We’re all huge users of streaming platforms like Spotify, of course. They’re a great way to listen to music. However, we get a lot of customers come to us and ask “why can’t I just use ‘insert-streaming-service-here’?”. The reason is based around the difference between consumer music services and business music services.
Consumer Music Services
Streaming platforms like Spotify are great consumer music services that are designed for personal consumption. They’re affordable, easy to use, and often highly personalised.
But unfortunately, they’re not intended for commercial use. They don’t cover the licenses for commercial use, or ensure that artists, songwriters, composers, recording labels, music publishers and rights holders are properly paid for music played in a business environment. In simple terms, you’d be guilty of copyright infringement, and denying an artist the payment they’re entitled to by using it without the necessary permissions.
Background music has such an influence on how customers perceive your brand, so it’s only fair that the artists producing the content are paid what they’re supposed to be paid. And it means you can avoid nasty fines by using a secure, legal music solution.
Not only that, Spotify doesn’t have a lot of the tools a business needs for their music to run smoothly like scheduling or curation, which we’ll talk more about.
Business Music Services
So, of course, the most important reason to use a service like Startle and not a personal music streaming platform like Spotify is the legal implications. It means that you’re not breaking any rules and you can avoid any fines.
But 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 to save your staff time on shift picking music
- 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
What about the music?
Of course, the Spotify database is huge. But professional music services offer a system with high-quality music that is just as easy to manage. In fact, you’re even able to import your Spotify playlists to Startle studio if you really love them.
But we have over 100 ready-made 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. And if you’re a curation customer of Startle, you’ll get personalised playlists just for your brand. You wouldn’t get that with a consumer music service.
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.
Keep it professional
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 music service that not only covers commercial licenses, but offers much more functionality and control.