Background Music Strategy
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The Sound of Success: Exploring the Best Types of Music Systems for Your Business
by Ryan Santangelo, Ph.D., Co-Founder & CEO, Dynamic Media
The right types of music systems for business have the power to create a memorable atmosphere and enhance the customer experience in a wide range of locations, including restaurants, offices, spas, retail stores, hotels and more. However, not all music systems are created equal, and choosing the best one for a business can be challenging.
This article will discuss the importance of music systems for businesses and provide an overview of the different types of music services available. We will also highlight some key considerations that business owners should keep in mind when selecting the best music system for their establishment.
The Importance of the Right Business Sound System
Plenty of research has highlighted the important role music plays in customer experience. Studies have shown that music can affect the mood and emotional state of customers, which in turn can influence their purchasing decisions and willingness to spend more time in an establishment. Reports indicate a correlation between music and:
Playing music consistent with your brand’s values and target audience reinforces your brand identity and attracts your desired demographic. The right business sound system enhances these effects, while the wrong setup will limit your ability to take advantage of all the benefits of playing music in your business.
Types of Business Music System Players
When you’re selecting a business or office music system, you need to consider the type of available players, which can range from dedicated devices to mobile apps. The best business music systems offer a variety of options.
Dedicated Hardware Players
Dedicated hardware players are specialized devices designed specifically for businesses to play music. Businesses can usually control the devices through a portal or app, although some players have built-in controls. Some dedicated devices use internet streaming technology, while others are hybrid models that use both the internet and stored music.
Cost is the main disadvantage of a dedicated player. Since they’re more advanced than other devices, they also require more training.
A player app is a software application that provides access to a business music system through a tablet or cell phone. Developed specifically for a mobile device, these apps are controlled through the device’s touchscreen interface. They can use streaming or hybrid technologies.
They’re easy to use and set up, which are major advantages. Most player apps are free, making them a good choice for budget-minded businesses.
Disadvantages include the need for an internet connection and the lack of compatibility with certain operating systems or devices.
Available at no charge, web players use a standard web browser to access and play music without the need for additional hardware or software. Their low cost, flexibility and ease of use are all essential advantages.
A primary disadvantage of web players is their reliance on an internet connection. They also may strain a computer’s resources, making it challenging to use the computer for other purposes. Plus, web players may not be compatible with all devices.
Smart Speakers and Connected Devices
Smart speakers are app-controlled devices that allow operators to use voice commands to perform a wide range of tasks, including playing music. Since they’re wireless, smart speakers are relatively easy to set up, which is a definite benefit. They’re also easy to use.
A major disadvantage is the cost, making multiple speakers expensive to purchase. They also require an internet connection and don’t provide much control — anyone can access the speaker and change it to an inappropriate channel.
Stream Music Quickly and Easily
SiriusXM Music for Business Makes It Simple
With SiriusXM Music for Business, you get access to more than 240 channels and 10,000+ Pandora artist stations, all for the low cost of $26.95 a month.
Business Music System Technologies
Most business music systems incorporate one or more of four primary technologies. Each technology has its own list of advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice for a business will depend on its specific preferences and requirements.
Store-and-forward systems have been around for years. They operate by storing music on a hard drive or other storage media and playing the songs on a loop. You update the music by inserting a new CD or other physical storage device into the system. Sometimes, a satellite will update the songs on a once-a-month schedule.
Music systems for business and office sound systems that use store-and-forward technology have been superseded by new technologies and are no longer in production. But there are still some in use.
Despite its obsolescence, this technology does offer some benefits, like the fact that it doesn’t require an internet connection. This is a particular advantage in areas that have poor connectivity. It also usually involves lower costs since many businesses already have a store-and-forward system installed.
A significant drawback of this technology is the need to continually update the music by replacing CDs or cassettes. If the music isn’t regularly refreshed, the repetitive songs can turn off customers and employees. These systems also have smaller libraries of songs and offer no customization opportunities, exacerbating the problem of repetitions.
Satellite Streaming Services
Satellite streaming delivers music to businesses in real time via a satellite hookup. SiriusXM Music for Business is the only service providing satellite streaming. Our system employs a small satellite antenna, about the size of a cell phone, to connect with the satellite. Since no internet connection is required, this is a great option in areas where high-speed internet access is limited or for businesses that have restrictive internet security policies.
Another benefit is our satellite streaming service’s wide range of music.
