The Essential Guide to Playing Music in the Lobby

Music is a powerful tool in helping guests and customers feel relaxed and comfortable in your lobby. But as music streaming platforms and playlists continue to shape and inform the way we consume music, the landscape of playing music in your business has become complicated in recent years. Specifically, the sometimes murky territory of licensing music can be especially difficult to navigate for businesses who want to legally play music in their lobby, reception area, or waiting room.

We’re here to help clarify music licensing for businesses and to show you how to get the most out of your music selections. Music is a proven way to help businesses, but not all approaches to music will benefit your unique business. We’ll show you why and how to get the most out of your music selections in this comprehensive guide, but first, let’s tackle the issue of music licensing for your business.

How does music licensing work?

A growing number of people in and out of business are turning toward major streaming platforms to listen to and discover music. While streaming platforms are great for individuals listening to music, they’re not typically designed for or legally compliant for businesses.

For example, if you pay a monthly subscription fee to a company like Spotify, the account you’re paying for is strictly a personal one and not intended for your business. If you’ve ever played music from your personal account in your place of business, you’ve done something illegal because your account doesn’t include a public performance license

Legal Risks & Penalties 

If you are caught playing music without a license in your business, you can face steep penalties. You may get an initial warning letter, but if you continue to do so, fines can run into the tens of thousands of dollars per song.

Chapter 5 of the U.S. Copyright Law states fines could range from $750 to $30,000. If it can be proven that you willfully broke the law when you played this music, penalties could reach $150,000.

How to Obtain Licenses to Play Music in Your Business

Performing rights organizations (PROs) like ASCAP, BMI, GMR and SOCAN each offer various public performance license options. For example, ASCAP offers all sorts of licensing options that wildly vary in cost and complexity depending on the size and nature of the business.

In order to get licenses this way, you’ll need to follow these steps:

1. Find out which PRO covers the songs you’re interested in.

2. Contact the PRO and negotiate the license fee. This will vary depending on the song in question and intended use.

3. Sign the paperwork, and abide by the terms of your contract.

This process can be tedious, and you’ll usually end up spending a lot.

So, how do you make sure the music you play is legally compliant in an inexpensive and easy-to-manage way? Pandora CloudCover is a business music streaming service starting from just $16.95/mo (when prepaid annually). We can connect you up with easy access to incredible music selections that are legally compliant.

Installation & Equipment

The installation process you’ll need to set up your business with the proper music-playing equipment will vary depending on the size and atmosphere of the space you’re operating in. We work with a variety of different vendors for equipment and installation including Sonos, Bose SoundTouch, Libratone and Sony. You can easily operate our system through smartphones, tablets, computers, and CloudBoxes.

These are not the only pieces of equipment that will work with the Pandora CloudCover system, but in order to get the most out of our service, we recommend using other comparable equipment that’s capable of producing clear sound.

Tips to help you play relaxing lobby music

There is no set formula for choosing music that will resonate with your customers.

Every business is unique, so we advise our clients to take stock of who exactly is frequenting their places of business and to choose music accordingly. Consider the overall atmosphere that will promote the customer experience, and choose music that fits that goal.

For hotels, spas and reception areas, a smooth mix of relaxing music usually performs well. Guests are often tired after travel, so welcoming them into a soothing atmosphere with some classical music or soft jazz can be a good fit.

You can also curate your music to time of day. In the afternoon and earlier evening, you might opt for livelier music, whereas the early morning and later evening might be suited to more relaxing tunes.

It’s important to know exactly who your clientele is. Choosing music your customers resonate with is proven to boost sales and increase engagement, but getting it wrong can have the opposite effect. It’s vital to make the people you serve feel known and welcome no matter what your business is.

We offer a variety of different music stations to meet every business’ unique needs.

Setting up music in main areas and smaller rooms

Most businesses feature a main area as well as smaller rooms. Pandora CloudCover is the only business music streaming service that allows you to add an unlimited amount of extra zones to your coverage (for an additional fee). And instead of dealing with the hassle of controlling the music in each zone, Pandora CloudCover gives users access to a single easy-to-use dashboard.

Certain businesses rely on managers and employees to operate their music systems, and we can easily accommodate both. Pandora CloudCover gives clients the ability to put the musical controls in the hands of anyone who has access to our free Pandora CloudCover app. The app can be operated on-site or remotely, which gives our clients the power to control music in their place of business or from a main separate office.

The Pandora CloudCover solution

Pandora CloudCover is the perfect solution for any business looking to incorporate thoughtful, legal music streaming for any business. Music is too important of a thing for businesses to not pay attention to, but the reality is that most owners and managers are too busy to put time and effort into curating licensed music selections.

We’re here to help you take the stress and time out of choosing legally compliant background music for your business. For one low monthly subscription fee, you’ll have access to dozens of our curated music stations designed to fit the unique needs of your business. From thrilling electronic music to classic 50’s and 60’s hits to emerging indie and alternative artists, you can rely on us to provide fresh and engaging music for your business.

For more information on what CloudCover can do for your business, contact us today!


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