Spotify For Business : Or How to Easily and Legally Stream Great Music In Your Commercial Space
Imagine you’re out shopping. After which you meet a friend for coffee or drinks. You notice something different. The mall seems more chaotic than usual. But also somehow quieter. It feels weird because none of these places is playing any kind of background music. As if Spotify for Business is on a strike, leaving you alone with your thoughts and awkward pauses between conversations. The silence grows on you…
Ambience, lighting, music — all of these factors play a subtle but enormous effect on the consumer’s mood. A well-curated collection from a streaming platform not only distinguishes one business from another, but it attracts and sustains more customers. However, figuring out the right kind of music for your retail store is slightly more difficult than plugging in your personal Spotify.
First things first, can you use Spotify for business or commercial spaces?
Being able to play multi-genre music on Spotify for business would have been awesome and accessible, but unfortunately, there’s a caveat. The Spotify website clearly states that the app is built only for personal, non-commercial use.
This means business owners aren’t allowed to just connect a phone to a Bluetooth speaker and put their favourite music on queue for the entire store to groove to. If you do so, you might be sued by a performance rights organisation or a copyright collective. The consequences could potentially range from jail time to a hefty fine.
But do you really need to play music in your stores?
A thousand times, Yes! Even though the quality of your products can and should speak for itself, the right kind of background music subconsciously affects the customer’s psyche. It makes them feel more welcome at your business, giving you a benefit over your competitors. Music can be a retailer’s best buddy if one knows the tips and tricks to optimise it. And you can do that without Spotify for business.
How does music impact your customer’s experience in-store?
Music improves customer behaviour in a positive manner
Ambient and comforting music enhances the shopping experience. It makes them want to spend more time browsing the aisles. That, in turn, drives your sales upwards.
They will leave feeling satisfied and calm
The right kind of in-store music will ensure your customers have an optimal time – both when they visit the store and after they have left. This would make them want to revisit the store every time they’re in the area.
Fast vs slow tempo
A slower tempo affects customers to move slower, spend more time in the store and retain calmness during long queues. On the other hand, music with a faster tempo during rush hours urges customers to keep moving and clear payments swiftly.
Create a brand identity for your store
If you own a store with numerous branches in various parts of the country or the world, playing a similar genre of music throughout will help customers associate the business with a specific vibe, thus strengthening your brand identity. This is where services like Soundsuit can help you. You can easily curate and save playlists for specific times of the day and play them uniformly across your stores.
Choosing the right kind of music without Spotify for business
Music releases dopamine in two areas in the brain — the dorsal and ventral striatum — and reduces levels of cortisol (stress hormone) aka the bad guy. It largely influences how your customers feel about your store and what mood they’ll be in while shopping.
While you figure out which tracks to play at your business, you must keep the following in mind:
- Your business is unique, and so should your music.
- Identify the vibe of your outlet. You won’t enjoy listening to the same track while shopping for a Louis Vuitton bag as you do while picking up groceries for dinner. Neither will your customers.
- No matter how amazing your playlists are, keep them at a volume that doesn’t disturb your guests.
- Background music is a supporting actor, not the main character.
So which music streaming service for your business should you choose instead of Spotify for business?
Soundtrack Your Brand
Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden
Founding year: 2013
Renown customers: Tagheuer, W Hotels, Toni&Guy, Joe & The Juice
- BMI and ASCAP licenses are included in the price in the US
- No receiver is mandatory; a proprietary receiver is recommended for multi-store businesses, or where the internet connection is not stable enough.
- Web app and mobile apps
- Compatible with Sonos
- Song-by-song playlist creation tool (for owners with time and knowledge) – but only in the Pro plan for USD 49,99 / Month
- Service available in 70+ countries
- The most expensive music service among the 10 tested ones: 34.99 USD /mo for a limited feature set, 49.99 USD /mo for an unlimited app
- For multi-zone use-case within one store, one proprietary 199 USD device is mandatory for each music zone
- Import your Spotify playlist(s) only. Not possible to import playlists from Deezer, Pandora, YouTube, etc.
- New titles are added automatically every week — to your imported playlists as well as to their pre-built playlists. You cannot deactivate this function.
- No ASCAP and GMR licenses signed in the United States. This means that you will never be able to hear artists like Pharrell Williams, Drake, Childish Gambino, Harry Styles, John Lennon, George Harrison, Prince, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond or even Adele at any of your business location(s).
