Over the past decade or more, an interesting parallel has emerged within the coffee house trend. From the ubiquitous Starbucks on every corner to your favorite independent neighborhood spot, consumers have become just as addicted to the coffee house experience as they are to the caffeine jolt.

Our fierce loyalty is deeply personal, and that level of advocacy is only achieved by establishing true emotional connections with customers, and coffee house music is a big driver of that emotional pull.

One could argue that coffee house music has become its own genre. “The typical coffee house playlist is often defined by a broad range of demographic appeal to anyone aged 18-60,” says Danny Turner, Global SVP of Creative Programming at Mood Media. “It’s meant to be authentic and warm, and it must be able to create an inspiring and relaxing environment where great minds can come together.”



Unfortunately, many local coffee houses miss the mark. Providing great coffee house music isn’t about filling the air with some smooth jazz or folk that you found on a generic playlist. That is, unless you want to be just another corner java joint.

The truth is that coffee house music transcends genres, because it’s all about using the power of the playlist to create genuinely good vibes that make everyone feel great – from the baristas slinging lattes to grumpy Greg who always orders the small dark roast with no room for cream.

Most importantly, it’s about playing music that sounds and feels like your brand – music that your loyal customers love. Music that has them asking “Who is this singer? What is this song called? Where can I find your playlist? Why is your music always so good?”

If every visit to your business is a golden opportunity to be a bright spot in someone else’s day, then music has the power to help you make the most of it.

Now, here are five ways you can get the most out of your coffee house music:


#1: Make sure you use a fully-licensed solution.

Like it or not, you’ll want to find a solution that’s already fully-licensed for business use. Remember – playing music from your personal playlist or using a consumer streaming app for the tunes in your business is illegal. If a Performing Rights Agent walks into your location and catches you playing unlicensed music, you could be penalized $750-$150,000 in fines for each song you use illegally.

The good news is that performance rights ensure that the artists are fairly compensated for their creative works, and customers tend to appreciate your compliance and support of musicians.

For more information about performance rights and copyright laws, check out our Music Licensing page.


#2: Find a solution with a broad selection of programs.

Keep the tunes as fresh as your light roast and make sure you go with a provider that offers a huge selection of programs and genres that suit the preferences of your unique customers and staff. Remember – it’s all about creating that positive buzz in your business.

On that note, it’s also important that your music is regularly updated on your behalf. If you think your regulars can’t stand stale coffee, then you definitely don’t want to see how they feel about hearing the same exact music program every day for two months.


#3: Use dayparting features.

Different times of day call for different types of music. For example, in the morning the key is to stimulate the senses and while easing your customers into the day ahead. In the afternoon you want to keep them motivated, and in the evening you want create a relaxing ambiance.

Simply put, your music solution needs to be able to support automatic scheduling so that you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to manually change programs throughout the day. Some of the best streaming music services offer the ability to manage your playlists with a few clicks through an online portal.


#4: Interact with your customers through music.

Smartphones are pretty handy gadgets, and while you hate to see a customer use one while they order a drink, smartphones are the gateway to a deeper connection with your customers. The Shazam app is a great way to let your customers engage with your music and interact with their experience.

While we like to avoid plugging information about our services in these articles, it’s worth mentioning that a lot of our local coffee house clients like to use a solution called Shazam in-Store. It allows you to display branded content on your customers’ smartphones when they “Shazam” the music at your location.

And if you really want to take playlist interaction to the next level, check out Social Mix. It actually lets customers view your playlist and vote for the songs they want to hear next. It’s a great way to provide a more branded and interactive experience while leveraging the emotional power of music.


#5: Get your music from a local provider.

We’d be preaching to the choir if we told you about the benefits of supporting your local economy.  Instead, we’ll spare you from what you already know and suggest that you get your music from a company that has local reps in your area. Go with a provider that employs active members of your community. These are the people who will stop by for a cup and make sure that you’re fully satisfied with your music service. Talk about reassurance.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about our music solutions, give us a shout. Our experts will show you just how easy and affordable it is to put the power of great coffee house music to work at your business.

– Submitted by Jeff Sheerin, Marketing