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Switching From Your Current Music Service? Ask Questions Like These.

Posted by John on June 13th, 2011

We visited with the owners of an expanding restaurant brand recently. They currently use Pandora for music in each of their locations and are considering switching to Custom Channels to improve their music service. Pandora is a good music service for personal use and good for music discovery, but it may not be the best service for your business. In fact, Pandora isn’t even licensed for business use.

Here were the top issues these restaurant operators asked us about with regard to Custom Channels versus other music services.

IS IT MADE FOR ME?
For as good as Pandora is at selecting music based on the criteria you give it, it’s still not selecting music specifically for your business and your brand. Too often a wrong song by a good artist gets on. Too often a wrong song that fit the criteria but doesn’t sound right in your environment gets on. If you don’t get to the computer to “thumbs down” that song, and more songs like it, those ill fitting tunes will play again.

DO LONG SONGS GET PLAYED?
Pandora doesn’t seem to have a filter for length. Most businesses don’t want songs that are 6,8, or 10 minutes long playing. Long songs seem to last forever and can hurt a business, retail or dining atmosphere.

DO LIVE SONGS GET PLAYED?
Pandora doesn’t seem to have a filter for live recordings. The sound of a crowd can destroy an atmosphere in a store, restaurant or office. Live recordings are generally long (see note above), often have lengthy guitar solos, and with rare exception, live recordings just aren’t the original version we know and love.

DOES THE VOLUME VARY FROM SONG TO SONG?
Many music services don’t adjust the volume as it’s coming into the location so some songs sound quiet, like nothing’s on, and some songs sound loud, like the volume suddenly got cranked up. A music service needs a stable input volume.

IS CUSTOM CHANNELS REALLY MADE FOR ME?
Custom Channels tailors our channels specifically for each client. We don’t play live or long songs unless the client requests it. If there’s a song they really want played, it’ll be on. And if we picked a song that happens to be the client’s all-time least favorite, song – poof, it’s off even though it fit the criteria for theme, mood and style of the channel. After all, the client is in charge.

WHAT ABOUT MUSIC LICENSING?
This prospective restaurant client didn’t ask, but we did tell them that Pandora isn’t a legal music service for business use. It says so right in Pandora’s FAQ: “If you are playing Pandora over loudspeakers at your business for your clients or customers, this is considered commercial use and is not permitted by our music licenses or Terms of Use. Nor can we offer commercial licenses for Pandora for any other purpose (than individual use).”

If your business is thinking of switching music services, whether on-premise or online music, please call and ask us at Custom Channels to questions. Any questions. We love to talk about all the possibilities that can go into improving the sound of your brand.  303.444.7700.

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