Music Policy

3 Replies

Music Policy

Posted by Paige Johnson on Feb 26, 2019 7:49 pm

Hi All, 

We are currently trying to tighten up our music policy. Does anyone have a Spotify account that you use during events and do you have any rules about what gets played from your account versus what a client wants to play during their event? And does anyone have any music restrictions (or not) for music that gets played in outdoors when it's played by your staff member/student versus the client?


Paige Johnson
NC State University

Re: Music Policy

Posted by Michael McKean on Feb 27, 2019 8:03 am

Hi Paige,
To put it bluntly, you are putting your institution at risk if you allow (personal) streaming music in or around your facilities.  Spotify, Pandora, and other streaming music are meant for one person to listen to.  Similar to Netflix, which is  meant to watch  at home not publicly. There are options out there Pandora has a business option as well as Spotify.  We use Rockbot here.  The other option is to own the music you are playing.  I would suggest looking into a business account for music.  They cost relatively the same as the public version and typically you can program them to play genres and turn on and off at different time.

Re: Music Policy

Posted by Paige Johnson on Feb 28, 2019 12:16 pm

Thanks, Michael. I wasn't necessarily referring to playing music for the general public, but for specific events when a client comes into a room and wants to play their own Spotify playlist or other music they have. Are you saying you don't let your clients play any music from Spotify or Pandora for their events?


Re: Music Policy

Posted by Andrew Carter on Mar 14, 2019 1:54 pm

Hey Paige,

I agree with Michael, and to answer your follow up, we do not let clients use spotify or any other consumer music service for their events. As Michael said doing so would violate the terms and service agreement that spotify, pandora etc.. have in place. They are meant for private individual use. So if I have a student setting up a ballroom I am totally ok with them playing music from their personal device. But if a client is hosting a meeting, regardless of its a conference, open to the public, or costs money to attend, that is considered public use which is not included in your license agreement with spotify. Even buying songs off of iTunes would be prohibited because that purchase does not include a public performance license.

Some people use the pandora business service or Spotify's. Another one is Rockbot. We are lucky as we have an on-campus radio station that retains public performance rights and purchases songs with the public performance license built in. So we have made playlist with them that covers 99% of what clients are needing. If a client needs a particular song, so long as we know ahead of time I can request a playlist with the radio station and they can get me those songs.

At the end of the day it is a risk management decision. I have seen countless venues ignore, or make their own interpretation, of the law. Just last year the FCC flagged and audited 3 events on our campus, and thankfully we were able to produce verification that we were within our rights for all of them. The venue/institution is who the FCC will go after in these cases, so it is our job to ensure our clients are following the law. 

If you have any other questions just let me know! I would be happy to answer!