Canned Music: A Growth Business

Background music, once derisively termed ‘elevator music,’ is a widespread tool employed by vendors to coax unwitting consumers into a state of idealess, frenzy or sort of jolly shoppers.

In laboratory settings, music has proved to affect performance on cognitive tasks (memory, attention, and comprehension), both positively and negatively. Used extensively as an advertising aid, music may also affect marketing strategies, ad comprehension, and consumer choices.

In both radio and television advertisements, music plays an integral role in content recall, intentions to buy the product, and attitudes toward the advertisement and brand itself. Music’s effect on marketing has been studied in radio ads, TV ads, and physical retail settings.

One of the most important aspects of an advertisement’s music is the “musical fit," or the degree of congruity between cues in the ad and song content. Advertisements and music can be congruous or incongruous for both lyrical and instrumental music. The timbre, tempo, lyrics, genre, mood, as well as any positive or negative associations elicited by certain music should ‘’fit’’ the nature of the advertisement and product. For example, playing classical music in the background has been shown to increase the amount of money that people are willing to spend on a product, as it is associated with an "upmarket" image.

Product involvement refers to the degree of personal relevance and perceived purchase risk regarding a given product, while advertising involvement refers to the amount of attention directed toward the advertisement and its content. Both types can be more cognitively (content-focused) or affectively (emotion-focused) oriented, changing the way in which background music interacts with advertisement viewing or listening.

In short, background music has become an industry catering to an industry.

In a recent survey conducted by Technavio, the global background music market in the hospitality industry is expected to reach US$96 million by 2020.

According to the research firm, the hospitality industry is the biggest customer for the global background music market. The business needs of the hospitality industry demand the need for background music as it enables to set up the mood and ambience for consumers. “However, with the increasing availability of music streaming services, many restaurants, cafes, and pubs use them instead of background music. “This will significantly slow down the growth rate of the market during the forecast period,” says Ujjwal Doshi, a lead analyst at Technavio for media and entertainment services research.

Global background music market in retail industry

The global background music market in the retail segment is expected to exceed US$77 million by 2020.

The retail industry is one of the early adopters of background music. Vendors select music depending on the theme of the retail store. Music with high tempo is used in stores with a lot of footfall, which enables the customers to shop quickly. Stores with a niche audience and classical theme use low tempo music, which relaxes the customers and allows them to make purchasing decisions easily. Based on the target audience and the type of product sold, the retailers decide on the background music.

Global background music market in commercial buildings

The global background music market in commercial buildings is expected to exceed US$77 million by 2020.

This is the second fastest growing segment in the background music market. In the last decade, the way people shop has evolved from a single store to multi-brand retail outlets to shopping malls. “Background music subconsciously influences the purchasing decision of the consumer. This has led to the use of ambient music in shopping malls, retail outlets, office lobbies, and elevators,” adds Ujjwal.

Global background music market in public infrastructure

The global background music market in public infrastructure is expected to exceed US$113 million by 2020.

It is the fastest growing segment of the global background music market. With the development of smart cities, governments are making efforts to provide better transit facilities. With many developing nations investing in transit infrastructure, there is a large demand for background music at public transit, airports, railway stations, and other public infrastructure.

The top vendors highlighted by Technavio’s media and entertainment research analysts in this report are:

  • Almotech
  • Imagesound
  • Mood Media
  • NSM Music
  • PlayNetwork      


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