Many people ask if they can use Spotify in their business as a Background Music solution.
At first, Spotify may seem like a great application to set the mood for your establishment. In fact, in more than one store, due to a lack of understanding of copyright, they currently use this application. You may have even heard the rumour, among entrepreneurs who have commercial establishments, that paying for a Premium account grants use in public spaces such as shops or bars.
The truth is that the use of Spotify in any establishment open to the public is completely illegal and punishable.
Spotify & Intellectual Property Explained
Spotify, in the definition of its clauses, clarifies that its online music service is limited exclusively to personal and domestic use, never for commercial use.
This means that commercial establishments that play music through Spotify are at risk of being penalised.
In the UK, for example, the law of Intellegtual Property tells us that, in regards to a musical work, “Communicating the work to the public” is a Primary Offense and “no knowledge or intention is required to be shown on the part of the defendant to establish liability“.
Any business, whether a restaurant, store or a pub, that plays music, is committing an act of public communication. This means that they are obligated to pay copyrights.
What does this tell us?
This means paying the famous SGAE, AGEDI and making sure that the music is authorized for commercial use (something that does not happen with Spotify, a web platform only valid for domestic use). Another option, which is what we can assist with, is to use royalty-free music, acquiring an Annual License with Free Music Projects, thus avoiding the payment of these copyrights and saving up to 95%!
In summary, the music we use in our premises must be licensed for use in shops and public establishments, whether original records, radio, television or using a Background Music Service. Spotify was developed for another purpose and will never be able to meet the needs of professional use.
Finally, contracting totally legal and professional services for music at your business is the best option. If you are in the process of setting up your business, or you already have one and want to incorporate music or legalise your current situation, you should not use Spotify. If you do, it is very likely that you can get into an unpleasant mess.
Head to Free Music Projects to view Background Music Offers and listen to a sample of 8 different Background Music streaming channels.