The Custom Channels Blog

5 frequently asked questions before getting a music service for business

Posted by John on November 13th, 2013

We talk to business owners and managers everyday about the music in their store, restaurant, office or business. Because they’re shopping for a music service, they tell us things they don’t like about their current music service or music set up, and things they wish for, hope for with their next music service.

Here are five frequently asked questions we hear from people looking for a getting music service for business.

shopping cart How is the music delivered?

Custom Channels streams music over the internet into every business or office. Since we stream music it doesn’t play on a computer but rather plays on a separate Internet music player – no computer required. Other companies deliver their music with satellites, downloading music on to a computer or sending discs sent in mail. Businesses also listen to local FM radio and play a variety of (not legal for business) methods such as iPods, Spotify and playing CD’s.

satellite What’s the difference between satellite and streaming?

Satellite delivered music (such as SiriusXM or Dish Network) requires a dish or receiver on the business end and, as the term implies, a satellite up in space. A signal is beamed from the music provider up to the satellite and down to each location. Clear, uninterrupted reception is often influenced by bad local weather. A rainy or snowy day can mean no music.

In addition to needing a receiver, amplifier and speakers, satellite music most often requires a dish to be installed. Many businesses don’t have access or landlord permission to a roof or an unobstructed outside area for a satellite dish. With Internet delivered music, all that’s needed is the receiver, amplifier and speakers. No computers or dish. The receiver plugs into an Internet outlet and the music is streamed over the Internet. Some people wonder what happens what the Internet goes down, but that’s far less frequent than bad weather. With so much of today’s commerce running on the Internet, service has become far more stable and reliable. Custom Channels is designed to have a small footprint on a local network; we use low bandwidth to achieve our high quality sound.

lock Why is playing the radio or ipod not legal for businesses?

There are different licensing and copyright royalty structures for music played in a business and music people listen to on their own. It’s quite complex. Suffice it to say that if a business isn’t paying licensing and copyright royalties, it’s very likely in violation of federal laws. BMI and ASCAP, two licensing agencies, are on the lookout for businesses that don’t comply. The legal method is to pay the music licensing and copyright royalties yourself (although it’s quite complicated) or use a trusted credible music service, such as Custom Channels, that includes the licensing and copyright royalties in the monthly fee.

documents What about long term contracts?

The prospective clients we talk with don’t want to get locked into a lengthy contract. Many businesses have experienced Muzak’s multi-year contracts that are difficult, and costly, to end. Many Custom Channels prospective clients have had to ride out long contracts being unhappy with the music they hear.

We also caution prospective clients about auto-renewing contracts that companies, such as Muzak, use. If you’re not paying attention, a lengthy contract can auto-renew and you’re locked-in again for the long term. At Custom Channels, we don’t think you should be strapped to a music service you don’t like. Our agreements are short term and if there’s an issue, tell us and we’ll address it. Our mission is to have satisfied clients.

clock Length of playlist is a common question.

What prospective clients really want to know is “am I going to hear the same thing every day.” Whether it’s Muzuk, Pandora or their own iPod playlist, we’ve discovered that a very common reason for switching music services is repetition of the same songs and same artists. People equate longer playlists with less repetitive music. At Custom Channels, we address repetition in several ways.

  • Our music licensing structure allows us access to a larger amount of legal music (virtually unlimited).
  • We use sophisticated music scheduling software that keeps the same songs from playing at the same time.
  • We stream a freshly remixed playlist every day, not a looped string of the same songs.
  • We have our eyes and ears on the playlist all the time because we don’t like repetition either.

Got another question or topic that we didn’t hit here?  We’d like to hear from you, even if you’re not yet shopping for an alternative music service to Pandora, Muzak, or your iPod. Contact Custom Channels.

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