Our worship team used to play all funerals but it is becoming a bit too much (we do a lot of funerals) so they’ve asked me to look into the possibility of a device to play Spotify from.
It seems to me that Spotify’s EULA doesn’t allow for this type of playback.
I’ve also heard if you have other licenses (i.e. ASCAP/BMI) you can play back copywritten music from a personal service like Spotify, so we may just need to get an additional venue (we already have a few licenses for cafe/bookstore).
Does that sound right? Do you guys play music for Funerals from online services?
Bottom line, you do need a license to play back pre-recorded music in any capacity. Even if you have that license, it is a violation of the EULA of Spotify to use it in that capacity. Some would argue that you’re fine doing so as long as you’re obtaining the license otherwise, however if you contact Spotify they will tell you that it isn’t allowed. Nobody is running around trying to crack down on this playback, however there are definitely cases where playback without properly licensing it is called out via legal action.
Complicated issue. Chris is spot on. Even if you have the license your not allowed to use Spotify (or any other music streaming service) in a non-personal non-residential environment due to their agreements with rights holders.
We typically recommend https://www.soundtrackyourbrand.com which is owned by spotify, but is a different service which carries with it everything you need to legally use it in organizational settings. It also includes native multi-zone support (pay per zone), and scheduling.
The catch is that by default you only select moods, not individual songs. Part of how the licensing works.
I know this all seems a little silly, but it’s because there are strong legalities around this. Enforceable legalities.
Even if you do not use this service for your listed usage, you should absolutely be using it for your cafes, bookstores, or campus background music.
The only way I am aware of to do background music legally, and have complete control over your playlists in real time, is to buy your music in DRM Free format (CD’s ripped, or iTunes Store AAC files), loading those into a scheduled playout solution with reporting, and then carrying your own licensing and manual usage reporting on top of all that.