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FAQs

What do I need at my business to use Custom Channels’ service?

In order to use our Custom Channels music player, you will need three things in addition to our player:

1) An audio system – amplifier and connected speakers with an available “RCA” type input (for example AUX or CD inputs).
2) A wired Ethernet cable network connection nearby the audio system with Internet service capable of delivering at least 128kbs of bandwidth to the player.
3) an available 110v power outlet near the audio system.

To use Custom Channels with Sonos wireless speakers, you do not need to purchase a Custom Channels player. The only equipment necessary is one or more Sonos wireless speakers, the Sonos app on a computer or mobile device, and your Custom Channels account login username and password. Check the system requirements provided with your Sonos equipment for more details on setting up Sonos speakers.

Are there any hidden costs?

No. You will pay only the fees for service or equipment outlined on your plan – no extra fees, taxes, or surcharges.

Do I need to purchase a Custom Channels player? Can’t I just use an app or computer to play my music?

Our years of experience have taught us that a simple, dedicated, hardwired and inexpensive player like the Custom Channels music player is the most reliable way to play music in a commercial environment. We are able to monitor, update, and – when necessary – troubleshoot the player remotely (something we can’t do with your computer or phone). Plus, it’s tamper-proof so employees can’t change the music without your permission. While we do provide a web player for previewing or monitoring your channel(s), we do not recommend or support using the web player for in-store playback.

What kind of audio system do I need to use the Custom Channels music service?

Audio systems come in all shapes and sizes. A small business may be able to use a basic, consumer-style audio receiver and two speakers. Larger businesses may need multiple speakers, audio distributed to many zones, paging, etc. Either way, all audio amplifiers should have an audio input (e.g. AUX or CD) into which you will plug your Custom Channels music player. We do not recommend the use of bluetooth or “stand alone” speaker systems like computer speakers.

Do I need to pay for installation services?

No. Custom Channels’ services come with easy to understand, written instructions for self-installation. The players are designed to be plug-and-play for anyone with basic technical know-how. Of course, our tech support team is available anytime by phone or email as well to answer any questions or provide installation help or troubleshooting. You may choose to have your IT, low voltage, or Audio/Visual professional install your player, but we do not provide or require on-site installation services

Can I play music in multiple areas or zones of my business?

Yes! Custom Channels offers additional zones for customers who may be looking for a different sound in different areas of their business. Additional Custom Channels players are required and each zone may be subject to an additional fee.

What music licenses are included?

U.S. businesses are covered for ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and GMR. Canadian businesses are covered for SOCAN and ReSound. When you go with Custom Channels you can rest assured that your business is covered when playing all of the music provided by Custom Channels. No other music service has access to more artists and titles from all major and independent record labels than Custom Channels. Please review licensing details and conditions in our General Terms and Conditions.

Do your licenses extend to my TVs or live music?

No. Only the music provided by our service is covered when used as ambient or background music. You may need to obtain additional licenses from the performing rights organizations if you have TVs, live music, DJs, dancing, fitness classes or use other music sources like your own CDs or iPod. Please review licensing limitations and conditions in our General Terms and Conditions.

Why do Custom Channels music-for-business services cost more than services like Spotify Premium, Pandora One, or Sirius XM?

Paid consumer services like Spotify, Pandora One, Apple Music, Amazon Music, or SiriusXM satellite radio are intended for personal use only and do not include the public performance licenses required when music is played in a business setting. Plus, most business customers use a lot more music – often playing 12-24 hours a day – than consumer services are intended to provide.

Your Custom Channels music-for-business subscription includes all the licenses, including ASCAP, BMI and others, that allow you to play the songs in your business without risk of being liable for copyright infringement. (read more here). And you have the confidence that your service is built and supported to be used in your business 24/7/365!

Is the Custom Channels player WiFi compatible?

No. The Custom Channels player requires a wired (Ethernet cable) network connection. This is to insure the most reliability and avoid WiFi interference issues. If you require a system that works with WiFi, we recommend using Sonos Wireless speakers.

How large is your music library?

Custom Channels has access to, and licenses for, virtually every song, artist and album ever released to the public – literally tens of millions of songs. No music service has access to more music than does Custom Channels. But we believe the Art of creating the perfect music mix is as much about what you leave OUT as it is about what you leave IN. So, while we have the entirety of the world’s music library at our disposal, we’re very selective when it comes to curating genres and styles of music. All in the pursuit of the perfect playlist for your business.

What if I don’t know what kind of music I want to play in my business?

Don’t worry, we’re here to help. All of our services – All Access, ReMix and Ethos – are built with the needs of businesses like yours in mind – and don’t require any music expertise on your part. We encourage you to sign up for a free trial and explore the many easy-to-use styles we’ve curated. If you want some expert advice, just contact us for a free music consultation for your business.

Can I use Custom Channels as Music On Hold?

Yes, depending on your type of phone system. Many traditional PBX-style phone systems have an analog music on hold input jack can quite easily accept an audio feed split from the Custom Channels music player or your amplifier. Cloud-based phone systems (where there is not a central controller unit at your office) may not be able to be connected to your overhead music system. Contact your phone system supplier or review your system’s documentation to determine if your phone system can accept an analog line in audio source.

What makes Custom Channels better than Spotify Premium or Pandora One?

Even if Spotify or Pandora One were licensed for business use (they aren’t), Custom Channels is a better choice. Why? It’s simple: Custom Channels is built with the specific needs of businesses in mind while Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and other consumer-oriented services are not. This means we offer larger playlists with less repetition. Fewer “wrong songs” creeping into the mix. Better screening for offensive lyrics and themes. No five minute drum solos. Expert, human-curation instead of computer algorithms or auto-generated recommendations. With Custom Channels you get more control over your music without having to tinker with it constantly. Plus, it’s legal!