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Some Business Owners Like To Play the Songs They Grew Up With

Posted by John on July 9th, 2018

When it comes to selecting what music to play in a business, a lot of consideration goes into two main areas: the customer and the environment. And then there’s a third area that often rises to the top: personal preference.

When selecting music for restaurants, retail, medical/dental, grocery or any business space, owner/operators want the customer to be happy with and connect with the music. The target age, gender, ethnicity, and lifestyle of the customer are all important in choosing what songs to play in the establishment to keep customers pleased.

Likewise, the business atmosphere or physical environment sets the tone for the style of music. A certain look goes with a certain sound. The music pace should match the pace of the establishment. When trying to evoke emotions and reactions to compliment the space, some styles and songs make perfect sense while other styles and songs conflict with the desired mood and tempo.

The third area that we encounter with business owners is personal choice. When selecting songs for their hotel, bar, store, or fast casual restaurant (from pizza to burritos to Mediterranean) we discover that the best fit is what THEY want to hear. A business is often a reflection of its ownership, and owners have much of themselves wrapped up in their business. So they want to hear THEIR music.

Which leads us to formative music years (FMY). When do people acquire the taste for their favorite songs? It is typically in their teen years and early twenties.

The concept of formative music years is common even if the specific years vary. FMY generally starts as early as the age of 12-13 and extends up to 24-26 years old. The songs you grew up with are the songs you have an emotional bond with.

Songs heard in the FMY stick with us. FMY songs become embedded in the brain with all sorts of meaningful memories from when we are in the prime of our lives, feeling free and accumulating our first truly meaningful romantic, creative, and professional experiences. Music is associated with the freedom we’re feeling and experiencing from roughly 15 to 25 years old.

Think about your middle school or high school days, or college/post-college age experiences. Music is the soundtrack of that time period. Most people tend to say “the best music ever made was from ____” with the blank filled in from their own formative music years period.

It’s not to say that people stop liking music or no longer acquire favorite songs. Simply, the bedrock of your personal music foundation is your FMY. After mid-20s, people tend to slow down to listening to as much new music; if they do, they’re not as attached to it. Some stop listening to new releases altogether in their 30s and 40s.

Even in old age, youthful music memories last. When hearing familiar music, patients experiencing memory loss (dementia, Alzheimer’s) often visibly light up and sing along. Spark Memories Radio is built on the FMY concept. It seems that musical memories far outlast other kinds of memories. Those music memories were likely formed in the person’s FMY.

There’s nothing wrong with a business owner wanting to hear his/her favorite music in their place of business. “Play my favorites!” We know how to deliver on it, as well as how to match playlists to the target customers, and how to create playlists that match the mood and vibe of the business atmosphere. That’s why we put the custom in our name – Custom Channels!

UPDATE: Another corroborating study shows that the point when people stop actively seeking out new music is at 29 years old, roughly four years after their music discovery efforts reach the peak at 25 years of age.

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