“Why can’t I just use Spotify?” is a question we get asked regularly at Startle. The short answer is; you could, but it's actually illegal.
The long answer? Don’t, as there are plenty of music services out there that are much better for businesses...
Consumer Music Services
Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music are great consumer music services that are designed for personal consumption - we’re all subscribers here at Startle ourselves! But these services are not intended for commercial use and in doing so, you’d be guilty of copyright infringement. In simple terms, this means using an artist’s work without the necessary permissions, and denying them the payments they are entitled to for creating it.
With your background music having a huge influence on how customers perceive your brand - and the evident risk of a nasty fine - it’s best to secure a legal music solution that you can use freely in your business. Furthermore, aside from issues of legality, a music service for a business like a shop, bar, restaurant or hotel needs to do more than just play good music...
Business Music Services
The flexibility and functionality that business music services offer is far more superior. After all, they’ve been designed with a business audience in mind. Because of this, most will offer a host of atmosphere-enhancing features, such as the ability to:
-plan a music schedule for the week ahead, adapting to different days, times, and events.
-assign different levels of control to staff members, so you can manage who has control over what.
-automatically adjust the music volume depending on the busyness of your venue, allowing you to adapt your music to the environment.
While consumer music services like Spotify are undeniably brilliant, they can’t do any of the above. For businesses that take their customer experience seriously, it’s time for an upgrade!
Knowing that using a consumer solution like Spotify is an easy route for many businesses, professional music services have advanced to offer a system with high-quality music that is just as easy to manage. For example, as well as the clever functions listed above, Startle Music customers get over 100 readymade playlists spanning different genres and moods, so there’s plenty of variety. With this available, you can simply choose the playlists you want for various times of day, with minimal effort.
Unlike Spotify, most professional music services come with their own dedicated hardware, meaning that staff aren’t required to use their own devices. With Startle Music, for example, customers are provided with their own Startle Player - a small, reliable piece of kit that updates overnight with new music and improved features. To ensure customers still have the convenience they need, however, Startle’s music solutions can be managed through a smartphone, where users can skip tracks, change the volume and more, on-the-go.
In order to continue providing a great experience for your customers, it’s likely that you’ll want to explore other technologies that can enhance your atmosphere. Setting yourself up with a professional music solution therefore maximises the opportunities to build on your music and integrate this to ensure you can have a high-quality, balanced entertainment offering. For example, Startle Music customers can manage both background music and digital signage schedules from one system, allowing brands to easily align both technologies and manage these with ease.
To sum up, using Spotify (illegally) in a business opens you up to large fines and the risk of being perceived as unethical. It’s a much smarter move to set your business up with a professional, ‘B2B’ music service that not only covers commercial licenses, but offers much more functionality and control. Whether it’s with Startle or another great business music provider, this is a positive step towards creating an entertainment experience that your customers will love.