• StreemTunes

Free Music License for Restaurants, Pubs, Bars, Cafes

The right selection of music can be a great addition to any restaurant or food and drink establishment, helping set the mood and ambience. In this article, you can find out how to legally play music at your restaurant, without the risk of expensive fines. And you can find out how to do so for free!



Do I need a license to play music at my restaurant, pub, bar, cafe (or any other type of food or drink establishment)?


Yes! Music licensing for restaurants is straightforward. To play background music at your restaurant, you need a license. A license can be obtained from the owner of the song themselves, or otherwise, licenses are most commonly obtained from a performing rights organization (PRO), such as BMI or ASCAP in the United States or SOCAN (Canada) or SESAC (Europe). A PRO is an organization that represents many different songwriters and owners. Millions of artists are represented by these PROs. Each PRO has a different music licensing fee, and if you want to play songs by artists who are represented by different PROs, you will have to pay fees to each PRO. Otherwise you can buy a blanket license to use music from all PROs (but this can become very expensive).


How much are music licensing fees for restaurants? How are they calculated?


Licensing modern music from PROs costs anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars per year depending on how many PROs you buy a license from, and how the music will be used. Fees are calculated based on a number of factors, including the size and capacity of the location, the number of speakers present, and whether or not the music is used as background music or for additional uses such as live performances (such as a string quartet at your restaurant, or a cover band at a pub). While this can become very expensive, especially for restaurant or coffee chains with dozens of locations, failure to pay for a music license can be even more expensive.


What is the penalty for playing music at my restaurant or bar without a license?


Fines for failure to obtain a music license can be thousands of dollars or more, with the maximum statutory fine being $150,000 per song, not to mention the costs of an expensive lawsuit.


PROs regularly send representatives to restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes, and other food and drink establishments in order to check whether music is being used without a license. They have song-detection software similar to Shazam, and will sue businesses that are using songs without a license.


Can I play my own music or stream music?


No! Just because you bought a song or album does not mean you can play the music in public. You need a license to perform music in public, which can only be obtained from the owner of a song or a PRO. The same is true for streaming music, or even playing live music. A license is needed to stream, perform, or play any sort of music at your restaurant.


Is there a source of free music for restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes?


Yes! StreemTunes is a 100% FREE source of modern licensed music for restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes, cafeterias, fine dining, and more. Whether you own a sushi joint, a Michelin star restaurant, or a hotdog stand, StreemTunes has got you covered with tasteful music to set the perfect atmosphere. With a constantly updating catalog of over 1000 songs, you are sure to impress your diners with amazing music specially curated to take their gastro-experience to the next level. No fees, no hidden costs, no risks of fines or penalties. Get your license today by clicking below, or contact info@streemtunes.com.


Check out StreemTunes’ specially curated playlist for restaurants HERE




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