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What Makes Custom Channels Different From My Current Music Service?

Posted by Dave on February 22nd, 2011

We often get asked by potential clients “what makes Custom Channels different from Muzak or other music services?” In this two-part blog, we’ll highlight the main benefits and difference makers here at Custom Channels compared to other music services.

Custom Channels employs an entirely new and different approach to creating and delivering custom music and messaging to clients than other commercial music providers.  We stream custom programming directly to any client location over the Internet in real time.  Unlike satellite radio, we don’t have the pesky expense of having to launch rockets into space.   OK, so most clients don’t care how the music gets to their locations, just so long as it gets there.  But behind the scenes there are several advantages to our unique approach to a music service:

Unlimited Music Library. We have more music available to us to create in-store programming than leading commercial music providers, including Muzak.  Why? Broadcasting over the Internet (rather than shipping CDs or sending MP3 files out to each store) lets us use blanket music licenses without having to get approval for each track individually from record companies and publishers. That’s what Muzak and other companies have to do to license music when the songs originate from a machine in the store. We figured that there’s so much music out there, why be limited?

Real Time Instant Updates. Our clients don’t wait for monthly playlist updates or new discs to arrive.  We keep the programming fresh and updated daily.  For one client, Floyd’s 99 Barbershops, we had extra Michael Jackson songs playing on their channel the afternoon that Jackson’s death was reported.  It was timely, topical and immediate.  Want a song added or deleted?  We can do that…today.

Unlimited scheduling and insertion of between-the-songs messaging or branding. This can give a channel a unique, personal voice so it doesn’t sound like an iPod or Pandora.  Many services just play songs.  Custom Channels creates audio branding with a unique audio image for each client.  We go “beyond background music.”

Professional Music Scheduling. We don’t leave the music mix to chance by putting the playlist on random shuffle.  We actually schedule the exact order the songs will play using the same sophisticated music software used by the broadcast radio industry (a shout out to MusicMaster).  This insures a better mix, less perceived repetition, more variety, and an overall better sound.

Exceptional Audio Quality. Satellite radio and some hard-media systems (where the music is played from a computer at the store) can sound thin and compressed. That’s because they have to reduce the audio file size in order to transfer large music libraries to CDs or over the Internet or over expensive satellite slots.  Custom Channels’ streams sound full and robust.

Lower cost, higher reliability playback equipment. Our simple, $200 Internet receiver that plugs into the in-store sound system is less expensive than proprietary commercial hard drive or CD/DVD players.  Our Internet receiver has no moving parts and no hard drive or CD drive to fail.  We also doesn’t tie up an existing store computer.

We can keep an eye and ear on things – and you can too. Don’t worry, we’re not spying. But if something goes wrong with the player or connection in the store, we’ll know about it quickly and can help get things right – right away.  You can log on to your client dashboard anytime, anywhere, to listen to your channel, check what’s playing and look back over the last seven days of playlists.

More about what makes Custom Channels different than other music service for business in part two of this blog.

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