Read the latest articles in the Mixhits Radio Blog posts. Learn how music improves your business, licensing, technology and artist information.
How Much Musicians Make: It’s Usually Not Enough

Ever since recorded music became the primary way people were exposed to the art, musicians have had a love-hate relationship with recording companies. They love the idea of someone believing in them enough to fund their ability to make music for a living. Then they see how much they’re receiving compared to the record company. And, while there are exceptions (e.g. superstar acts where everyone’s getting rich), that love often turns sour. The record companies directly effect how much musicians make.

Where the Record Company Fits In

Why and how has the relationship between artist and recording company changed over the decades? It requires looking at larger firms that don’t need any particular artist. These are the labels that can treat the vast majority of artists as disposable if they’re not willing to play by the rules. And that means talking about how much artists make directly off their work.

The answer is: not much. Not in the past, and not in the present.

According to RIAA data, a band only receives about 13% of an album’s sales as royalties. From that, over one-quarter goes to the band’s support: personal manager, business manager, lawyer, and producer. This means that for every $1,000 in music sold, the band makes less than $100. If they received a $10,000 advance—which is not much for a four-person band—they’ll need to sell over $100,000 in music to pay it back. That equals around ten thousand albums. Even before the days of heavy streaming, artists needed a hit song to reach ten thousand albums quickly. And it almost certainly took longer than the advance would have lasted.

Thus, in the era stretching from vinyl through cassettes and CDs, artists frequently struggled to make ends meet, even when they were fairly popular. Solo artists fared a little better, with only one person receiving the royalties, but bands were in a tough spot. With the above percentages, the members of a four-person band would make $25 or less for every $1,000 in music sold. Popularity helped with touring income, but for anyone that hadn’t hit it huge, life could easily become a grind. Artists were almost universally at the mercy of recording companies for exposure. Thus, they had little choice but to take the best deal available or give up the dream.

How Online Sales Change the Game

Today, the ease of sharing music online gives some artists the ability to sidestep the recording industry’s abuses. Many have used YouTube to pull in some advertising money and build awareness of their art. Lindsey Stirling, for example, built a following for three years before appearing on America’s Got Talent. However, the goal for most artists is to outgrow a YouTube channel. And, winning broader audiences requires a presence on worldwide streaming platforms like Pandora and Spotify.

Streaming has the benefit of making one’s music more widely available than at any time in history. However, no correlated effect of the artist getting paid through streaming exists. Pharrell’s “Happy” earned him Grammy nominations and numerous opportunities to put his music to work. However, despite the song being streamed over forty-three million times on Pandora, he made a grand total of $2,700 in royalties from the service. Performance rights payments most likely boosted this number to around $25,000. But that is still quite low for such a massive hit. Even Sony/ATV CEO Marty Bandier said it’s a “totally unacceptable situation.”

Money But Not Music

Musicians no longer make money through their art. In fact, a 2012 Rolling Stone article listed “Nine Ways Musicians Actually Make Money Today.” The ways include fashion lines, perfume, investing, and being a talk-show band. The first three have nothing to do with music. Thus, they require that an artist already be so recognized that they can sell non-music-related merchandise off their names. The last seems like great work if you can get it, but there are perhaps a half-dozen talk shows running at any given time. Some of the ideas are good—selling shirts and other band merch and licensing music to various outlets have been mainstays of musician income for decades. Yet, the number of ways even superstar artists can make money that outstrips their music revenue speaks to the difficulty of making a living through music alone.

In short, the recording and distribution industries control music income. Whether by offering paltry percentages of album sales or a barely-existent percentage on streaming, industries dominate musicians’ incomes. Successful exceptions exist; Immortal Technique, for example, remained fully independent for much of his career. He preferred to do shows, burn his own CDs, and sell them himself to maintain the full profit. It was a good idea for him—he could make the same money with one-tenth of the sales. But, even then, he benefited from growing up in Harlem and being both familiar with and immersed in New York City. It’s never been easy to be a professional musician. If the present day has changed anything, it’s simply the number of paths down which an artist can struggle, not the struggle itself.

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By Gary Hanna
5 Small Business Tips For The Restaurant Industry

Running a successful restaurant is tough even in the best of times! So when the competition is getting tight and the economy is getting tough, you need every edge you can to come out on top. Which is why, if you’ve been looking for some ways to endear yourself to your customers, you should keep the following small business tips in mind.

