Royalty-free (unlicensed) music in store

Royalty-free music naturally falls short of the quality of licensed music because popular music played on the radio and known to the general public is overwhelmingly licensed.

When you enter a store where no music is playing, you may not realise it immediately, but after a while, you start to feel a strange sense that something is bothering you in the store, but you can’t figure out what it is. What is likely bothering you are various noises generated by the activities of people in the store, different voices, and an overall strange atmosphere. Silence heals, but in a space where several people are moving around, music is precisely what suppresses unwanted sounds and creates the necessary atmosphere for customers to feel comfortable, relax, and engage in what they entered the store for – shopping.

Many articles have been written about the importance of choosing the right music for a specific type of business, aligning the character of the store with the music. It is also scientifically proven that properly chosen music can increase the sale of goods and services by more than 10%, which is a significant figure. For this reason, every company that has either made an effort to think about it or whose key employees naturally feel it, or they demand to have spaces where they work sound-equipped, utilises music as a tool to create the right atmosphere in the operation.

Royalte free music in branch

There are several solutions for sound systems and the company usually decides on the basis of cost when choosing a music solution. However, what companies often do not realise is the fact that playing music in commercial premises also involves additional costs due to the protection of the intellectual property rights of authors and performers of the songs played. It is irrelevant for the payment of music-related royalties what source of music you use, i.e. whether you have secured a professional solution or whether you play the radio in the shop or even play music from CDs or other hard disk. What is important for assessing whether you are liable to pay royalties for the use of music in commercial premises is to know whether you are playing licensed or royalty-free music.


What is royalty-free music?

Music writers and performers create music primarily because they have an intrinsic need to express their feelings in this way. However, the vast majority of artists also have an interest in ensuring that their work is used in accordance with their ideas and also generates income for them to cover their living costs. The process of music licensing and the collection of royalties for its use is a complex topic that we will not address at this time. It is important to understand what royalty-free music is to know that not every song has “licensing protection”. The reasons why someone chooses not to protect their work through standard protection tools and not to require payment for the use of their work can vary. From the point of view of a company that uses royalty-free music for sound systems in its premises, we can define such music as music for the use of which it does not have to pay any royalty.


Use of royalty-free music for commercial purposes

The price for playing licensed music is calculated in various ways, set by the organisations protecting these rights in the respective country. The determining factors tend to be the type of business, the size of the operation, the purpose of the use, but also factors such as the location of the operation and the method of use. Royalty-free music naturally falls short of the quality of licensed music because popular music played on the radio and known to the general public is overwhelmingly licensed. But nowadays the quality of royalty-free music is at a level that is sufficient for the needs of, say, retailers. Companies with large retail premises and a large network of branches may have an annual music licensing cost in the order of thousands of Euros. If a company wants to avoid these costs and does not require the reproduction of popular music, it has the option of securing a music solution using royalty-free music.

Songoroo in store

Playing royalty-free music does not immediately mean that you can use such music without restrictions and legal risks. The most ideal solution for businesses is to order a royalty-free music solution from companies that provide such music for their clients. In this case, you will avoid any risk of being penalised for using the music for commercial purposes. These companies would handle all legal aspects of commercial use of royalty-free music and take responsibility for you in case of any questions.


Royalty-free music solution from Songoroo

Songoroo’s primary focus is on providing an interactive music solution using licensed music. However, due to market demand, the company also has a music solution in its portfolio working with royalty-free music. As mentioned above, such music does not reach the quality of licensed music in most cases and therefore it is very important to be able to compose a music playlist in such a way that despite the generally lower artistic quality of the music, a similar effect in terms of musical atmosphere as in the case of licensed music is achieved. The recipe is simple, to have an overview of the music and to be able to select and compile a playlist from the vast amount of available sources in such a way that the music has a pleasant and non-distracting effect. Making a good playlist from royalty-free music is like cooking a delicious lunch from cheap ingredients, you need a good cook, a list of ingredients is not enough.


If you are interested in taking advantage of a cost-effective musical backdrop using royalty-free music and do not want to compromise on the quality of the music, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to introduce you to our royalty-free solution and explain all the advantages and disadvantages over a music solution with licensed music.

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