How background music works is more interesting and more important than you may imagine. Many people don’t consciously pay attention to the music in a store or place of business. Yet the positive effect of quality background music can have real benefits for any type of commercial space from hotels to retail stores to medical offices.

Listen to Dave Rahn, President of Custom Channels music streaming service, talk with Graeme Harrison, VP and GM of Bluesound Professional, for the podcast Surroundscapes. Surroundscapes is a series that features novel and exciting ideas that use A/V technology to create memorable experiences in commercial spaces that pave the way to the future of business.

Highlights of the podcast conversation about music for businesses


Streaming versus other delivery options

We found the internet and live streaming in particular to be a very robust, very solid way to deliver content. Very few technical problems with that. I would say, fewer, actually, than older models like satellite delivery which requires a line of sight…so it’s not appropriate for many businesses that might be inside, say, a shopping mall or a building where they don’t have that kind of access. And even the hard drive systems of the past, those are temperamental also because they require more expensive and difficult to maintain hardware that can often fail. 


Unlimited access for music conscious brands

One of the advantages as a true streaming company is it gives us a lot of flexibility in programming and virtually unlimited access to music. And since we specialize in working with what we call “music conscious brands”, that’s very important because the clients that we have want to make sure that we have access to all the music that they might be interested in to accurately reflect their brand.

How would you define a music-conscious brand? Music reflects and is part of the brand experience for the customer…having music be an integral part of that experience…Look what these big brands are doing as part of the brand experience and music is a very powerful way to express part of your brand’s personality. So those are the kinds of customers that we tend to work most closely with, as opposed to maybe a run-of-the-mill convenience store where all they really just need is something on in the background to fill up the audio space.


Investing in music provides a high ROI

Music provides a sense of normalcy and a welcoming, comfortable vibe when people are exposed to it. Frankly, I wish that more businesses paid more attention to the value of music, because I think if they thought about it for a second they’d really realize that it can make as much difference as new décor or new signage, new lighting, anything, and it’s very easy to change the music. 


Music is key to the customer experience

The key to getting people back in is creating experiences, and creating experiences that are difficult to have at home. And in order to do that you have to use as many of your senses as possible. And some of our senses are not safe now. Our sense of touch is not safe. Our sense of taste, sort of, may be a little worrisome. Our sense of smell with airborne transmission, not so safe. So we’re really left with two senses. The sense of sight and the sense of sound.


Turn it up, turn it down

One thing that businesses sometimes overlook, is making sure that they’re keeping track of the music volume. It’s like the lighting, right? At different times of the day you open the shades or you close them, or you would turn on certain lights or you turn off certain lights. You want to do the same thing with your audio…monitoring the audio volume throughout the day. 

About Bluesound, host of the podcast Surroundscape

Bluesound is a wireless hi-res multiroom system that lets users play music in any and every zone of their business. The Bluesound Professional mission is to enable business owners, architects, system designers and professional installers to fill their spaces with the kind of crisp and detailed sound that only an audiophile-grade system can deliver.

Other guests in the Surroundscapes podcast series include Julian Treasure, Nick Lrkins, Rob Anders, Matteo Luppi, and James Patten.