Why do I need a music licence?

Why should I play music in my business?

Music plays a big role in building your company brand. It makes your customers stay longer, boosts your business and sets the pace for the day.

Research has shown that playing background music that supports your brand and fits both customers’ and employees’ preferences positively impacts the customer experience. You can use music to make boring tasks like waiting more enjoyable, or help your customer relax with soothing music.

Music can also increase sales: carefully selected background music can add excitement and positive anticipation, which makes the customer want to spend more time in your store and come back more often. Studies have also shown that when customers hear music they recognise, they are more likely to buy things.

What’s a music licence, and what does it cover?

Creative work, such as music, is protected by Finnish copyright law. A music licence allows you to use licenced background music legally in your business and makes sure that the music authors and artists get compensated for their work.

Instead of paying each music author and performing artist for the use of their music individually, you can simply buy a comprehensive licence from Musiikkiluvat. The fee and the type of licence are based on your industry, establishment size and use of the music.

The music licence covers many sources of background music for your business, such as:

  • Radio
  • Internet radio
  • Streaming service for companies
  • CD or LP records
  • Music stored on a computer
  • Corporate background music operator
  • Television

Musiikkiluvat helps companies of all sizes improve their brand experience and customer satisfaction with background music. We offer help and advice on choosing the right kind of background music for your company.

When do I need a music licence?

If you play music in a client-facing space or a waiting room, you need to get a music licence. There are licences for different types and sizes of business, so you only pay for the way you actually use the music.

For example, if you play licenced music in one of these, you need to get a music licence:

  • Restaurants, cafés and pubs
  • Gyms and fitness centres
  • Beauty and hair salons
  • Stores
  • Hotels and hostels

With the licence, you can play the music your customers love and ensure the livelihood of the makers of the music. If you are caught using music without a licence, you must pay the licence backdated to the date you started using the music.

There is a lot of music on TV shows, movies and sports broadcasts, so television is considered a source of music, too. If you have a TV on in a public space, you need to have a music licence.
You can also buy a reproduction licence if you want to download or copy music for public performance, as well as a music video licence if you want to show music videos. If you are hosting a public event, such as a company party, concert, festival etc. featuring live music performances, you need to get a licence from Teosto.

How are the music licence fees used in Finland?

Licence fees are an important source of income for musicians, composers and music publishers worldwide. By buying a music licence, you make sure that the music makers and performers are appropriately compensated and can keep on making music your customers love.

GT Musiikkiluvat Oy is owned by the Finnish copyright organisations, Gramex and Teosto, who direct the licence fees to the makers, publishers, performers and producers in Finland and abroad. Together the organisations represent tens of thousands of music makers and account over 70 million euros annually. 

Want to learn more or buy a music licence? You will find more information on the “Getting a licence” site.