music license

Music Licensing for Businesses in the Spa and Wellness Space


As a spa owner or manager, your goal is to create an atmosphere of relaxation and tranquillity for your customers. No treatment is complete without soothing music to lull clients into a deep state of calm and healing.

But, did you know that playing or downloading music for spas or wellness centers without the proper licensing in place is illegal? If that’s brand new information to you, don’t fret, you’re in good company; many spa owners and managers are utterly oblivious to the music licensing laws they should adhere to. 

So, exactly what are music licensing laws, how do they relate to your wellness venture, and what music streaming service is perfect for businesses in the industry?

Chords and Discords: A Look at Music Copyright Issues

Music copyright issues have been hitting the headlines for decades, as artists and record labels clamber to protect their creative works from unauthorized use or other infringement. Historically, music copyright laws have evolved to protect the rights of musicians and other industry stakeholders, while also keeping the industry soil fertile for continued growth and development.

One famous example of a (rather bizarre) music copyright issue is the case of John Fogerty vs John Fogerty (yup, man against himself). In 1984, Fogerty found himself defending himself against accusations of self-plagiarism by his old record label, Fantasy Inc. The disgruntled label alleged that their former artist’s new single, The Old Man Down the Road, was a blatant copy of his old Creedence Clearwater Revival hit, Run Through the Jungle – same music chorus, different lyrics, said Fantasy, Inc, with fingers wagging.

Fogerty ultimately won the case by demonstrating that his quirky ‘swamp-rock’ style can cause different compositions to sound similar, but that, ultimately, the two songs were distinctively unique compositions in their own right. This case is a bit kooky, but it highlights the importance of music copyright laws in protecting artists from accusations of infringement, and how it aids them in defending their creative works – even when they are effectively being accused of copying themselves.

In any case, in both the UK and the US, music copyright laws are no laughing matter; they’re taken very seriously and enforced diligently to protect the rights of songwriters, composers, and music publishers alike. Music licensing companies, such as PRS for Music, PPL, ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, provide licenses for public performance, reproduction, and distribution of copyrighted music. Anytime music is played in public, whether it be in a restaurant, spa business etc, a license is required to avoid any risk of legal issues and penalties.

In recent years, the mammoth rise of digital music platforms and music streaming services has created a host of new challenges related to the world of music copyright. Online piracy and unauthorized use of music on social media platforms, for example, have led to increased efforts to enforce copyright laws in protection of artists’ intellectual property rights.

man relaxing in spa setting

What is Music Licensing, and Why is it Important?

Music licensing refers to the process of obtaining rightful permission to use copyrighted music, whether it be for public performance, reproduction, or distribution purposes. Quite literally, anytime you play music in a public place, you are required to hold a license from either the copyright owner or their representative (usually a music licensing company). The license gives you the lawful right to use the music for a specified purpose, such as enhancing your client’s experience by playing it in your facility.


The importance of adhering to music licensing laws cannot be overstated, and many business owners need a wake-up call to avoid fines and prosecution. Copyright laws protect the rights of artists and other music industry stakeholders, such as publishers and record labels. When you use copyrighted music without having the necessary permissions in place, you are effectively stealing from the people who created it. Unless you’d be just as comfortable pilfering money out of their Gucci wallets when they’re not looking, it shouldn’t sit right with you to play their music unlicensed; not only is it against the law, but it deprives the creators of their rightful compensation for their work.

Music Licensing Laws in the UK

In the UK, the main music licensing companies are PRS for Music and PPL. PRS for Music represents songwriters, composers, and music publishers, while PPL represents performers and record labels; both organizations dish out licenses to allow other entities and individuals to legally play music in public spaces.

Naturally, you want to enhance your spa or wellness center experience by playing some soothing sounds, so obtaining a license from both PRS for Music and PPL (aka dual license) is a professional no-brainer. The cost of the license will depend on a variety of factors, such as the size of your spa facility, the type of music you wish to play, and how often you intend to play it. Licensing fees are typically paid annually, and can range from a few hundred quid to several thousand pounds – ouch.

