The Custom Channels Blog

How To Navigate the Growing Glut of Music Choices

Posted by John on April 9th, 2018

The number of songs being released to the public each year is massive. The amount of music released globally in 2017 is roughly seven times the amount released in 1960, according to data from, a user-generated database of physical recordings. An article in the Wall Street Journal reviews how this glut of music releases, which only recently has leveled off at around a quarter-million songs each year, has effected the music business and the listening public.

Not only are there several hundred thousand songs coming out this year, that’s on top of the 250,000 last year, and the millions of songs from years prior. SO MUCH MUSIC!

Consumers face the problem of too much choice not only with music but with many products, particularly in grocery stores or on Amazon. In studies from jam to chocolate to speed dating, more choice equals more confusion or inaction compared to a smaller, focused selection. Why? It’s often too difficult for non-experts to evaluate and choose. “The presence of choice might be appealing as a theory but in reality, people might find more and more choice to actually be debilitating” says the author of The Art of Choosing.


If you’re running a restaurant, retail store, medical/dental office, or any business that plays background music, you want the sound that’s perfect for your business. But where to do you start digging into the millions of songs available? There is more music catering to niche tastes now being made than ever before! There might be a thousand songs perfect for your store that another retailer has never heard of – they’ve got their own thousand songs that define their mood and brand that you’ve never heard about. And your friend has a thousand songs you’d never want played in any store or shop.

This is where expert music programmers come in. At Custom Channels, we shift through the mass of music to create styles and playlists that our music-for-business clients love.


As studies show, quantity is not better quality. We’ve found that it’s better to offer a right-sized catalogue of songs that are curated to play in stores, restaurants, and establishments than it is to let clients wade through every song ever released.

Out of 14 million songs how many will your business actually be interested in using? A fraction of one percent. Out of millions of songs how many contain profanity or are inappropriate to play in your business? A surprisingly large amount, especially from the last 20 years. How many are live recordings? We’ve found that live music, with it’s applause, crowd noise and uneven sound, is a turn-off to our in-store music service clients. We strive to eliminate songs that don’t work for businesses in public settings (and there’s a lot of inappropriate-for-business music being created).


Right! Personal software (think Garage Band) and social media have made it too easy for way more aspirational singers and musicians to record and distribute songs. The barrier to entry into the music business is low. The problem is that the quality of songwriting and performing hasn’t increased along with the amount of songs. There is a still a critical need for music services like Custom Channels to review and carefully select the quality songs that fit on a music-for-business playlist.


At Custom Channels we have options for the do-it-yourselfer who likes to dig into the music create their own playlists from scratch to lay in their store, office or restaurant. For the majority of business users who shy away from trying to managing the perfect playlists themselves, we have music experts who know how to navigate the music world, choose carefully, and create spectacular soundtracks. Don’t be overwhelmed by choices. Select the best option: Custom Channels in-store music service.


Photo by Fahrul Azmi on

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