Background Music: What About Those Pesky Curse Words?

There’s an important difference to consider between radio stations and your business.   It’s easy to change the station when you’re listening to the radio.  The guests at your business can’t do the same.

This means that your background music provider must select great music for your customers to enjoy, but must be certain that the music doesn’t contain objectionable lyrics.  Given the nature of popular music today, you are likely to get complaints from somebody if you include the original versions of your background music.  Most new music, that is, contains lyrics that are not acceptable to some customers.  Don’t take a chance.

Remember this simple rule.

They won’t miss it if they don’t hear it.   Your customers are in your place of business for a relatively short amount of time.  They won’t walk out of the store saying “why didn’t I hear the latest Bruno Mars song while I was shopping?”  So, if there is a doubt about the content or the inference in a song, leave it out.  You will hear from someone, eventually,  if the latest Bruno Mars song has a curse word in it!

What to expect from your music provider

They should use the ‘radio edits of all popular music.  These are re-mixes that are created specifically for radio stations that change any offensive language.

They should have a rigorous listening process in place to screen all music before it is played in your business.  A good background music provider will have designated staff to listen to every single song before it is deemed appropriate for in-store play.

They should study the lyrics to each song carefully.  Sometimes you just don’t hear something offensive when listening to a song.   Reading the lyrics is the best way to insure that they are clean.

They should eliminate any music that is border-line objectionable.  Remember the simple rule above.  (they won’t miss it if they don’t hear it)  It is better to leave something out.  It won’t be missed and it is a whole lot easier than dealing with an offended customer.

There is a lot of music out there.   You should expect your music provider to deliver a fun, but non-controversial format to your business.