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Music in Venues - Why the Wrong Music Is Proven to Lose Customers and Can Land You With Hefty Fines

April 02, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 156

Music has been helping to sell food and drink ever since fiddlers were first invited into taverns. But it's only recently that we've begun to discover how influential it really is - and why it's important to pick the right music for your venue.

In one recent UK survey, carried out by independent research firm MusicWorks, 80% of respondents said they preferred restaurants with background music and 91% said they wanted music in bars. What's more, the quality of the music in these venues was shown to have an impact on the bottom line. Among diners, 67% said the right music would make them more likely to return. Among drinkers, 82% said the right background music would make them buy more drinks.

These are just some of many similar findings to arise in recent years, all leading to the same conclusion: if you're treating background music as an afterthought, you're missing out on extra revenue, as well as the opportunity to differentiate yourself in an increasingly competitive sector. Playing the Now! Best of Christmas album while your diners drink their first-glass- of-Spring rosé just isn't going to cut it any more.

And it gets worse. If you're trying to serenade your customers using Spotify, or the shuffle function on your iPod - or even just with a radio - then you might think you're taking the cheap and easy option. But in addition to paying the opportunity costs described above, you're also breaking the law and could be liable for fines and legal costs running into tens of thousands of pounds.

Venue-owners in the UK who want to play any recorded music need two licences: one from "PRS for Music" (formerly known as the Performing Right Society), which covers the public performance, live or otherwise, of original musical works on behalf of their composers, writers and publishers; and one from PPL (formerly Phonographic Performance Ltd), which covers the public performance of recordings on behalf of the musicians and record companies involved. You also need to pay royalties (usage fees) to the same organisations for each and every track played.

Moreover, the law has many twists and turns. If you play Spotify in a public place and get caught then you are immediately liable for a £10,000 fine (Spotify is for personal use only). If you use an iPod then that's OK, provided you have the right licences and have paid the right fees, but if you have multiple venues then you have to make payments for each one individually. In other words: to play the same track in 100 venues, you have to buy it 100 times.

If all this sounds confusing, that's because it is. The regulations are changing all the time, in an effort to keep up with new music streaming and sharing technologies, and if venues wish to remain compliant then they have to scramble to keep up too. (Got an international chain? If so, the licensing headaches are even greater - the US, for example, has an especially Byzantine licensing system.)

This is why a growing number of bars and restaurants are turning to background music consultants - specialist companies that have only been around for eight years or so, but that are already regarded as essential partners by leading brands around the world.

Background music consultants take the pain out of licensing arrangements, ensuring that you're compliant with all the necessary regulations in all the territories in which you operate. They handle payment of royalties on your behalf. And the best go one step further: they work closely with clients to build bespoke playlists for each venue, taking into account the clientele, menu and interior design, and which types of music are most appropriate at different times

"Bars and restaurants are increasingly realising that as well as high quality products, bespoke music can be a major differentiator," says Jim Wood, director of UK-based 8track Music Solutions. "These days, a well-designed playlist is just as important to the overall drinking or dining experience as furniture or lighting."

A non-generic playlist is vital if you want to create a "signature atmosphere" for your brand. "When you get it right, the effect is immediate and obvious," he concludes."The customers immediately start to enjoy themselves more - and so do the staff."

For more information on how music can effect your venue, contact Klaremont.

Klaremont is an established distributor to the catering and leisure industries, based in London and providing a next day delivery service across the UK.

Source: EzineArticles
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