The Custom Channels Blog

Announcements With Your Music: Brand Enhancement Or Customer Interruption?

Posted by John on November 10th, 2011

The pro’s and con’s of including messaging with an in-store or online music service.

We’ve come a long way since the flashing blue light with the overhead speaker announcing “ATTENTION K-MART SHOPPERS.” Today, in-store and online music channels for business can have targeted, entertaining, informative messaging to go between the songs. This is how brands can to “go beyond background music.” Adding imaging, branding and messaging to an already customized, one-of-a-kind playlist is what makes a music channel come alive. Customers notice. Employees notice.


  • It makes the music channel unquestionably yours, not a generic satellite music service.
  • Raises awareness and sales for products and services.
  • Makes employees feel as if they have “their own radio station or in-house music service.”
  • Highly effective way for communicating brand identity and brand attributes.


  • Message can’t be heard because the volume is too low or it’s playing in a noisy environment.
  • Concern that the talk will be an intrusion or interruption for guests, customers and employees.
  • Don’t know what to say.
  • Takes effort and creativity to keep messages updated and relevant to the customer.


  • Write for the ear, don’t write for the eye.  Messages are heard, not read.
  • Use voices that compliment and reflect the music and the brand.
  • Use employees and staff to make the messages sound more authentic.
  • Add sound effects or music clips to enhance the delivery and “listenablity.”


  • Long talk segments that are difficult to follow allowing the listener’s mind to wander.
  • Talk comes on too frequently; sounds like more talk than music.
  • Voices that don’t cut through, aren’t distinctive, or conflict with the sound of the music and brand image.
  • Trying to be funny when it’s not funny.


  • While messaging is effective for in-store use, it is a very important element of online radio.
  • It can help encourage listeners to visit a store location or explore the web site.
  • It creates a sound that’s comfortable and similar to, but even better than, traditional radio stations.
  • Online users listen in a one-to-one, personal environment – quite different from an overhead in-store music service.
  • Messaging adds the human voice to make the online music channel more personable and less robotic.

Here are some examples of messages heard occasionally between the songs in-store at Whole Foods Market, in-shop and online at Floyd’s 99 Barbershop, and in the office at Dr. Anil Idiculla’s Park Meadows Orthodontics.

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