If you own or are responsible for a restaurant, cafeteria, bar, hotel or other public place and you want to play music, you can do so by:
(a) public broadcasting (AM / FM) or
(b) your own CDs or music library or
(c) Internet radio or
Regardless of the technology you use, you must have a license to play music in public; Is the law. However, the fee you pay for the license may vary depending on the technology you use. In the UK, licenses are issued by PPL, formerly known as Phonographic Performance Limited.
If you’re using radio broadcasting (AM / FM), the technology is pretty straightforward, you just need to set up a receiver and a pair of speakers in place and you’re good to go. Similarly, if you want to play your own CDs.
If you want to play music from your music library (eg iTunes), you can connect a portable device (eg iPod) to your speaker system or you can even connect a dedicated computer or media center (eg Boxee, Apple TV ) to your Speakers. This option has the potential to be more attractive to your customers, as it gives you the option to display the name of the songs / artists that are playing if you connect the computer to a TV screen. If you want, you can even make it interactive and allow your clients to make requests for particular songs using iTunes DJ or shared Spotify playlists. Of course, this will only allow customers who have a compatible device to interact with the system (for example, if you are using iTunes or Spotify, users will need the Remote or Spotify app on an iPhone or iPod Touch to add to playlists. ). This may seem restrictive, but it can be a great way to attract and retain certain types of customers to your business.
If you have a TV screen connected to your sound system, you will also want to make sure it is displaying the correct song information. If your music library is missing this information or album covers, it would take away from the experience for your customers. However, there are simple ways to fix this problem. For example, there are software tools that will allow you to automatically update your music library with the correct song information and also find the correct iTunes album art for it.
If you don’t want all the hassle but still want to do things digitally, there is always internet radio. This may be your local radio station if you broadcast over the Internet or services like Last.fm. These options require much less maintenance effort but are less attractive than if you had an interactive library.
However, if you want both customer engagement and low maintenance efforts, a commercial jukebox might be the ideal solution. These come as simple jukeboxes or jukeboxes with background music facilities.
PPL’s license fees for jukeboxes are different for single jukeboxes and jukeboxes with background music installations; the last rate was expected to be higher. PPL’s license fees for non-jukebox technologies (i.e. broadcast, home library, or CD and Internet radio) fall into the same category and therefore have identical fees. However, the rates depend on the area where the sound recordings are listened to.