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love

For the Love of Music!

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Roses are red, violets are blue, so here are some love songs, just for you!

Yes, it’s that time of year again where love and romance is the air. This year for our Valentine’s Day selection, we have taken a different approach, one that includes heartfelt lyrics as always, but includes more perms than normal! The 1980’s & early 1990’s was a time when male rock bands went chasing hit singles to try and prove they were in touch with their feelings by releasing ‘power ballads’.

The key time for this was around 1987/88, led by three of the biggest rock bands around at the time.

Bon Jovi were the band of the time with massive record sales, huge sell out tours and video after video on MTV. One of the biggest songs was this cracker of a ballad from their New Jersey album in 1988, reaching number one in America.

Whitesnake were formed in the 1970’s in the UK and the band played a mix of Blues and Hard Rock. However, by the mid-eighties, band leader David Coverdale realised that things needed to change if the band were going to be included on the new, hit-making MTV. So out went the rest of the band, denim and leather outfits and scruffy hair to be replaced by a much more ‘glam’ look. Their 1987 album was huge, selling over 8 million copies in America. The key to that success was the videos for the singles – Still of the Night, Here I Go Again and Is This Love, which have been described by Loudersound.com/Classic Rock Magazine as the ultimate power ballad.

And to complete the trio, we head to 1988 which was prime ‘rock ballad’ time, when Sheffield’s Def Leppard scored a big hit in America with their only number one single Love Bites. The band had been popular in the States for a few years while still waiting for a British breakthrough. That came when their 1987 album Hysteria sold over 25 million copies worldwide.

And that’s the top three! Here’s the rest of our alternative Valentine’s Day music playlist. Air guitars and mobile phone lights at the ready!

Click follow on ‘KVH Studios Music’ to keep up to date with all the songs we love and are added to our in-store music services on a weekly basis.

Love

Fallen Out of Love with Your Music Supplier?

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February – The month of ‘love’! Makes us think about relationships and we wonder how many partnerships are still delivering on the promises made years ago?

If you are in a long-term relationship with your music supplier, it’s worth asking the questions…

“Do they still provide me with the best value for money?”

“Do they take a proactive and creative approach by presenting new ideas?”

“Do they offer me cost reductions when available?”

Long term relationships can often get into a rut, become boring, same old same old, taken for granted etc – not always of course, but if you think you might benefit from new eyes, new energy, new ideas and a bit of pizazz, it’s time to give KVH Studios a call to see what we can offer.

We’ve listed some of our best ongoing qualities and if we were to partner with you, we promise that our qualities will always be the same, perhaps even stronger.

  • We listen! Oh boy do we listen! One of our greatest strengths. Understanding our partners requirements, how they feel and what they want.
  • We’re here for you! Always accessible and available when our partner needs us, for whatever it is that they need.
  • We’re responsive! Our turnaround times are impressive. Whether its new creative scripts, a technical issue or simply an information request, we won’t keep you waiting!
  • We’re focussed! Our Account Managers are here to make sure you get everything you need. We believe in attention to detail. Everything we do at KVH Studios is unique to your brand, curating a bespoke music profile and content programming aligned with your listener demographic and footfall. All whilst ensuring we meet your brief and budget!
  • We’re honest! We won’t over promise, but we often over deliver! If it can’t be done, we’ll tell you. With KVH Studios, you’ll always be kept informed.
  • We value you! We never take any client for granted. We will always work hard for you, trying to add value and going that extra mile when possible
  • And we’re really passionate! Passionate about our music and passionate about what we create for our clients. We just love what we do!

Of course, it’s easy to say all the above and we know that most relationships start off on the premise of such good intentions. You only really get to know your partner once the relationship begins. But, at KVH Studios, we have a high retention rate and fantastic client testimonials. So, we know we deliver on our promises, and so do our clients.

So, if you’ve fallen out of love with your music supplier and your contract is due for renewal this year, give us a call on 0113 233 7800 today.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Music

NEW MUSIC THIS MONTH: January 2020

By | In store radio, Music, Music producer, Team, Uncategorised | No Comments

Here we are, it’s time for the first new music review of 2020 from KVH Studios, all have which have been added to our in-store music services.

We start with a duet by two singers with a combined age of 143, who have sold one or two records in the 50 years they have been in the music industry. It’s the title track from Ozzy Osbourne’s new album which is released in February and features another legend in the shape of Sir Elton John on vocals and piano. And it’s not just those two, it also features Slash & Duff from Guns N Roses and Chad from Red Hot Chili Peppers. Oh, and it’s a cracking single.

