Places of Worship

Music has been a part of worship services for centuries. Alongside religious services, places of worship often play music at functions, and during activities such as youth and study groups.

Just like other organisations, places of worship need to be aware of their copyright obligations when using music.

While OneMusic grants an exemption for music used during services (including weddings and funerals), places of worship require a OneMusic licence when they use music outside of worship services. This includes functions as well as during activities such as youth groups, study groups, socials and meetings where there is no charge for admission.

If you are hosting an event that does include a charge for admission, an APRA event licence is required for the music used during the event. For more information regarding using music at ticketed events visit the events page on the APRA website.




Background Music $188.02
Music Dubbing Fee $300.85
  • Rates include GST and apply to the period 1 October 2020 – 30 September 2021. Rates increase by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on the 1st October each year.
  • Music Dubbing is an additional fee and covers copying, downloading or streaming music (e.g. Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube etc.) to play in your business. Learn more here.


Why does our place of worship need a music licence?

Under the Copyright Act (1994), having permission from music creators to use their music outside of a domestic setting is a legal requirement. This permission is required regardless of how you play music – whether you play the radio, CDs, use digital music services, play music live, or host live performances.

Our organisation has a CCLI licence, why do we need a OneMusic licence?

While many places of worship hold a CCLI licence for the music performed, copied or played during worship services, not all organisations are aware that this licence covers a limited repertoire. If your organisation holds a CCLI licence and you wish to use music that is not covered by the CCLI licence an additional licence is required to cover the use of this music.

A OneMusic licence grants your organisation permission to use virtually all commercially available music worldwide.

We have paid for the music we play, so why do we need a licence?

Simply buying music does not provide the rights to use this music in a commercial or public setting. Music is sold for private / domestic use, so any use of this music by an organisation or business requires the permission of music creators to use their music.

Is holding a licence to play music a legal requirement?

Yes it is - the Copyright Act (1994) clearly establishes public performance rights, protecting the rights of music creators. The Copyright Act also outlines the penalties for anyone in breach of the Act. You can access the Copyright Act (1994) here.

We use a music streaming service - why do we need a Music Dubbing licence?

When you play music in a business setting you need the permission to do so. Additional permission is also needed when you download, copy or stream music in your business.

Learn more about Music Dubbing here.

Who is OneMusic?

OneMusic is the licensing brand for APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ. OneMusic licenses businesses that use music on behalf of APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ, who return the licence fees collected to music creators – songwriters, composers, music publishers, recording artists and record labels – as royalties.

Both are member organisations, which means that after administration costs all money collected is returned to music creators as royalties.

Where does the money go?

We keep track of what New Zealanders are listening to - we collect data from music streaming services, background music suppliers, radio stations, television stations, music recognition software and live performers.

Each month we analyse over 330 million lines of data to direct the licence fees you pay as accurately as possible.

OneMusic was created by music rights organisations APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ. After administration costs, all money is distributed to their local and international members as royalties.

Find out more from APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ.


Want to know more? Read the full FAQs here, or call us on 0800 800 663 - we're here to help.