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 or other Background Music Suppliers.

Whatever your music source it’s important to ensure you have the legal permission you need to play music in your business. The best way to ensure this is by holding a OneMusic Licence.

The music we play every day is made available to us for personal or domestic use only. When you use music in your business, legally this is considered a ‘public performance’ under the New Zealand Copyright Act.

This includes music in all forms, from digital music services like Spotify, to CDs and even talkback radio and television.

OneMusic Licence fees are paid, less a small administration fee, to the owners of the music rights as royalties. Find out more here.

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. They also have payment plan (Direct Debit) options available on request.

The OneMusic licence covers you for the use of our music in your business regardless of the source – whether it’s from radio, CDs, or a digital music service like Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube. Additional permission applies when using a digital music service. Click here for more details. It’s important to note, the OneMusic licence doesn’t override the Terms of Use for the personal digital music service.

Your background music service provider may already include a OneMusic licence as part of its service package. If not, your business will have to obtain a licence directly with OneMusic. Check either with your Background Music Supplier or OneMusic to confirm.

You still need a OneMusic licence if you play Radio only in your business (for example The Hits, The Breeze and George FM). OneMusic have a specific fee to cover Terrestrial radio only, it does not include internet radio stations or digital music services, for example Spotify or Apple Music.

Businesses or organisations using music without first getting this permission can be classed as infringing the New Zealand Copyright Act 1994. A OneMusic licence is your best protection.

Research shows that businesses benefit from playing music. Music drives both staff and customer behaviour to improve your bottom line. Business owners may be missing out when they don’t play music, in fact 90% of consumers would select a business playing music over one that was not. Find out more here.

New Zealand is not unique, and businesses in countries around the world also need to get permission or a licence for their music use.

OneMusic has a team of people available to meet with you and help your business be compliant – but team members don’t collect payment in store. The first step to gaining a licence is to complete an Application Form, once processed you’ll receive an invoice. You should only pay on a valid invoice.

In 2013, APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ established OneMusic New Zealand. The OneMusic joint licensing initiative was developed in consultation with New Zealand Trade Associations. The licence gives you the flexibility to play the music you, your staff and customers enjoy. When you break it down, a retail store probably plays some 57,840 songs a year, which means the cost for small retailer is just over half a cent per song.

Visit or call 0800 800 663.

Contact OneMusic on 0800 800 663 or [email protected].

Our Supporters


Would you like one of our team to give you a call? Let us know and we will get back to you.