Music in stores – what you need to know

Can I play music in my business? Learn more about music in store.

If you like playing music in your store, you’re not alone. Music boosts team morale, and it sparks a shop-happy mood in your customers. No matter what the source of your music, it is a great business tool.  You can get your music from a streaming service, CDs, the radio or music services like local provider AMS Nightlife Music. But there’s a catch – if you play music in public (including in your store), you’re legally required to have a OneMusic licence. Please ensure that you are not contravening the terms of the licences you hold with a streaming service. For example Spotify specially precludes commercial use regardless of having a OneMusic License.

When you buy a CD, you don’t buy the rights to play that CD in public – you can only use it for your personal pleasure in a domestic setting. It’s the same with Spotify, and other services – you can’t play them in public, until you have permission, of composers/songwriters and recording artists/record labels.

Licence fees are paid to the owners of the music rights. When you use music for commercial purposes, such as playing it in-store, the writers, artists and record companies get paid a small fee.

OneMusic is an organisation set up by the music industry to collect music licence fees in New Zealand. They have the legal right to collect music licence fees, for songs that are licensed through the Australasian Performer’s Rights Association and Recorded Music NZ (almost all music fits this category). Also, in New Zealand, it’s the only organisation that’s allowed to do so.

Music licences for retail stores depend on the size of your store and how you play music, click here to find out more

OneMusic offers a 5% prompt payment discount when the annual licence fee is paid within 14 days of invoice generation. Plus, if you play a terrestrial radio station the annual licence fee is reduced by 50%.

Even if you pay for Spotify premium or similar music services, you still need a OneMusic licence to authorise the public performance. Please note that the terms and conditions of Spotify does not extend to enable the service to be used in public.

Some suppliers of in-store music may pay the OneMusic public performance licence on your behalf – but you should check this with your provider. Background music suppliers are required to obtain a licence from One Music in order for them to reproduce and supply songs- this licence is in addition to a business requiring a public performance licence.

OneMusic is legally able to set its licence fees – and they’re not negotiable. However, the licence means you can play music in-store, whenever you like. A retail store probably plays some 57,840 songs a year, which means the cost for small retailer is something like just over half a cent per song.

No. Under the Copyright Act, only OneMusic has been authorised to grant licences and collect royalty fees for music in New Zealand.

You are legally required to pay for a OneMusic licence if you play music in your store. If you don’t pay, then you are potentially liable for prosecution.

OneMusic has a team of people in the field who visit stores for compliance – but team members don’t collect payment. You should only pay on a valid invoice.

You should contact OneMusic direct on 0800 800 663 or email: [email protected]

Visit or call 0800 800 663.

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