RH Amar – French’s & Frank’s

Let me entertain you

Whether you’re hosting a wedding or showing live sport, entertaining your customers during the longer and (hopefully!) warmer spring and summer days will increase income.

Music alone boosts a bar’s wet sales by £100,000 a year, according to CGA Strategy.

But before you rock that DJ or buy a spanking new plasma TV, your profits will slump quicker than a drunk at a wedding if you don’t have the necessary licenses.

Pump up the volume

Whether you have a weekly disco, a jukebox, or play music from the TV you need, by law to have a music license.

There are 3 types of licenses:

  • PRS (also known as PPS) is for music played through radios, CD’s, MP3, computer speakers, internet, music on TV (including an advert) and live performances
  • PPL – recorded music or music videos, including on TV or radio music
  • VPL (operated by PPL) – if you’re showing music videos to a public audience.

To stay within the law and play copyrighted music you will need to apply to both PRS and PPL and get a license from each. If you want to show music videos, you will need a PPL and VPL. Licenses cover 12 months. PPL and PRS licenses cost from 18p per day but final figure depends on business type, size and activity.

Spinning the Decks 

DJ’s have to have their own Pro Dub license. This isn’t your responsibility when hiring one for an one-off event but if you employ a DJ then it is. Pro Dub licenses work according to how many tracks a DJ downloads.

A Year One, Level One tier license starts at £212.77 (+VAT) to copy up to 5,000 tracks.In addition you must have both PPL and PRS music licenses if a DJ is to play music in your venue. If they screen music videos then a VPL license is also needed.

What’s on the Box

You need a license to cover any TVs or large screens in your premises; a residential license won’t cover these.

Sport packages – Terrestrial TV is covered by your standard TV license but any sport shown on satellite TV requires the correct commercial agreement with either SKY or BT Sport.

The World Cup – You may need to apply for a one-off Late license (£21) as some games will be screened past the 11pm deadline. Check with your local licensing department.

Music – If you have a TV you also have to inquire about what music license you need. TV licenses cost £145.50 and covers up to 15 units – one unit covers an individual TV or screen. You pay £145.50 for every extra five units.

Falling Foul

If it can be shown that a premises has played music without the correct licenses, then each organisation listed above can claim an estimate of those ‘missed’ fees or you could face civil action for copyright infringement and an order to pay damages and costs.

You can be fined £1,000 for not having a TV license.


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