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June 2019

The Effects of Music on Customer Behaviour

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If you’re a business owner and you’re questioning whether you need to play music in your store or restaurant, you may want to keep reading…

Not only is music a great mood enhancer, soothing us when we need to relax and stimulating us when we need a boost, but when used effectively, music also has the power to influence our behaviour. That’s why it’s important for a business to use music to its advantage. Let’s take a look at the facts…

Music Vs. No Music
Have you ever walked into a shop and been greeted with graveyard silence? The experience can be uncomfortable and somewhat intimidating, you feel like the focus is on you and your every move is being watched. It can be a massive deterrent to shoppers, who will simply look elsewhere for a more comfortable shopping atmosphere. Research found that retailers that played background music in their store had happy shoppers who stayed 18% longer and made 17% more purchases*.

Background music = more sales

What type of music should I be playing?
As music is such a key factor to setting the atmospherics in your business, it’s vital that the right style of music is played. Research has found that fast music was more suited to impulsive shopping, and slow music was more suited to contemplative, planned shopping. This is because loud, fast music increases arousal, meaning shoppers tend to walk round faster. Similarly, slower music in restaurants makes patrons drink slower and eat fewer bites per minute.

The most important thing about the music is it has to be on-brand and it has to suit your customer’s needs (you wouldn’t walk in to a high-end, flagship designer store and expect to hear loud death metal music!) Familiar, preferred music decreases the perceived time spent in store, and customers stay longer and tend to buy more when the music is right for them. In an experimental field study in France, a flower shop sold more when romantic songs were played compared to pop music and no music. In a similar study elsewhere, more French than German wine was sold when French music was played, and vice versa!

Congruent music = more sales

How do I keep everyone happy?
Retail and hospitality businesses are going to get a mixture of customers throughout the day, so it’s important to have a music strategy that caters for everyone. For example, a bar could be quiet early afternoon, and liven up as soon as it gets to happy hour, so you therefore want music that reflects the change in atmosphere. Similarly, a supermarket may find a greater number of mums shopping with young kids at quiet periods in the day, so they’ll want music that keeps them happy and relaxed. Music programming strategies such as day parting, time segmenting, store targeting and rich mixing of various genres by style, artists or date etc, help to target music to precisely the right audience, so the music is always appropriate and effective, whatever time of day, wherever they are.

Psychologist and lecturer in Music Psychology, Dr Vicky Williamson, sums up the effects of music on consumer behaviour rather nicely, “Music positively influences consumer mood/emotional states through psycho-physiological reactions and autobiographical memory associations. Silence by comparison can be intrusive, as it throws unwelcome attention on the consumers’ behaviour. Music also provides an effective and adaptable tool for bringing a sense of pleasure and relaxation, thereby promoting a positive attitude, and boosting a sense of brand identity and loyalty.”

We hope you found this post useful. We’ll be there to help you as you make your journey into finding the right music for your business. Like us on Facebook /kvhstudios or follow us on twitter and Instagram @kvhstudios to ask us any questions.

Clare Caldwell, Sally A. Hibbert (1999), ‘Play that one again, the effect of music tempo on consumer behaviour in a restaurant.’

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Joe Muddiman – Senior Account Manager

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How long have you been at KVH Studios?
3 years this summer

What does your job involve?
So much! I’m responsible for two of our key accounts and making sure their in-store audio service continually meets requirements, whether this is entertaining the customers, achieving marketing objectives, or making the most of the technological possibilities. This means I’m out meeting clients, coming up with creative content ideas, writing scripts, scheduling services… all sorts! I’m also responsible for the day-to-day management of our team of Account Managers supporting them with the development of their own accounts and personal development. I also support on new business and marketing activities, as well as keeping the team refreshed with the odd cup of coffee every now and then.

What did you do before you worked at KVH Studios?
I’ve been an Account Manager in some shape or form for nearly ten years now in a variety of industries, from car leasing to health and fitness. I’ve also done a bit of bid writing and tendering before joining KVH Studios. Going further back I’ve done time stacking shelves at Somerfields, taking calls at British Gas, and worked in a bookies!

What do you love most about what you do?
The day-to-day variety and pace of change. Over the last few days for example I’ve planned a new series of podcasts with a client, sat with our Tech team and scheduled in some of our first weather-activated adverts, attended a client retailer event to discuss and promote their in-store service, and also brainstormed a live presenter show with our Production team. In-store radio is so much more than ‘just’ background music.

What’s your favourite memory at KVH Studios?
Holding a magazine in my hands which we’d created from scratch for a new service pitch. We don’t make magazines. The pitch hadn’t asked for a magazine. It was a typical new service tender, but we knew this wasn’t your average client so needed a not-so-average response. We took the brief, ran with it, and presented our ideas and vision for their service in a replica of their own in-store magazine. I was honoured to have played a part in its creation and holding the finished article in my hand made me realise the progress we’d made in terms of what we can offer and how we communicate our ideas. The magazine must have worked – the pitch went on to become our biggest client launch for a very long time and is now one of my accounts, so I’m reminded of our success every day.

How would you describe KVH Studios in 3 words?
Attentive, dynamic, lively.

If you could pick one, what would be your favourite music track?
Wow, what a question… I could pick almost anything by Radiohead, but I’ll go with ‘Reckoner’.

What do you like to do when you’re not at KVH Studios?
I’ve got two young twin daughters so lots of family time! I also like to try and watch and play as much football as I can, as well as keeping fit by running and going to the gym. I love music; there’s always music, radio, or a podcast of some sort on in the background to whatever I’m doing. I also like to read as much as I can, but it’s more Peter Rabbit than Ray Bradbury these days!

