Why an Internet Radio Station Won’t Cut it For Your Business

phoneFrom Spotify to Pandora, internet radio has become so accessible, and with so many musical libraries at your fingertips, you may be tempted to use one of them for background music in your store. It’s all the same, right?  Not so fast!  While it might fill up dead air, playing background music from an app isn’t really doing your business any favors.   In fact, it may be doing a lot of harm!

Here are a few things you may want to consider before leaving your store’s music selection up to your iPad and your 21 year old manager.

How does Pandora and other streaming services work?

First, let’s look under the hood. Pandora uses a predetermined algorithm to find songs that relate to one another. It does this by categorizing songs on the basis of their musical qualities. They  identify  them on parameters such as melody, harmony, rhythm, form, composition and lyrics. The algorithm is specifically designed for creating stations of songs with similar elements, which may be perfect for learning about more bands that are similar to Nirvana, or getting a little deeper into a genre, but you can’t get a playlist that conveys your business’ unique identity.   Do you want your customers to hear a lot of Nirvana and Nirvana sound-alikes?

Can your business’ be summed up with one genre or artist?

A playlist that centers around a single artist or genre can’t be relied on to entertain your specific demographic audience.  Sure, you can add something else to the mix on your internet radio station, but it could switch the parameters for the stations and change the mood even more!

Pandora isn’t designed for a lot of variety

Another disadvantage of these stations is the lack of variety. While they start off great, after an hour or two is becomes apparent they’re cycling through the same 6 or so artists, and the same 6 or so songs from them.

When you work with a professional music provider, the playlist doesn’t get old, and new songs can be added at a moment’s notice. If you hear a song you like, it can be added instantly. Who knows when it will make its way to an app, or if it will find its way into your station if you’re using a computer generated playlist who doesn’t know about your in-store branding goals.

Building a music playlist around a genre and around an experience are different goals. The truth is, a music app can’t compete with a professional, custom music program when it comes to enhancing a customer’s experience in your store.

Can I use Spotify in my business?

Ok, so maybe now you’re seeing the pitfalls of using Pandora, but you’re thinking you’ll use Spotify instead.

Songs played through Spotify are licensed for personal use and aren’t cleared for a public broadcast in the United States or Canada. By playing Spotify in your business, artists aren’t getting appropriate compensation, and your broadcasts are actually illegal.  A professional music program from a reputable music provider gets clearance from the appropriate agencies, so you can rest assured that the artists you enjoy are paid and empowered to keep making great music!

There’s a lot more that goes into a playlist than just music, and a custom program designed by an experienced music provider can go a long way toward giving your customers an experience that keeps them coming back.