What is the musical quality of your business? Do you have playlist of mood-inducing songs or is the only noise generated from phones and keyboards? Playing music will often have direct positive results on your business, according to Marketing Profs. Add the right ambiance — thereby showing your customers you understand their unique style and taste — to your restaurant, retail store, grocery store, office or hotel and reap the rewards of cultivating the perfect mood for your customers.

The Not-So-Melodic, Legal Side of the Tune

Even though music is pleasant for customers and — with the right musical choices for your venue and demographic — will encourage sales, you need to observe the legal requirements and any possible limitations involved with adding music to the mix in your business. If you do play music without the proper licensing, you could face severe financial sanctions against your establishment for such an infringement of copyright laws, regardless of how long you played music without permission.

While the legal issues involved with music seem complex and draconian, they are set up and enforced to protect the rights of the artists, which is as important to you as it is to them. Just as you want to protect your innovations and proprietary business ideas, songwriters want the same protection. Considering the nature of music and how it is played again and again, especially if it is catchy, popular and touches masses of people, it has ongoing value. Songwriters write the songs, but many times those songs are embedded into the psyche of music fans, which in turn means more sales for retail music stores, sports events, restaurants and anyone else who enjoys the uplifting benefits of the music then goes on to help those businesses earn more money. It sounds like a vicious cycle, and it is, but again, the intended result is to protect publishing rights.

How to Keep the Tune in the Right Key When You Use Music at Your Business

The most important thing you should do when you decide you want to play music to enhance your business is to take the time and do your research to make sure you know the laws regarding music in public venues, then you comply with the laws. The best place to start your research is with the FAQ portion of the website of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). This industry community, which was established to protect the rights of songwriters, provides performance and broadcasting licenses to venues and distributes royalties to the more than 460,000 artists and publishers who are members. The FAQs will answer many of your questions.

Safely Avoid the Legal Landmines by Buying a Commercial Subscription

Along with the information you’ve gathered about the legal matters involving music in your business, companies such as DirecTV will make sure you are in compliance as soon as sign up for your subscription. Review the provider’s music-only package from SonicTap, available through www.directstartv.com, which features more than 80 commercial-free music channels and no licensing fees are required. With so many channels, you can find music to suit any occasion and clientele while knowing that, simply by having bought the subscription, you are in legal compliance regarding all music and entertainment matters.


Photo: by David Goehring via Flickr