- Up to 40 minutes for full set-up (custom playlists, scheduling calendar, etc.) — for 1 store/location.
- Only a 14-day free trial
- Does not provide invoices for customers with fewer than 20 store locations
SiriusXM for Business
Headquarters: Washington, D.C., USA
Founding year: 2008
Renown customers: no reference found
- 100+ pre-made playlists
- Compatible with SONOS
- Advertising/messaging feature available
- Starting at 24.95 USD / month
- ASCAP, BMI and SESAC fees are included in the US
- Free 30-day trial, no commitment
- Old-fashion user interface and user experience
- Not possible to search for songs.
- Not possible to build your own playlists.
- Not possible to import your already existing Spotify, Pandora, Amazon, YouTube or Deezer playlists.
- The scheduling function to plan different playlists at different times of the day/week is not particularly user-friendly.
- A proprietary media player is mandatory to play music in your venue. This piece of Yes costs 149 USD.
- Service is available only in the US. Businesses located outside the US cannot access the service.
Headquarters: Munich, Germany
Founding year: 2017
Renowned customers: Mercedes-Benz, Best Western, Puma, Porsche, Accor Hotels, Izipizi, BoConcept, Design Hotels, LVMH, Asics, World Trade Center, Moët & Chandon, etc.
- $24.95/mo with a yearly plan, $29.95/mo with a monthly plan (so you save $60 if you subscribe for one year)
- BMI, ASCAP, SESAC and GMR licenses are included in the price in the US
- SOCAN and Re:Sound licenses included in the price for Canada
- No receiver mandatory; compatible with all major sound systems and streaming receivers
- A dedicated Soundsuit media player is available on request for 199 USD.
- Compatible with Sonos
- Compatible with Google Chromecast, AirPlay2
- Web apps, Desktop Apps (Windows and macOS), and mobile apps
- The iPad app is especially well designed — with business users in mind.
- New tracks are added daily.
- One-minute setup — for 1 store/location. No such easy and quick setup on the market so far.
- Time-saving smart features: playlist creation assistant, weekly music scheduling, automatic update of playlist
- Invoice automatically sent after subscribing – even if you only own one business location
- Service available in 50+ countries
- A 30-day free trial period, no obligation to purchase
- Playlist-import function from Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon-Music or Pandora is only available in the “Pro” plan.
Three easy and legal music services for business compared
|SiriusXM for Business||SoundtrackYourBrand||Soundsuit|
|Setup Time||20 minutes||40 minutes||1-minute using SmartMood™|
10 minutes using scheduling
|US licenses & song catalogues||ASCAP, BMI, SESAC||BMI, ASCAP (Not available: Boby Dylan, John Lennon, Prince, Pharrell Williams, Adele, etc.)||BMI, ASCAP, GMR, SESAC|
|Import of existing playlists||Not possible, only pre-made radio channels are included||From Spotify only||From Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, etc. (only available in the pro plan)|
|Territories||US only||70+ countries in the world||50+ countries in the world|
|Explicit content filter||Yes||Yes – but not activated by default||Yes – and activated by default|
|Scheduling of playlists||To be manually programmed via commands (web only)||Manual via drag&drop calendar (web only)||Manual via calendar (mobile and web) |
Automated via SmartMood™
|Playlist design||Pre-made radio channels (29 listed for business use)||Pre-made playlists (Essential plan)|
Own created playlists (Pro plan)
|No pre-made playlists.|
Only personalized playlists – based on customer’s own brand, target groups, preferred moods, music genres, schedule (Essential and Pro plan)
|Duration of free trial||30 days||14 days||30 days|
|Payment methods||Credit Cards||Credit Cards||Credit Cards, ACH, SEPA transfer, SEPA direct debit|
|Provide invoices||Yes – but only for customers with a minimum of 20 locations||Yes – for all customers (no restriction)|
|Monthly pricing in USD|
for a yearly starter plan/pro plan
|$26.95||$34.99 / $49.99||$24.95 / $39.95|
For Sonos users: what Soundsuit can do for you (and Spotify for business can’t)!
Steer Soundsuit music directly with the Sonos app or controller. Launch a Chill music mood in your venue, and switch to a Happy mood few hours later. Six personalized (for your business or brand) music moods are available on our Sonos app after you added Soundsuit to your system (learn how to add Soundsuit to Sonos here).