At the other end of musical scale, Celeste is starting out. She’s the Brits Rising Star and the winner of the BBC Sound of 2020 Poll. Her new single Stop this Flame is so different from her last track Strange, which shows how good she is.

We’ve been big fans of the amazing Ella Eyre for so many years, having burst onto the scene with Rudimental’s Waiting All Night. Now she’s back with the first new music from her second solo album.

Another singer returning, but after a little bit longer than Ella, is Andrew Roachford. He hit the charts in 1989 with Cuddly Toy and is back with a superb new single Love Remedy. It’s taken from his 11th album Twice in a Lifetime, which is out in April.

April also sees the release of Gregory Porter’s new album All Rise. The first taste of the album is Superb Revival. He says of the track “Yes, you could say that I went big,” and he does. It’s a single with a big sound. And we like that sound.

Keep up to date with all our new music additions on our Spotify playlist.

Music costs

New Decade, New Supplier, New Savings!

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Our first ever music sale is now on!

It’s unusual for a music supplier to have a January sale, in fact unique, but we know that in order to help the UK High Street to survive and thrive, music costs need to be managed and reduced. That is why we have decided to do our bit and help retailers to lower the costs of their in-store music.

Lower cost doesn’t mean compromise. Retailers working with KVH Studios enjoy the best quality music available. We recognise we must deliver world class service, choice and support, and that is our promise to you. If your music contract is due for renewal soon, it’s time to give us a call!

KVH Studios are one of the leading UK suppliers of audio and visual services to the retail, banking and hospitality industries, delivering the ‘sound of your brand’ for customers and colleagues to enjoy and interact with whilst in your stores.

Our copyright catalogue features the widest range of music available, whether it is chart dominated, indie based, chilled or a bespoke arrangement to suit specific requirements. In addition to our copyright options, KVH Studios are the ‘go to’ company for non-copyright music from emerging talent and breakthrough artists, saving clients thousands on music licence fees which can be allocated to their other projects.

And KVH Studios don’t just do in-store music, customers switch to us to become their audio and visual partner managing the full media package in their commercial environment, plus externally through commercial radio, podcasts and more. Bringing many benefits such as consolidation of suppliers for increased efficiency.

If you want to know how much your business could save and how you could benefit by switching to KVH Studios, give us a call on 0113 233 7800 or drop us an email on info@kvhstudios.com today.

2019

2019 In Review

By | In store radio, Music, New client | No Comments

Happy New Year everyone!

With the majority of us back to work today and starting a brand-new year (and decade!), we thought we’d take a quick look back and review 2019 before diving into 2020.

And what a year to look back on. For KVH Studios, many would say it was our best year yet and we certainly finished for the Christmas break on a high and excited about what’s to come.

So let’s look at some highlights…

New clients!

2019 was a bumper year for taking on new clients of different sizes and types. Some of the big ones included the launch of Superdrug Live in March, following a successful tender win in 2018, which broadcasts a live show daily, including dual presenters on a Saturday, alongside supplier advertising. This was shortly followed by the launch of the Ann Summers audio and visual service in May. July saw the launch of the two-channel music service for Debenhams including time sensitive/automated messaging and Motorpoint Radio launched that same month. And most recently in November, we launched a digital music and advertising service for The Original Factory Shop upgrading them from a CD service and allowing them to promote key campaigns.

With many more in the pipeline for launch in 2020, we’re excited to keep this fast growth of our client base going, but let’s not forget the development of our existing client services which we have retained many long-term contracts with across 2019 and have seen a huge expansion of the services we provide…

New services!

Alongside providing a much more attentive and pro-active service to our clients, a key goal for 2019 was to expand our offering outside of in-store radio, allowing us to provide ‘the full media package’ cutting out the need for our clients to have different suppliers for different services.

The first objective was to expand our digital signage services in response to a distinct need from our clients and the most obvious development in our industry, with audio and visual going hand in hand. We of course have always had it available to our clients in the past as an ‘add on’ but it was this year where we really set about making it a full service; expanding our knowledge in the area, bringing expertise into the team and developing our technology bespoke to requirements. We’re now proud to be providing digital signage services to Costcutter and Ann Summers with a number of new launches in the works for other clients in 2020. Check out the additions we made to our website in September of this year here!

