces. We will provide you with the right licences at the right price, and we will deliver the licence fees to the music creators and performers. You can focus on what matters – running your business and selling with passion.

You thereby no longer need to make a separate agreement with Gramex and Teosto regarding the use of background music, instead you simply need one agreement with Musiikkiluvat. Our customer service will be happy to help you get the right kind of licence. Should you need help with selecting the background music to help your business bloom, don’t hesitate to contact us.