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Fewer than 50% of businesses showing video publicly have the right licence

New research reveals that 90% of businesses believe they show content compliantly – demonstrating increased confusion and clarity over licensing

Research commissioned by our team has uncovered widespread confusion surrounding the proper licensing procedures for establishments showing TV and films in public areas. Results revealed that less than 50% of businesses have the correct licences despite over 90% believing they run compliantly. These findings highlight the urgent need for greater education by businesses to understand licence requirements correctly and also the value of compliance in achieving key business goals such as customer and staff satisfaction, growth and footfall.

The research found that licensing and compliance is less of a priority for businesses as they look to focus on providing excellent customer experience as their main priority (62%). This compared with just a third who identified compliance as a high priority (33%). Considering the current economic climate and cost-of-living crisis, this approach is understandable, however the research demonstrates it is misguided as compliance can help businesses achieve other business goals. 

Rory Shedden, CEO of MPLC commented “When it comes to compliance many businesses mistakenly believe they are already operating within legal boundaries without having acquired the necessary licences. This misconception can lead to unintended consequences, as ensuring you are fully compliant whilst showing TV and film can actually help businesses deliver against key goals of customer experience, footfall and sales.

Nearly one-third (32%) of customers surveyed would leave an establishment if it were illegally displaying content, whilst a further two-thirds (66%) of customers stated it is important to them that any content they consume in public venues is licensed. The main reason that people don’t want to consume content illegally is because they want to support the creative industries (56%), and 37% would not interact with a non-compliant business for risk of getting in trouble. Businesses can therefore look to compliance as a provider of ease-of-mind for customer experience, whilst using TV and film to drive footfall and sales for the 70% of customers that have attended a venue because it displayed film or television.  

Discussing the importance of educating business on compliance, Shedden added: 

“The most significant discovery from the survey is that 90% of respondents believe their business complies with copyright laws when showing television and film. Additionally, an impressive 93% claim to have purchased a licence for screening content to both staff and customers. However, these figures contradict another alarming revelation – only 47% have obtained a public performance licence which is essential for publicly showing films and TV”.

“This discrepancy of over 40% raises concerns about whether businesses truly understand what it means to be fully compliant within copyright regulations. A part of our mission here at MPLC is to educate businesses on the importance of licensing, and building a community that understands its values.

At MPLC, we strive to provide businesses with the education and information on how to maximise their business goals through the use of film and TV whilst remaining compliant. Alongside this is education on the importance of licences and royalties to the studios, TV companies and content creators. We want to ensure we are funding the next generation of creatives, supporting their innovation alongside our community of businesses. By prioritising compliance and licensing, businesses not only protect themselves legally but also enhance their ability to achieve long-term success whilst upholding the creative industries.”