Use Spotify in store?

Matter of importance

Possible, certainly, but legal or not? answer with our specialist.




We are sometimes asked the question: Is it appropriate to use Spotify® in a store or point of sale?

Before answering precisely, it is necessary to define what Spotify® is. 

According to the description used on Google® by  the brand's website (in English in the image opposite), it is a "music service that gives you access to millions of songs". 



When you search the Spotify® user community on the English site, you will find the following question" Can I use Spotify in my bar, restaurant, school or business?« .

The answer given by a user who has the rank of "Legend", which means that he probably knows what he is talking about, is as follows:

« Unfortunately it is not possible to use Spotify® in public places (such as bars, restaurants, shops, schools etc.) You can only make personal, non-commercial use for leisure purposes of the content, and by opening your account you have accepted and made the necessary arrangements to use the content only in this way"By content we mean of course music. 

It seems that before subscribing, the user has carefully read the general conditions governing the service, or not. The following excerpt, which comes from the general conditions available online, will probably be able to enlighten you:". We grant you (…) a limited, non-exclusive, revocable license to have personal, non-commercial use for entertainment purposes of the Content (the "License").« 

To know what personal use is, the law refers to the notion of family circle.

On peut ici vous renvoyer à l’excellent article de la Cité de la Musique qui nous indique ceci : « The notion of family circle has been defined in particular by the 31e The Paris Correctional Chamber in its preamble dated 24 January and 28 February 1984: "the notion of family circle must be restrictively extended to very close relatives or friends who are usually united by family or intimate ties..." The family circle therefore does not include members of clubs or associations, or students in a class... Moreover, the representation must take place in a private place not accessible to the public« . 

A private place not accessible to the public, i.e. neither a store nor a point of sale, which is more or less what our legendary user said earlier.

But why can't the service be used for commercial purposes, some people ask themselves? If I already pay SACEM, then I have the right to use any music, isn't that right?? »

The answer is again negative.

SACEM gives you the right to play music in your store, but only if you have paid the associated additional fees, which are fees paid to producers and record companies for the titles you play. when a brand uses our services to play music in stores, we pay additional fees at the end of the year based on the titles you play, because these fees are paid by Ecoutons Pour Voir you can use our sign radios.

Another solution would be to pay the fees directly, but this is not possible because you would have to have an agreement with each rightful claimant, and even if it were, it would require a lot of work (you have to keep a list of each song played on what day and time during the year).

Spotify®, to its credit, is clear and precise on this point: not only is it stated in the terms and conditions that no one reads, but it is also indicated in the answers to the questions (see above) and in the help sections, particularly the one entitled "the fundamentals" which can be assumed to contain… the most important elements relating to the service:" The service is for personal and non-commercial use only« .

Therefore, the service cannot be used for commercial useWhat is the risk? if you are not caught, you are not at risk, but it is a bit like speed cameras on the highway: you drive fast while there are still licence points… until one day you have to opt for a cart without a licence.

If you are concerned about working legally, the easiest way is to take out a professional brand radio subscription like the ones we offer with Music Admix. 


Note: Google and Spotify are registered trademarks, and quoting trademarks in this article is for informational purposes only, there is no link between ListeningSee and the trademarks mentioned.