Music to playback for Funerals

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?

You’re lighting the fuse on a divisive topic…

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 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.

You can however import a spotify playlist, and it will include all songs that it can get the rights for, plus additional songs which fit your mood - up to 300 tracks. The only way to avoid it auto-adding songs that aren’t in your playlist is to ensure your spotify playlist is at least 300 songs long itself.

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.

… Most of the time we just use SoundTrack

Hope this helps you.

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Thanks for the info. I understand the concepts, but I’m kind of surprised there isn’t an easier way when you are playing to a crowd of 50 to 200 people.

We also have a couple of radio stations, so I may ask them if they have some licensing sources that might allow playback.

The musician in me wants to suggest finding a few piano players to cover funerals. You don’t need a full worship team.

You could get an ipod touch pay for the music on itunes and hook it up to your system that was and set it to loop.

Or download them and play via propresentor with a slide show of photos that the family wants shown on screen that you already have the rights for the music.