If you prefer your Sonos system to play the music schedule you set up in your Soundsuit app: simply click on “Schedule” in the Sonos App, and your Soundsuit music schedule/plan will start to play. This will simplify your music management in your venue quite a bit. You can now focus on other business activities, and get peace of mind when it comes to the right music playing at the right moment of the day.
Find more details here: Sonos for Business – Powered by Soundsuit
Now that you have an alternative to Spotify for business on board, how do you pick the right music?
To know which genres of music suit the vibe of your store correctly, you can engage in customer surveys or study existing data available on the internet. That sounds like a mammoth task, right? Or, you could just create an account on Soundsuit and let us guide you. We know what we are doing and can help you find the right tunes for any kind of store you run!
Luxury retail stores
If you’ve ever stepped into a perfectly air-conditioned Chanel or Versace outlet, you must have also noticed its minimal but aesthetic lighting and elegant decor. When everything about high-end designer stores screams “classy”, why should music be far behind?
A British study found that playing classical music in the background enhances the feeling of luxury shopping, motivating customers to go a little (or way) above their budget to pamper themselves.
As important as the tune is the tempo. Slower, softer music encourages people to move slower, thus making them spend more time in the store, and vice versa.
Restaurants & Cafés
If customers visit your diner or resto-pub for business or romantic dinners, the perfect music would be Jazz and Bossa Nova, as they are both associated with sophistication and fine dining.
On the other hand, if your restaurant or café sees a dynamic, young crowd, it’s optimal to plug in some fresh 2000s music or some relaxing chillout music.
If your café is modelled more like Starbucks, that is, if your ideal customer is a working professional who’s there for the wifi, quiet and a cuppa of piping hot coffee, you should play some ambient music or white noise that compliments a working environment.
Convenience stores are one-stop joints where people from every possible background and age visit. Getting this right is tricky because you’re catering to a diverse audience.
Yalch and Spangenberg conducted an experiment in the year 2000, wherein they tested the difference between playing familiar versus unfamiliar music. Their research showed that when listening to a song they have never heard before, people perceive that time moves hurriedly and makes them irritable. On the contrary, humming to a well-known song comforts and entertains people, and they end up staying in the store for longer.
Today’s convenience stores are much more than groceries and cleaning equipment. A visit to the local supermarket could provide a wholesome experience to the consumer — trying out designer perfumes, buying fresh flowers for a date or grabbing a quick lunch from the ready-to-eat section.
To influence the customer’s journey in the shop, store owners can play different kinds of music in different sections, alluring customers to check them out. Moreover, music with happier beats at the checkout line makes the wait seem shorter.
Shopping Centres & Malls
Different stores at the mall would have different brand identities. For instance, a young, vibrant brand like Levi’s would play more pop or lo-fi. A high-end store like Burberry, on the other hand, would play jazz pop. But a skincare brand like Sephora would go for more calming notes. Choosing the right kind of music for malls means catering to a diverse audience while making sure it adds to the lively ambience and keeps the crowd moving.
Pubs & Bars
Pubs and good music go hand in hand. Nay, feet in feet. Whether it’s just tapping along to energetic disco beats or dancing along to a country number, the kind of music you choose will determine the mood you set for your patrons. The vibe you should go for is cheerful and groovy – whether it’s old school or chart toppers! Some genres you can dabble in, depending on what kind of crowd you attract can be rock and roll, country, dance and hip-hop.
Spas & Wellness Centres
Your time in a spa signifies a world without worries. It is your time to relax and de-stress. The music accompanying a relaxing massage should also convey the same vibe.
Researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno found that Native American, Celtic and Indian music featuring stringed instruments, drums, and flutes are effective at soothing the mind. A loop of sounds from nature, such as the patter of rain, can be quite calming too.
A well-curated, effective spa playlist will also ensure that your clients keep coming back for more.
Stop using Spotify for business, choose Soundsuit instead
Soundsuit offers numerous benefits like scheduling music in advance for different days of the week or different times of the day, customising music for different target groups, and storing all of it in one place, for business owners and managers like you. You can channel your efforts into other nuances of your business while we take care of the music for you.
Now that you have figured out how to avoid a lawsuit and still play the coolest tracks without using Spotify for business, it’s time to get the ball rolling. Or should we say, get the disc rolling!
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