How You Can Avoid Paying for a Music License (UK) and Play Music.

Business owners across the UK search daily ‘How to avoid paying for a Music License UK’. Why? Because the license is a tough business expense to justify. Especially when the music is played in the background. Used as a means to cut silence and make customers feel more comfortable.

The great news is that there is a way to play music without buying a music license. It’s called royalty-free music. And whilst the good stuff isn’t ‘free’ to use it offers a big cost saving for business owners.

What Is Royalty-Free Music?

It’s music you can play in your business without buying a license. You can do this because the artists, musicians and composers are not registered with PRS and PPL. This means that PRS and PPL do not need to collect royalty payments for them. Instead, the artists (in our case) get paid via a music licensing company for the use of their work.

There’s no way for any business to play commercial music legally without a music license. So if you want to play music without spending a fortune, royalty free could be for you!

Is Royalty Free Music Legal?

Yes! It’s the most popular way to play music in a business without buying a license. You can find confirmation on the Gov.UK website at the bottom of the Who Needs a Licence list.

How Much Can You Save?

We expect all businesses that use our service to save at least 50% of the cost of their music license.

  • Monthly Subscription £15 (+vat) per site/per month
  • Annual Subscription £150 (+vat) per site/per annum

A subscription to Background Sounds is per site and not based on the size, type or number of seats in your business. The larger your premises the greater your saving will be!

Swapping to Royalty Free Music

If you decide to stop paying for a license and instead start playing royalty-free music you may have to…

  • Confirm to PRS/PPL that you’re using a royalty-free service.
  • PRS/PPL may request evidence of this e.g. details of your supplier and subscription.
  • PRS/PPL may want confirmation from your supplier.
  • If you’re using a reputable supplier, confirmation will not be a problem.

If you have never had contact with PRS and PPL you won’t usually have to do the above unless they contact you.

Try Royalty Free Music for Free

Trying out the royalty-free music service is the best way to find out if it’s right for you. That way you can see what music is available, check if it fits with what you need in your business and try out the provider’s delivery method.

We offer every business a free 7-day trial of our service. This way you get full access to our entire playlist library. It’s filled with fantastic royalty-free playlists. There’s no need to add your card details and there’s no hard sell from us.


If you would like to chat with a member of the team about playing royalty-free music in your business get in touch!


Background Sounds is a specialist provider of royalty-free music. We work with small businesses looking to play music without the need to buy a PRS PPL Music Licence. You can access the service via online streaming when you take a subscription. You can find out all you need to know on our home page here.