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.

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OR if you are hosting an event and charge for admission, please click here for details. 

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

Click here to view our Licence Guide for more information or scroll down to view our FAQs.


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. Your OneMusic licence gives you permission to play essentially all commercially released music from here and around the world.

If we have a CCLI licence do we need a OneMusic Licence?

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.

Please contact CCLI directly to discuss what your licence with them covers.

In most cases both licenses will be required.

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.

I use a digital music service - why do I need a Music Dubbing licence?

When you play music in an organisation you need the permission to do so. Additional permission is also needed when you download, copy, or use a digital music service​.

Learn more about Music Dubbing here.

Who is OneMusic?

OneMusic is a joint licensing initiative between APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ. Many music creators around the world earn an income by granting organisations, like ours, the right to collect and pay their royalties.

OneMusic simplifies the licensing process and allows music users to meet their copyright obligations to play our music in their business.

Where does the money go?

When you hear about music royalties, that’s what we do.

Your OneMusic licence fee is distributed by APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ, who are the companies behind OneMusic. Each organisation has a commitment to their music creators and their own distribution policies.

Every month over 330 million lines of music data is analysed from digital music services, background music suppliers, radio stations, television stations, live performers and more. After minimal administration costs all money collected is paid to our local and international music creators – songwriters, composers, publishers, recording artists and record labels.

Find out more from APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ.

Who can verify that I need a OneMusic licence?

Click here to find out more about why you need a licence and the authenticity of our rights from other industry and government bodies and New Zealand associations.

Events where there is a charge for admission - what licences do I require?

When hosting ticketed events you will need to hold separate event licences.

If you have live performances only (e.g. live band playing their own instruments without a backing track) you will need the APRA event licence. For events that include both live music and recorded music (e.g. bands and DJs), a licence is required from both APRA for the rights to perform musical works, and Recorded Music NZ for the rights to perform sound recordings. 

Apply for event licences here:


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