The Apollo moon landing was spot-on, thanks to music

Familiar tunes were great in the confined shuttle, they might not be great in the confines of your retail space.

Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins couldn’t go without music – their music – for their epic achievement just over 50 years ago. The playlist [1] they selected (and had record industry pal Mickey Kapp compile on cassette, remember those?) had a mix of the emotional – Angel of the Morning performed by Bettye Swann and People performed by Streisand – and the predictable: Sinatra’s Fly Me to the Moon. [If Aussie musician Alex the Astronaut was around in 1969, perhaps they would have picked her tracks.]

Their playlist no doubt was constructed for the purposes of familiarity and relaxation and the same applies to the shoppers ‘touching down’ in your retail outlet. Your playlist can either send them out into the infinity of the shopping centre or keep them exploring your retail ‘world’ – and familiar tunes actually slows down their orbit.

Younger staff and older customers: the great debate

If your junior staff have access to your store’s music device and your customers are middle aged men, this might not always be a bad thing! In one study[2], research subjects were played obscure background music in a clothing store and then easily recognised background tracks in the same store.

“Results show that (those surveyed) liked both familiar and unfamiliar music.” When familiar music was playing, research subjects thought they were in the store longer than they actually were – perhaps they were distracted by singing along in their head to the music they knew? “…(they) actually shopped longer when exposed to unfamiliar music.”

The people at OneMusic Australia are slightly fixated with the subliminal power of music and have, after almost a century in the music industry, have collected hundreds of music research papers covering just about every business sector on the planet. The right, commercially-popular music played for the benefit of customers and staff can support a brand and reputation at the same time as boost the bottom line.

OneMusic Australia is a music licensing body. The online portal allows businesses to obtain a music licence and there is a bespoke Retail and Service Providers licence scheme to cover the entire retail industry. This scheme covers music used in the premises of goods retailers such as a fashion stores, newsagents, convenience stores, home-wares stores or stationers. It also is designed for service businesses such as hair and beauty salons, masseurs and physiotherapists plus retailers who sell goods and services such as a motor dealers or optometrists.

The user-pays offering provides seven options to add to a ‘shopping cart’ of music licence cover. Retailers can opt for cover if they have background music, featured music, music videos, website music, music in their car parks, workplace music or telephone on hold music.

A retail business of less than 51 square metres of ‘customer space’ (not including back rooms) with just a radio or television on need only budget for $85 a year for music licence fees.

OneMusic opened for business on 1 July to replace the previous system where retailers would have to secure one licence with APRA AMCOS and one licence with PPCA.

Retailers can enquire about the level of music cover they need on 1300 162 162 or jump online for a quote

[1] There was music on Apollo 11. Here’s what astronauts listened to for their moon walk. Miami Herald. Cohen, H. (15 July 2019).
[2] The effects of music in a retail setting on real and perceived shopping times. Journal of Business Research, 49(2), 139-147.Yalch, R. F., & Spangenberg, E. R. (2000).



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