Despite the advantages, these business sound systems do have some downsides. Satellite systems don’t provide central management or advanced features, like the ability to insert promotions or audio ads. Because of the geostationary nature of SiriusXM’s satellite system, this technology is only available in Canada, Puerto Rico and the United States, limiting its use in other areas.
Internet Streaming Services
Internet streaming services use a high-bandwidth connection to stream music into a business in real time. It’s crucial that the business has a reliable internet connection that’s fast enough to support continuous music streaming.
A primary benefit of streaming music systems for business is the wide range of genres, artists and songs available. Convenience is another advantage since you only need a web player or mobile app to access most services.
This technology’s very nature is also its main disadvantage. Without a fast, dependable internet connection, music will cut out or distort, leading to dissatisfied customers and employees. Since it plays in real time and doesn’t store music, a streaming service can’t play songs if the internet connection slows or goes down.
Music systems for business and office sound systems that use hybrid technology take advantage of the benefits of internet streaming and store-and-forward technologies. This approach gives businesses access to a wide-ranging music library along with a central management platform. At the same time, they can enjoy the reliability and stability of store-and-forward systems by saving the music and audio locally on the device.
With a hybrid system, businesses can change their music and audio in real time, while ensuring songs will continue to play even if the internet goes down. The most modern and advanced approach to business music, hybrid technologies balance stability with customization.
A significant advantage of hybrid technologies is the ability to monitor and control music from a single, central location, making it easier to play the right song at the right time in the right place.
A primary disadvantage is the cost. Most hybrid technologies have more expensive hardware and services. They can also be more complex to set up and operate. Plus, they require a high-speed, stable internet connection, which isn’t available everywhere.
The Role of AI in Music Systems for Business
More music systems for business are beginning to rely on artificial intelligence (AI). They use advanced AI algorithms to analyze data points like genre, mood, artist, tempo and past listening history to select music that matches a business’s needs and preferences.
AI also helps businesses save time and money since it automates playlist curation that a business would have to do manually.
Comparing the Top Types of Music Systems for Business
Our research has identified six top music systems for business that offer Internet streaming services: Cloud Cover Music, Mood Media, Pandora Business, Rockbot, SiriusXM Music for Business and Soundtrack Your Brand. Let’s see how they stack up.
Each sound system for business offers a dedicated player. Only SiriusXM Music for Business has a device with onboard controls for instant access. All of the services except Pandora provide a free player app. Cloud Cover, Rockbot and SiriusXM have free web players that customers can use to access their services.
Soundtrack Your Brand takes full advantage of hybrid technology by offering streaming music and storing a week’s worth of songs on its dedicated player, providing full interactive content.
Other services provide a much more limited experience when it comes to local storage and offline playback. Mood Music’s dedicated player is preloaded with around 30 GB of music, while Rockbot is preloaded with approximately 50 songs that loop. Cloud Cover’s dedicated player has a prefetch mode, but once that’s activated, the player can no longer be controlled. Neither Pandora nor SiriusXM offers local storage and offline playback.
As mentioned earlier, SiriusXM is the only music service for business that offers satellite streaming.
Of the six major music services for business, only Soundtrack Your Brand and Pandora Business use AI to curate playlists. Soundtrack Your Brand allows businesses to input specific criteria such as an artist, genre, decade, energy and sound to generate a playlist. Pandora Business features artist channels, which let users create playlists based on songs or artists. SiriusXM Music for Business takes advantage of AI technology because it includes Pandora Business in its service.
Frequently Asked Questions About Business Music Systems
As a leader in business music systems, SiriusXM Music for Business is well-positioned to provide the answers you need. Read the questions below to learn more.
How Much Does a Music System Cost?
With SiriusXM Music for Business, a monthly subscription costs just $26.95.
What Sound Equipment Do You Need for a Business?
Businesses need some device to access music. This could be a dedicated player, a connected device, a phone or a personal computer. Speakers are also needed to play the music.
What Things Should I Consider When Selecting a Music Business System?
When selecting a music business system, you need to consider a variety of factors, such as cost, available players and type of technology.
What Are the Best Types of Music Systems for Businesses?
Our research has found that Soundtrack Your Brand is the best for enterprise organizations, and SiriusXM Music for Business is the top pick for small- to medium-sized businesses.
Connect Today With SiriusXM Music for Business
SiriusXM Music for Business is the go-to choice for businesses that want a professional, easy-to-use music experience. Our music system for business is compatible with a wide range of devices, including dedicated players, satellite radio, Amazon Echo, Sonos, Chromecast, personal computers, mobile devices and more. Take control of your music business system and sign up for SiriusXM today.