In summer we proudly produced ‘The Beauty of it all’ podcast for Superdrug which hit the top spot in the Health and Beauty charts and trended number one on iTunes. We’ve had plenty of experience in recording podcasts for a number of clients in our very own in-house studios, but this high-profile project allowed us to work with different talent and celebrities, produce externally and manage the whole upload and promotion across all the top podcast platforms. We also created bespoke music and advertising for each episode. This experience has allowed us to open up our podcast services further and we have another big exciting project coming up in 2020.

This past year also saw us putting our data-triggered content capabilities into play, growth of estates through new installations into client acquisitions, development of music only services into content, commercial radio production for new clients and full licensing management, all of which allows our customers to use us for a number of purposes.

Our creativity reached new heights this year through expansion of team skillset and exploring new production opportunities. To the point where we won our first VOX award in October for Best Retail/Service Message or Commercial (IVR/In-Store). What an achievement by the team!

And that’s just the highlights! It’s been a very busy year but a fantastic one as we finish with a stronger, tighter team than ever and look forward to the arrival of two new starters in January to support in our growth.

There’s certainly no quiet January for us as we go head first into a jam-packed month of pitches, rollouts and new launches which we look forward to sharing with you in the coming months.

We’re raring to go for this new year ahead and we wish all of you a very successful and happy one!

Christmas

Merry Christmas from KVH Studios!

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For as long as we can remember, it’s the chart battle that generates the most publicity. It’s the one that people bet on every year. It’s the battle for the Christmas number one which is the big one!

We’ve spent hours looking at the Official Charts to gather these amazing facts about the songs that have been festive chart toppers since 1952.

And that is as good as any place to start, the first official Christmas number one, and in fact THE first Number One in the new singles chart, was ‘Here in my Heart’ by Al Martino. It was at the top for 9 weeks.

The Beatles were quite popular and became the first band or artist to have three consecutive Christmas number one singles, between 1963 and 1965. Then they had a fourth in 1967. That feat was equaled in the nineties by The Spice Girls who had three consecutive festive chart toppers between 1996 and 1998.

Cliff Richard featured on three consecutive festive number ones as well, but only two as a solo star, ‘Mistletoe & Wine’ in 1988 and ‘Saviours’ Day’ in 1990, and in between he was on Band Aid 2’s version of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’.

Which leads us nicely to that song. Versions of it have topped the chart in 1984, 1989 and 2004. (Band Aid 30 in 2014 was a number one, just not at Christmas). This means, by our reckoning, it’s the song that has topped the chart at Christmas the most. Here’s the often forgotten second version of the track.

The only song to reach Christmas number 1 twice by the same artist is ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen in 1975 on its original release, and then again in 1991 following the death of Freddie Mercury.

The first festive favourite to actually feature the word Christmas (or its variants) was in 1973 when Slade topped the chart on the 25th with ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’. And only six more since have featured the word. Like this one from 1985…

For many years, the Christmas Number One belonged to the X Factor. The show produced 7 festive chart toppers between 2005 with Shayne Ward, until 2014 with Ben Haenow. However, in 2009, people had had enough so a campaign was launched to get Rage Against the Machine to the top. And it worked. Of course, the X Factor wasn’t the first TV talent show to produce an artist who reached the top spot at Christmas. That accolade goes to Popstars The Rivals in 2002, with Girls Aloud’s debut hit ‘Sound of the Underground’.

There have been some very unusual songs to top the chart at this time of year, which in all honesty, probably wouldn’t get close to number one at any other time of year. Yes, we are talking about Benny Hill, St Winifred’s School Choir, Mr. Blobby, Bob the Builder, and Ladbaby!

And spare a thought for a trio of the biggest Christmas tracks that didn’t even get to number one. Wham released ‘Last Christmas’ in 1984 but because of Band Aid, it stalled at number two for 5 weeks. It does win the award of being the biggest selling song ever in the UK not to be a number 1 single! In 1987, the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s ‘Fairytale of New York’ – the most-played Christmas song of the 21st century – was kept off the number one spot by Pet Shop Boys covering Elvis’ ‘Always on my Mind’. And finally, in 1994, Mariah Carey released ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’. It was destined to top the charts before these four chaps from London put their big furry white jackets on!

So, there you have it, our fun* fact-filled look at Christmas Number One singles. Merry Christmas from all of us at KVH Studios!
(* because it’s ‘fun’, we haven’t mentioned – until now – the most depressing Christmas Number One from Michael Andrews featuring Gary Jules and their cover of Mad World in 2003)

19 From 2019

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As another year draws to a close and, as is the way at this time of the year, let’s take a look back at the music from the past 12 months. There has been lots of great songs in the singles chart over the last 12 months, but there has also been some amazing music that didn’t make the Top 40. Here are 19 songs from 2019…

In January, Chaka Khan returned to the music scene with her first album in 12 years. ‘Hello Happiness’ is the title track and it went straight onto our playlists. It sounded so fresh and relevant. Superb.

