Music licensing in salons

With the ability to affect our moods, transform environments and leave lingering impressions, music can be a powerful tool when used in a business setting. Hair and beauty salons are no exception and playing the right tunes can be vital in cementing a positive brand perception and providing an enjoyable customer experience. Part of running a successful business is ensuring that your business is legally compliant.


PPL is the music licensing company which works on behalf of performers and record companies to license recorded music played in public (in offices, bars, restaurants, shops, offices etc.) across the UK. Whether playing music for staff or customers, the majority of small businesses - including hair and beauty salons - are legally required to hold a PPL licence in order to play recordings in public.


PPL is here to answer your questions about playing music in your business and how to ensure you have the correct music licence for your salon:

  1. Do all salons need a PPL licence if they wish to play music?
    If you play recorded music in public, including playing a radio or TV on your premises, you will usually be legally required to have a PPL licence. By purchasing the correct music licences, businesses can play recorded music to their benefit while being confident that they are legally compliant.

    A PPL licence covers the use of recorded music by hairdressers and beauty salons, this includes background music in treatment areas, waiting rooms and reception areas as well as on-hold music on telephone lines or music played via a jukebox. PPL also provides a licence for special events such as a fashion show or DJ set.
  2. Does this only apply for the radio? What if salons are playing their own CDs/downloaded music?
    Buying a CD or music download only allows you to use it for domestic purposes, such as listening to it at home for private enjoyment. If a business such as a hairdressers or beauty salon plays background music, whether it's via CD, download, radio or TV, then a PPL licence is usually needed. This licence covers millions of different recordings and negates the need for the business to obtain individual permission from all the different copyright holders and performers involved
  3. If a salon is playing TV, does it need a PPL licence and a TV Licence?
    A TV licence (which is issued by TV Licensing on behalf of the BBC) is needed so that you are legally compliant to use television equipment in your business. It does not grant you any permission to use recorded music from PPL's repertoire, which may be included within television broadcasts. As TV programming often includes the use of recorded music, a PPL licence is required when those programmes are made available to employees in staff room areas or customers on the shop floor.

    If you are using a TV at your business premises, please contact PPL to discuss the specific licensing requirements for your business.
  4. How much is the PPL licence?
    The cost of your licence will depend on several factors, such as business type, size, activity and how you use recorded music in your salon. The fee for background music within a hair or beauty salon will depend on the number of chairs and treatment tables within the business premises. The fee for salons with up to 10 chairs/treatment tables is currently £139 per annum.

    If your salon has five chairs or fewer and only uses traditional radio or television broadcasts you may be eligible for a concessionary fee of 50% of the above.

    Additionally, if your salon is a member of the National Hairdressers Federation you may be entitled to a discount. Please visit members.nhf.info/member-benefits for more information.
  5. How do salon owners apply for it?
    You can set up a PPL licence for your hair or beauty business easily online at ppluk.com/apply-online

    Alternatively, you can speak to a PPL customer service advisor between the hours of 8am and 6pm Monday-Friday to discuss the best music licensing options for your business: 020 7534 1070

    PPL licences must be renewed annually. Don't worry, you will receive a renewal invoice 28 days prior to the expiry of your licence.
  6. Where does my licence fee go?
    A PPL licence ensures that performers and record companies are being fairly paid for the use of their music. After the deduction of running costs, all PPL's licence fee income is distributed to PPL's diverse membership, which includes major record labels and independents as well as well-known performers and session musicians. The majority of PPL's members are small businesses. PPL does not retain a profit for its services.
  7. What happens if a salon needs a PPL licence but does not get one?
    The business may face legal proceedings. A court can order the business to pay its outstanding music licence fees plus PPL's legal costs and issue a court order banning the business from playing recorded music until all outstanding amounts have been paid in full. PPL will only take this action as a last resort and will always give businesses a reasonable opportunity to obtain a licence (or resolve any queries or concerns regarding their licence or their need for a licence) before doing so.
  8. If I have multiple salons, do I need multiple licences?
    Yes, if a salon group is spread over more than one site that uses recorded music, a separate licence is needed for each site. The salon group can, however, arrange for all of its licences for music use to be included in one invoice.
  9. If a new salon owner has applied for a licence and is waiting for it to be processed, can they play music in the salon in the meantime?
    In many cases a PPL licence can be applied for, paid for and granted all in one transaction via the PPL website. A PPL licence is in place from the date the invoice is paid but each invoice or online application will also set out the periods of use to be covered by the licence, which can include periods prior to the payment date. Invoices are payable within 28 days allowing time for the business to raise any queries or arrange payment.
  10. Is there anything else I need to know that is fundamental to salon owners/hairdressers on this issue?
    In most instances of recorded music being played in public, a music licence will be required from both PPL and also PRS for Music. PPL collects and distributes licence fees for the use of recorded music on behalf of record companies and performers, while PRS for Music collects and distributes for the use of musical compositions and lyrics on behalf of songwriters, composers and publishers (www.prsformusic.com).


For more information on playing music in your business
and to check if you need a licence for your salon visit: www.ppluk.com