COULD MY TELEPHONE HOLD MUSIC LAND ME IN COURT?

14th August 2017

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Jokes about barely recognisable classical pieces played on 1980s-style synthesizer keyboards and the all too familiar sound of Muzak aside, running a business in the 21st century should mean having something more professional and reflective of the company when customers are placed on hold.
On hold music is a surprisingly large part of business life, with some callers spending the equivalent a number of working days a year waiting on the phone. While every business endevours to answer calls quickly and efficiently (and Odyssey has technology to help our customers deliver that commitment), it is inevitable that on occasions people will be placed on hold. Therefore, the experience has to be a positive one.
Research by a large American telecoms provider revealed that when someone is placed on hold for 30 seconds without hold music they can perceive the time passed being as long as 90 seconds, while when hold music is provided they can feel as little as 15 seconds has passed.
As the only telecoms provider that gives our customers an [introductory hold production fox???] with every system, free of charge, something which can cost hundreds of pounds a month from other companies, we’re often asked about licensing and hold music.
Depending on the music you select, you may need to pay for not only one, but two different licenses. The PRS for Music (PRS) collects license fees on behalf of composers of music and lyrics, while Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) collects fees on behalf of performers, such as singers and musicians.
An organisation must pay for a PRS license if the music it is playing is in copyright and for non-personal use. It would need a PPL license if it is playing music in public, even for just the one person. On hold music can fall into both of these categories.
In almost all cases on-hold music will require a PPL license, however, in the case of some classical music it may not require a PRS license. Because the estate of a composer has copyright on their music for seventy years after their death, you can use music written by anyone who died before 1947 as on hold music with just a PPL license.
While many organisations already have both of these licenses in order to play music for staff and customers, it is worth making sure, as getting this wrong could land you in court.
To find out how Odyssey can improve your on-hold telephone facility, call our expert team on 01642 661800