Another artist returning this year was the amazing Jack Savoretti. The first single from his new album ‘Singing with Strangers’, ‘Candlelight’ was a departure from his previous tracks. Much more epic, sweeping soundtrack material. We were lucky enough to have a chat with Jack about his new music, which you can listen to here.

Next up are Bradford’s Fling, who released the fantastic ‘Revolution’ in February. A near perfect slice of indie pop.

Vampire Weekend returned with the sublime ‘Harmony Hall’. Taken from their ‘Father of the Bride’ album, which reached the top 3 in the album chart. It’s a great single.

Emotional Oranges might just have the best band name we’ve heard this year and their music is really good too. In March we added ‘Motion’, which is just superb. Funky, smooth, superb production.

Next, we head to Tennessee for the amazing Amber Mark. Her track ‘Mixer’ is brilliant. This should have been a huge hit.

We’ve been big fans of Jordan Rakei for quite some time, and he really didn’t disappoint when he returned with a new album this year. ‘Say Something’ is about as perfect as you can get.

Some people say that guitar music is dead, it isn’t. Well, they just aren’t looking in the right place! This year has seen the likes of Sam Fender getting plaudits & awards and rightly so. One to keep an eye on are the brilliant Sea Girls. They produce sing along anthems like ‘Damage Done’.

Guendoline Rome Viray Gomez, better known by his stage name No Rome, is a London-based Filipino musician, and he is signed to the same label as The 1975. He’s produced some great singles this like ‘Pink’ which we added in May.

June saw the release of the great new single ‘Let Go’ from Skinny Living. They were one of the bands asked to support Kaiser Chiefs at their Elland Road gig in the summer.

Another artist we have been fans of for a while is the brilliant Kara Marni. She’s being tipped for a big breakthrough next year and we playlisted her single ‘Opposite’ in July.

Haim have been producing great music for a few years. With each album, they change things up while still retaining that Haim sound. August saw them return with ‘Summer Girl’ taken from their third album which is due in 2020.

Michael Kiawanka won the BBC Sound of 2012 and now, 7 years later might have produced one of the best albums of the year with his third release ‘Kiawanka’.

Inhaler’s frontman Elijah Hewson is Bono’s son. Is it an advantage to have a famous parent when you are trying to make it in the music business? On the evidence so far, it’s not doing them any harm.

London four piece The Big Moon also returned this year ahead of their second album ‘Walking Like We Do’ coming out in January 2020. Lead single ‘Your Light’ is a great single.

It can’t be long before the amazing Grace Carter gets the hit single she deserves. She continues to release new tracks on a regular basis and ‘Fired Up’ was added to our playlists in October.

DMA’s are a trio from Australia. We’ve been supporting their music since 2016 and they just get better and better. Their new album is out in April 2020 and are being tipped for a big breakthrough next year.

We’ve already talked about our final two songs on our previous music blogs. Joy Crookes is just brilliant and released one of the best songs of the year with Early.

Joy was on the Brits Rising Star award nomination list alongside beabadoobee and the eventual winner Celeste. 2020 looks like it’s going to be a good year for Celeste. We added the superb ‘Strange’ to our playlists and we very much doubt it will be the last song of hers that we add!

We look forward to seeing what 2020 brings!

in store

How Can You Boost In Store Experience Through Audio?

By | Audio Production, In store radio, Radio Advertising | No Comments

Music is the perfect way to create an atmosphere in store and put customers and colleagues in certain moods leading to many benefits. But there’s so much more you can do with your in store radio service.

By talking to your captive audience through in-store radio, you have a powerful marketing and information platform that can support with up-selling of products, training on new lines or mirroring external media. All of which ensure a continuation of the customer journey.

Check out just a few of the ways you could do this through your in store radio…

in store radio

Presenters

Radio presenters have the ability to raise the mood of both customers and colleagues. They know their audience and can relate to the listeners by keeping them up to date about the latest products and services. They’re not just a voice in the sky, they’re your advisor, source of inspiration and are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. By building a trusted bond, the confidence of the customer’s purchase increases as well as their connection to the brand. Whether live or pre-recorded, content is fresh, reactive and current, providing a varied and creative service to increase engagement.

