Use music to serve your business and increase sales in your restaurant

Posted on News Aug 2016 - by Sarah Mitchell, Head of Public Performance at PPL
Use music to serve your business and increase sales in your restaurant

Many Indian restaurants recognise the importance of having the right décor, which helps to deliver a stand out atmosphere to attract customers.


But what about music? In addition to the décor, sound can play an important role in creating an inviting customer environment, encouraging repeat customer visits.


Before you start to choose the appropriate music to play – whether classic Bollywood, modern takes on Bollywood classics, pop music or other music genres - it’s important to obtain the correct music licences to ensure that your business is legally compliant.


Therefore, what do you need to bear in mind if you are playing recorded music in your restaurant?


Get a music licence

By law, if you’re playing recorded music in public in your restaurant, in most instances you need to obtain permission to do so from the copyright holder(s) and will usually need a music licence from both PPL and PRS for Music. This includes playing music from the radio, TV, CDs, background music systems or other sources.


PPL acts for all of the major record companies and thousands of smaller independent labels and performers. PPL’s repertoire includes music made in many different countries, including music from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. By offering licences for the use of most commercial recorded music, PPL makes it easier for music users to obtain the permissions they legally require.


By obtaining licences from PPL and PRS for Music, you make sure the people who contributed to creating the music receive the payments they’re entitled to.


How much is the PPL licence?

The cost of your licence depends on several factors, such as business type and size, and how recorded music is used in your restaurant. The fee for background music within a restaurant will depend on the size of the area in which recorded music is audible. The fee for a restaurant with an audible area of up to 400 square metres is currently £130.51 per annum.


If your restaurant has an audible area of 50 square metres or less and only uses traditional radio or television broadcasts you may be eligible for a concessionary fee of 50% of the above.


How can I apply for a licence?

It is possible to buy a PPL licence for your restaurant online at

Alternatively, you can speak to a PPL customer service advisor on 020 7534 1070 between the hours of 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday to discuss the best music licensing options for your business.


PPL licences must be renewed annually but don’t worry, you’ll receive a renewal invoice 28 days prior to the expiry of your licence.


If I have multiple restaurants, do I need multiple licences?

Yes, if a restaurant group is spread over more than one site that uses recorded music, a separate licence is needed for each site. The restaurant group can, however, arrange for all of its licences for music use to be included in one invoice.


Where does my licence fee go?

A PPL licence ensures that performers and record companies are being fairly paid for the use of their music. After the deduction of running costs, all of PPL’s licence fee income is distributed to PPL’s diverse membership, which includes major record labels and independents as well as well-known performers and session musicians, after the deduction of running costs.  PPL does not retain a profit for its services.


What happens if a venue needs a PPL licence but does not get one?

The business may face legal proceedings. PPL will only take legal action as a last resort and will always give businesses a reasonable opportunity to obtain a licence (or resolve any queries or concerns regarding their licence or their need for a licence) before doing so.


I already hold a PRS for Music licence. Do I still need a PPL licence?

In most instances of recorded music being played in public, a music licence will be required from both PPL and also PRS for Music. PPL collects and distributes licence fees for the use of recorded music on behalf of record companies and performers, while PRS for Music collects and distributes for the use of musical compositions and lyrics on behalf of songwriters, composers and publishers.


In summary

Play it right, be compliant. 

To get your PPL licence now, visit the PPL website. It only takes a few clicks.

Alternatively, call us on 020 7534 1070 or email us at

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