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Background music

Music in shops, restaurants, cafés, etc.

Background music is the music you hear in shops, restaurants, cafés, clubs, at the hair salon and so on. Every year, Koda receives tens of millions of kroner for this type of music use. 

Distributions based on direct reporting and data from other areas of use

Since 2015, Koda has had the opportunity to obtain reports from a number of professional partners who offer music solutions to enterprises such as supermarkets, cafés, gyms and clothing stores. Statistically, the data received by these external suppliers is both representative and very comprehensive, based on very specific music use among a wide variety of Koda’s customers.

For background music in general, however, obtaining 100% reporting on the music being played is neither practically possible nor financially feasible. Doing so would require an undue amount of resources. Instead, the data available is supplemented by reporting from other areas of use that, when applied in different combinations, provide a representative view of the music being played in the relevant area.

Background music comprises different sections

Taken as a whole, the distributions within this field should provide the most nuanced and representative picture possible of the actual use of music. To achieve this, the distribution for background music is divided into sections as described below. As revenues for each area vary from one year to the next, the per-minute values will vary too.

Background sections with reporting:
  • Retail stores
  • Café/Restaurant/Bar
  • Clubs
  • Music for gyms with reporting 
  • Custom background music
  • Streaming Service Retail
Background sections based on reporting from other performance areas:
  • Relased music
  • Music for gyms
  • Daytime radio
  • TV
Retail stores

Koda receives data from professional providers who supply music to a number of major retail chains that focus on playing new music in their stores. Distributions are made on the basis of the number of minutes of music played per work.

Café, Restaurant & Bar

Background music for more than 500 cafés/restaurants/bars is provided by a professional supplier who submits data to Koda. Distributions are made on the basis of the number of minutes of music played per work.


Distributions for background music in discotheques and clubs are made on the basis of an annual list of the most played works. The list is generated every week based on a minimum of 125 DJs' Top 20 charts from the 100 biggest discos and clubs in Denmark.

In addition, actual consumption data is received via KUVO, which is a social network for DJs, club owners and other players within the electronic music scene. KUVO has developed a box that automatically registers the music being played from the DJ console, and track data from this device is forwarded to Koda.

Released music

In order to receive royalties from this part of the background area a work must have been distributed in either “Concert” or “Restaurant, Café, Bar etc.” based on performances the same year. Furthermore at least one of these criteria must be met:

  • The work has been transmitted via radio after 1991
  • The work is registered as released.

The calculation of background royalties are based on the original amount distributed per work in “Concert” and “Restaurant, Café, Bar etc.” 


Here we base the distribution on music consumption from commercial radio channels, applying an unchanged relative ratio between the various channels.

Music for gyms with reporting

Distributions for music played in gyms are made on the basis of reporting from three suppliers. One reports the use of music and music videos shown on TV screens. Here, the distribution is made on the basis of the number of plays per work. The other two suppliers report background music played in the gyms. Here, the distribution is made on the basis of the minutes of music played per work.

Overall, the reporting covers the use of music in more than 300 gyms.

Daytime radio

Koda makes distributions only for the minutes of music played for musical works broadcast during the day, corresponding to the opening hours of companies and shops. The relative shares accounted for by individual channels are allocated according to the number of listeners.

Custom background music

It is possible to make distributions for custom/specially composed music or for particularly concentrated use of existing musical works via mechanical playback in accordance with the actual use of the works. Distributions can be made for music used in the following areas:

  • Music on telephone lines (on-hold music)
  • Video commercials in shops, at trade fairs and the like
  • Music played during treatment at dentists, doctors and in other therapy
  • Background music composed for a specific purpose from special providers

These are performances which fall outside the scope of mechanical music use covered by the other background sections at restaurants, music venues, clubs and in shops etc.

The customer is not obliged to report their use of background music to Koda. This means that as a Koda member, you are responsible for obtaining the report and sending it to Koda at least once a year. Koda should, unless otherwise agreed, receive 100% reporting in order for us to assess whether the music use in question falls within the scope of this section. We can then calculate distribution values based on the collection made from the customer.

Streaming service retail

Koda receives data from a range of professional providers who supply music to businesses – such as shops and service industries. Their services include in-store radio and on-demand solutions. The shares allocated to each provider reflect their market share, and the distributions are made on the basis of the minutes of music played per work.


Many of Koda’s customers pay for the use of music included in TV programmes. This applies, for example, to a number of hotels, conference centres etc., where there is a TV in the rooms, in the lobby, etc. For the purposes of our distributions, we use the reporting received within the field of TV, and the relative shares accounted for by the channels remain unchanged.

You can see when distributions are made in our distribution schedule