Messaging

KVH Studios have vast experience of scripting and producing effective and engaging messaging to promote products/services to drive sales and increase dwell time. All content is created in-house from our purpose-built studios ensuring your brief is executed efficiently and effectively. Our team are experts in aligning your messaging to your existing marketing efforts, helping clients boost sales by more than 300%. Plus, with our program reporting and media centre support, clients have been successful in generating revenue on their services.

Colleague Interaction

Business updates/colleague shows out of hours or competitions/quizzes/requests during customer hours encourage colleagues to engage directly with the service through social media or emailing/texting any specific messages. This can have a significant impact on their working day, providing them with a sense of involvement. This motivation increases positivity, which spills over into their interactions with customers.

Wider communications

Mirroring content, music and sounds from social media, TV and other channels to ensure a consistent brand voice across all your media – externally and internally. Social media content, campaigns and user interaction can be regularly referenced through your audio content, encouraging customer engagement with your brand and further interaction with social.

Branding

A firm station identity can be created with exciting idents and music beds/sonic logos created specifically for your brand that change throughout the day/seasons. These short bursts showcase your bespoke service and serve to program your service so it changes with time.

Events

Fresh, dynamic content to help promote the key events of each calendar year relevant to your brand, with bespoke scripting, music and sounds. And for those big national events, include coverage on your service bringing the action on site to reduce staff absenteeism and building excitement for customers increasing sales.

To find out more about how KVH Studios can build an in store radio service inclusive of these elements for your brand, give us a call today on 0113 233 7800 or email info@kvhstudios.com

 

 

 

music

BBC Introducing 2019 – Artist of the Year

By | In store radio, Music, Music producer | No Comments

Here at KVH Studios, we curate and program over 70 different music channels. We don’t work on a one size fits all approach. Our clients have different needs. Some want nothing but the biggest hits from across the decades. However, some of our clients are looking for something different, something new. We are always on the lookout for songs and artists that are producing music away from the mainstream. And there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing them cross over into the spotlight, for everyone else to enjoy.

Celeste is the name of an artist you are going to hear a lot more of in 2020. She has just been named as the latest BBC Introducing Artist of the Year. And today, she has also been announced as the winner of the new BRIT’s Rising Star Award for 2020. And rightly so. Celeste follows in the footsteps of Tom Grennan, Izzy Bizu, Jack Garratt and Catfish and the Bottlemen in being awarded the BBC Introducing honour and all of them featured on our playlists before receiving the accolade. The only winner we didn’t play beforehand was Declan McKenna who won the award 2017.

Celeste has been on our radar here at KVH Studios since we received the track ‘Father’s Son’ from her record company back in February. However, it was with the release of the superb ‘Strange in September’ when it became obvious that Celeste had something to make her stand out from the crowd. It was so different from everything else that was around. It’s achingly simple in its approach. No theatrics, no in your face production. Her voice is the star of the show. It doesn’t need anything else.

Celeste says that her debut album will be out in by the end of 2020. We have a feeling that it will be worth the wait!

To find out more about our bespoke music curation for your brand, give our consultants a call today on 0113 233 7800.

In-store radio

WELCOME TO KVH STUDIOS: The Original Factory Shop

By | In store radio, Music, New client | No Comments

KVH Studios are excited to announce we are now providing in-store radio to The Original Factory Shop, across their full estate of stores in the UK.

Since 1969, so celebrating it’s 50th birthday this year, The Original Factory Shop has been sitting at the heart of communities across the UK, offering incredible value, choice and quality, with customers relying on their wide range of high street labels and big brand deals with up to 70% off RRP across fashion, beauty, home and more.

The brand was looking for a new in-store radio supplier with a higher quality and variety of music, creativity around their messaging and a more proactive approach towards the account management and development of their audio service.

KVH Studios were successful in showcasing our ability to meet these requirements, plus more, through demonstrations and a store trial. Following this, we upgraded the delivery at each store to a network solution by providing each site with a KVH Media Player, giving the brand the ability to target content to individual sites, and supported them with self-installation. This ensured no costs were incurred in transitioning suppliers.

KVH Studios provide The Original Factory Shop with customer profiled music and creative messaging including branding, advertising and features in line with their marketing strategy.

We’re thrilled to be working with The Original Factory Shop as an extensive of their marketing team and look forward to supporting them with their objectives through the power of in-store radio.

To find out more about our bespoke music and messaging services including how you can save money on licensing costs with non-copyright music, give one of our creative consultants a call on 0113 233 7800 today.

 

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