The Custom Channels Blog

Seven Sins Your Music Service Should Not Commit

Posted by John on April 6th, 2012

Every consumer-facing business has music playing (with rare exception, and then the quiet is noticeable!).  Too often the music and the service providing the music are taken for granted.  “If it’s on, it’s OK” can be the attitude.  However, if you’re running a consumer-facing business, like a restaurant or retail clothing store, boutique hotel or hair salon, take a few minutes to see if your music service, whether it’s your iPod, Pandora or Muzak, is committing any of these seven sins.

1. DEAD AIR   It’s the space between the songs. When you play a full album, dead air is the 2 to 5 seconds of silence. That doesn’t sound like much time, but it can be very noticeable, can really slow things down, and can sound awkward. Many music systems have dead air between songs as the system figures out what to do next. Dead air is unnecessary and mostly unwanted.

2. EVER-CHANGING VOLUME   Not all songs are recorded the same. Upon playback, it can often sound like someone is turning one song way up then turning another song way down. Many music systems don’t optimize for consistent volume. That can be very frustrating both as a listener and as a business operator when the environment gets too loud or too quiet. You’ve got better things to do than monitor the volume of every song.

3. REPETITION   It’s the number one complaint we hear from employees, managers and owners: same songs played too often. Many music services don’t update their playlists very often. Their total number of songs available to be played at any one time isn’t very high. And many music services don’t used sophisticated music programming software to keep the same songs from repeating at the same time everyday. Repetition can and should be avoided.

4. SONGS THAT DON’T FIT   You like classic rock but not THAT band. You said you wanted current hits but not with THOSE words. You enjoy a laid back feeling but THAT SONG is putting me to sleep. If you’re using a typical music service you may be stuck with listening to THAT, both now and when THAT same thing plays again, and again, and again before a long-awaited update. With today’s choices, you shouldn’t have to compromise with songs that don’t fit your image, mood, vibe and brand.
5. MUSIC MAILED ON DISCS   Really? In 2012 too many businesses are still getting songs delivered to their location every month. Or only every quarter! Mailing discs may still work for Netflix (for the time being) but it doesn’t work for a business that’s trying to sound great everyday. Most business services have already moved to the Internet for many in-store services (like POS transactions) and your music should be Internet-delivered, too.

6. AUTO-RENEWING CONTRACTS   Some music service contracts get signed for a lengthy three-to-five year period. And if you’re not watching carefully (few people are), those contracts auto-renew and lock-in for another three-to-five years with no out. Putting up with a sub-standard music service shouldn’t be like serving a prison term with no hope for parole. Satisfaction with the playlist and the service should be the terms of agreement.
7. TRYING TO GET SOMETHING FOR NOTHING   If you’re trying to get a music service for as cheaply as you can, well, you get what you pay for – probably not the best music mix (and may include several of the sins listed above) but at least it’s better than silence. If you’re scrimping and begrudgingly paying just a few dollars a month, another “dollar a day” is worth it to get a far better, unique service. Remember, music is part of your branding, marketing and image – not a utility.

When you’ve got Custom Channels as your music service, you’ll avoid committing these seven sins.


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