If you decide to throw caution to the (thieving) winds and digitally serenade your spa-goers without a license, you could face legal action, including fines, and potentially even imprisonment. In addition, the PRS for Music and PPL employ investigators to monitor public places for unlicensed music use. Anyone caught is asked to provide proof of a valid license, or face the dire consequences if they are unable to.

spa sauna

Music Licensing Laws in the US

In the US, there are three main music licensing organizations: ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, all of which represent songwriters, composers, and music publishers.

Similar to the UK, playing music without a license in America is illegal and can result in legal action being taken. The penalties for non-compliance can be surprisingly severe, including fines and even criminal charges. The cost of the license depends on various factors, such as the size of your spa, the type of music you want to play, and how often you’ll be playing it.


Risks of Non-Compliance

When it comes to dodging music licensing laws, the penalties for non-compliance can be much more severe than many people assume them to be – especially business and spa owners. In the UK, you could face legal action, including fines and even time behind bars – and not the musical kind. 

Meanwhile, over in the US, playing music without a license is also illegal and can result in action being taken against you. Again, the penalties for non-compliance can be steep, including fines and even criminal charges.

Not only can non-compliance result in legal issues, but it can also considerably damage your business’s hard-earned reputation. Customers who visit your spa/wellness facility expect a high-quality experience free from legal issues and complications – they are there to escape from their own dramas, they don’t need yours! If your business is caught playing unlicensed background music, it can stir up a negative perception of your business and its (lack of) professionalism.

Overall, the risks of non-compliance regarding music licensing laws can attract legal consequences and headaches that your business does not need. By obtaining the necessary licenses, or using a fully licensed spa music service, you can avoid such legal issues, protect your business’s valuable reputation, and provide your customers with a drama-free, high-quality experience.

Benefits of Using a Fully Licensed Spa Music Service

Obtaining a music license can be a time-consuming and complicated process, especially if you are not familiar with music licensing laws and such. Fortunately, there is a very simple, and multi-beneficial solution: using a fully licensed spa music service, like that of Myndstream.

female spa treatment

Myndstream is a leading provider of premium yet affordable spa music services, offering a wide range of relaxing and soothing music for spas and wellness centers. All of the music is fully licensed, giving you the freedom and peace of mind to use it as you wish, without any worrisome clouds of non-compliance hanging over your head. 

In addition to staying squeaky clean when it comes to legal compliance, using Myndstream’s fully licensed spa music service offers up several other benefits, including:

  • High-Quality Music: Myndstream provides high-quality, research-backed music that is specifically designed and curated for spa industry and wellness settings 
  • Customizable Playlists: Our spa music service allows you to create customizable playlists to suit your and your client’s specific needs and preferences
  • Peace of Mind: With Myndstream spa music service in place, you can relax and focus on your customers’ experience, knowing that your music-use is fully licensed and legally compliant
  • Cost-Effective: Myndstream’s pricing is ultra-competitive and cost-effective, making it a smart, affordable option for businesses of all sizes
  • Professional Support: We also provide professional support to ensure that you get the most out of your spa music service

Read More: Spa Music for Business: Myndstream’s Music Service Vs. Spotify for Business

Get in Tune with the Law

Ultimately, playing music in your spa or wellness center requires a music license, and failure to obtain one can see you staring down the barrel of severe legal consequences. Using a fully licensed spa music service, like Myndstream’s Spa Music Service, provides a simple, convenient and high-end solution to this issue, while also offering a range of other benefits, such as superior-quality music, customizable playlists, complete peace of mind, cost-effectiveness, and professional support. 

The bottom line? Don’t put your business at risk by playing unlicensed music – choose a fully licensed spa music service and reap the benefits of legal compliance and high-quality music.