A new report suggests that 21.3 million businesses are playing music to their customers through personal streaming accounts. The majority of these don’t know they are breaking the law by not buying a license.

Nielsen Music interviewed around 5,000 small business owners across the US, UK, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Germany and France. The study found that 88% of businesses played music 4-5 days a week and almost 80% say music is important to their business.

Interestingly 86% of these businesses are in fact willing to pay but are paying for the wrong service. i.e. Streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music.

There is widespread confusion about licensing for business premises and the majority of business owners incorrectly believe a personal music account gives them the right to use it for background music at their place of business.
Only 17% are paying for the correct license

“Lack of innovation has driven small businesses to choose consumer services, as they are far more accessible and easy-to-use than most business alternatives. We need a new generation of B2B streaming services, attractive to business owners, that make sure music makers get fair compensation.” – Andreas Liffgarden from SoundTrack Your Brand

What’s the difference between personal and business streaming licenses?

Business licenses give music creators fair, and typically much higher, compensation when their music is used to benefit commercial activity. Consumer streaming services don’t include those rights and that’s why they aren’t allowed to be used in places of business. Their Terms of Use clearly state this.

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