Your Quick Guide to Music Licensing for Business

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There are many benefits to playing background music in your business, for both customers and staff alike. However in order to play background music in your business legally you need to pay music licenses. Here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know about music licenses for business.

Why do I need to pay licenses?

Are you ready for an analogy? If you walked into a sandwich shop, and got the shop assistant to make you a sandwich, you wouldn’t walk out of the shop without paying for it (unless you were a really bad person!). The shop assistant took the time to create that sandwich and they deserve paying for it. Similarly, songwriters and musicians deserve paying for their craft. Music licenses ensure that those within the music industry get paid fairly.

Who do I pay?

There are two main organisations, PRS for Music and PPL. PRS for Music collect money on behalf of the songwriters, composers and publishers, and PPL collect music on behalf of the record companies and performers (the artists themselves). These two businesses have combined to create TheMusicLicence allowing you to legally play music for employees and customers through radio and those songwriters and musicians are paid for their hard work.

How much does it cost?

PRS and PPL work out how much you should be paying based on the audible square footage of your business; that is the size of the area in which music will be heard. A small cafe will obviously pay considerably less than a department store which has dozens of sites. How you use the music will also affect how much you need to pay, for example are you using it for hold music or to broadcast throughout a store or restaurant? PRS and PPL provide bespoke quotes so you pay no more than you need to.

Do I need both licenses?

In most instances yes, as they cover you for copyright music. However, if you choose to play non-copyright music then you only need to pay for a PRS license (as the songwriters and composers still need paying). For example if you choose to play just cover versions of songs then you only require a PRS license. If you use music created by unsigned artists then you don’t require either license.

If you’re looking for a quote, simply get in touch with PRS and PPL via their website

If you’re looking for a trusted music provider that can supply you with the best background music for your business alongside licensing support, get in touch with KVH Studios on 0113 233 7800. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter @kvhstudios and like us on Facebook and Instagram for more useful hints and tips!





KVH Studios Produce New Superdrug Podcast

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The new Superdrug podcast has launched! KVH Studios have worked together with the Superdrug Social and Marketing team, alongside content marketing agency, The River Group, to create and launch an 8-episode series of podcasts hosted by TV and Radio presenter Vick Hope and featuring a whole host of celebrity guests and industry experts.

Released every Sunday for 8 weeks, ‘The Beauty of it all’ takes a backstage look at the beauty industry and the issues facing it, covering topics such as how veganism is transforming the beauty world, the latest trends in skincare, and the influence of drag culture and makeup on the high street.

Provider of Superdrug Live in-store radio, KVH Studios support in this new project by recording, producing and editing all content for the podcast including the main discussion, product-related advertising and creation of the audio logo to give the programme a signature sound.

We also manage the relationship with Acast for the uploading and hosting of the podcasts making it available to listeners across all platforms including iTunes and Spotify, plus management of Acast promotions and reporting of listenership figures.


This week saw the launch of episode 1 – How fame changes how you see yourself – where Capital Radio’s Vick chats to Love Island 2018 finalist, Megan Barton-Hanson, and TV psychologist, Honey Langcaster-James, about ex-boyfriends, plastic surgery and how fame can suddenly change perceptions.

Simon Comins, Superdrug Commercial Director, comments, “We are always looking to engage with our customers in new ways, and we’re delighted to be launching our first podcast. The series covers the wider debate that beauty brings, focusing on the issues and trends that our customers are interested in.”

Click to download episode 1 now! 

The Four ‘E’s to Radio Advertising

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Obviously, the most important aspect to any advert is explanation, but what exactly do you need to remember when informing your customers about an offer or product?

  • Talk about the product or offer in detail, mention the company behind it and highlight any key features, tell the customer how they could use it to their advantage
  • Ensure the customer knows the product’s benefit to them; for anything from a ‘limited time’ discount or new product in a range, people need to know why they should spend their money now
  • Mention the product name at around three times during the advert, this will make sure the customer remembers it and will cause them to think even after the advert is over

This is almost just as important as explanation, you need to keep the customer’s attention for the whole advert and create desire for the product.

  • Make sure you know the target audience before anything else. Certain types of people may respond negatively, or not at all, to some types of advertising. Everything from the right music to the right age of the voiceover needs to be considered so the right customer can relate.
  • Make the copy interesting – you need to make sure you grab the customer’s attention and prevent them from switching off or losing focus during the advertisement (this is why shorter adverts tend to work better, we usually recommend about 20-30 seconds)
  • Create a sense of urgency; people are always more tempted to spend when there’s a time limit on an offer so make them aware of this

Once you have the basics of an advert it’s time to make sure it stands out and sounds interesting, there’s no point in having interesting information and great copy if it doesn’t grab the customer’s attention; here’s some tips on how to make your ad shine…

  • Think about where people are when they hear radio adverts, in a busy supermarket, driving or at work – by using multiple aspects of sound you can take the customer away from their current situation and get them to listen. If you’re selling something sports related – have fans cheering in the background, or for celebrations – the sound of a cork popping. Again, this creates desire for a product by putting the customer in the right environment.
  • Increasing the amount of voiceovers or the type of voice used is also an effective way of grabbing people’s attention, it sounds like a conversation and encourages the customer to want to join in. An interesting voice will keep the customer focused.

Ensure your customers are entertained by the advert as this is what will ultimately result in grabbing their attention, keeping it and then creating a result after the ad is over. People want to buy into interesting brands, lifestyles and products, so making sure your advert entertains in the right way will inevitably result in success!

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