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Music For Your Business: Watch Out For Problems When Trying To Do-It-Yourself

Posted by John on June 29th, 2011


Many business owners, especially owners of restaurants, bars and coffee shops, like to play “their own music” – meaning music they have on their iPod, iTunes, iPad or CD’s. It gives them a feeling of control to get the sound they want in their restaurant or retail store.
These do-it-yourselfers also see it as a cost-saving move: “why pay someone else when I’ve already got my music?” they reason. Let’s address several issues that go along with playing “your own music” in a business.

It’s Not Legal
Almost all music is owned by someone.  It’s copyrighted.  The songwriters, performers, and often the record labels, have a copyright claim and must get compensated when music is played in public spaces, like businesses. Just because you bought the songs doesn’t mean you’ve paid the reuired business licensing fees.  Read more from the BMI and ASCAP music licensing organizations.

  • Custom Channels does of all the accounting and reporting of songs we play. We’re fully licensed to pay all the fees to all the agencies so you don’t have to figure it out.

Apple’s Shuffle And Random Aren’t The Best Mixers
Your iPod and iTunes can jump around instead of playing songs in sequential order.  But the system doesn’t take into account other variables such as artist separation, style, era, genre, tempo, etc.  You can easily get the same artist twice in a row; or three old songs in row without anything new; or several slower songs in a row.

  • Custom Channels uses sophisticated music scheduling software, run by actual music-loving people, to ensure that the songs are not only shuffled, but that there’s logic, reasoning and art behind the order and sequence.  Our system doesn’t play the same songs at the same time every day and maximizes separation, randomness and variety.

Turn It Up, Turn It Down
A frequent complaint from iTunes, iPod, and CD users is that the volume level can vary greatly from song to song.  One is loud, the next one is quiet, leading to listening frustration.

  • Custom Channels uses audio equipment on our end to equalize the music so it all plays inside your business at a consistent, dependable volume that you don’t have to keep turning up or down.

Inappropriate Songs
Even if you’ve reviewed your playlist, songs that shouldn’t be on can get on.  This is especially true when tracking full CDs or putting CDs on random shuffle.

  • Custom Channels picks only songs that are appropriate for in-store/in-office/retail listening.  Our fully custom channels are created specifically for YOUR business and no other business or mass market.

Do-It-Yourself Means More Work
If you manage your own music library, you’ve got to work on it regularly. For some people, that can be a labor of love to find and buy new songs, delete tired songs, change the discs, load more titles into the playlist, etc. But for most people, their time is better spent running their business.

  • Custom Channels does all the work to find great new and forgotten older songs; find more artists that fit the mood and style of the channel; create endless playlists that never run out; and play your requests on our fully custom channels.
  • Here’s another DIY thought:  how much money would you spend every month to buy each song or each CD to effectively and legally manage the music yourself?  Likely way more than you would using Custom Channels.

What If You Play Pandora In Your Business?
Pandora is a good personal service for discovering music, but it’s not legal for business or commercial use.  It says so right in Pandora’s FAQ and terms of use: “…commercial use is not permitted by our music licenses…”

Custom Channels Has The Solutions
If you think playing “your own music” in your restaurant, coffee shop, bar, retail store or office is the cheap, easy solution, think again – there’s a lot more than meets the ear.

It’s best to use your iTunes, iPod, iPad, CDs and Pandora for personal listening and let Custom Channels help you with a professional – and legal – sound for your business.

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