The Best Small Business Tips For the Restaurant Industry:

Tip #1: Be Prompt

Nothing is worse for a business than waiting customers. The longer someone is waiting, the more time they have to second-guess their decision in coming to you, and the more time they have to get annoyed. That’s why you need to be sure you deliver prompt service and ensure that there is a minimum amount of time between arrival and ordering and between ordering and delivery. If you can be reliably fast, then that is going to endear you to a lot of people who will become return customers, according to Chron.

Tip #2: Keep Your Lists Short And Simple

While you can have task lists from floor to ceiling, make sure that when it comes to your menu you have a short, sweet, and punchy collection of options. If you give your customers too many options, they’ll get lost in the sheer variety. That can be frustrating for them, as well as for you, since it will turn ordering into a huge slog. As WordStream points out, you will get much better results with clear, separate categories and an easy-to-peruse list beneath your headings.

Tip #3: Get Your Guests’ Points of View

If you’re going to make changes (or not make changes), then they should be driven by the needs and desires of the people who walk through your doors to buy your food. Your guests’ opinions and experiences are a vein of gold that you need to mine if you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep them happy.

As such, take POS Sector‘s advice and take your customers’ views into account. Ask them what they like, what they don’t like, and keep their perspective front-and-center when it comes to how you run your restaurant.

Tip #4: Remember, You’re A Business, Too

Too often restaurants focus on the day-to-day tasks of cleaning, prepping, and serving, expecting to become successful by virtue of being a well-oiled machine. While that is certainly an important aspect of a successful restaurant, it takes more than that to become a successful business.

As BFS Capital reminds restaurant owners, it’s important to step back and look at things from a business perspective. So, while it’s important to make sure you have the scheduled openers and that your supplies are coming on-time, it’s equally important to track your numbers, examine your marketing, and to ask what changes would increase your popularity among your customer base. Operating a restaurant is necessary, but you also need to grow your business in order to succeed.

Tip #5: Know Your Market

It’s one thing to be a restaurant; it’s another thing to be a targeted restaurant. As Made Man points out, you need to know not just what you’re serving and how you’re serving it, but who you’re serving it to. You need to look at your location, and ask who is around your restaurant? You also need to ask if your targeted audience would have to come to you and if that travel time would be worth it for them.

For example, while you can be a successful, high-priced restaurant while surrounded by poor college students, you’d likely have more success if you offered low-cost deals that those in your immediate vicinity could actually afford.

Mixhits Radio is Here to Help Your Restaurant

At Mixhits Radio, we don’t just have small business tips – we have tons of head-bobbingly catchy, finger-snappingly groovy, foot-tappingly fun playlists, too! It’s no secret that music is an essential part of the dining experience, so contact us today to learn how to get the best music for your restaurant. When mixed with the small business tips from this article, we guarantee you’ll see your customer base start to grow!

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By Gary Hanna
Mixhits Playlist Spotlight on Burn – Get Your Pump On!

Burn is a unique Mixhits playlist that offers a significant amount of content. It includes some of the top hard-hitting hits from yesterday and today in genres such as rock, pop, dance, and remix. When you are looking for music for your gym, fitness classes, or an outdoor boot camp, this is the channel you will want to tune into!

Give People Some Motivation!

No one wants to listen to everybody else’s grunts their entire workout! Instead, they want to hear music. It’s what provides them with the motivation to keep going. Often, people will count out the number of songs that they hear in order to determine how long they are going to work out. Failure to play music may mean people leave a lot earlier than intended – and this can lead to you losing out on business at the same time!

Not all music works for creating a sense of motivation. You want music with a good rhythm that is capable of getting people up and moving. This is why genres of pop and dance have been chosen for Burn. The music is absolutely designed for movement!

Scientists have also determined that listening to your favorite music will also help you to enjoy working out more. “Happy” by Pharell Williams can result in a 28% more enjoyable workout than a workout performed in silence! Just another great reason to use a Mixhits playlist like Burn!

Create a Rhythm With Burn!

When you want people to feel the burn, you have to consider the music that you play. Up-tempo music allows people to move faster. Many people will work out based upon the beat. The faster the beat, the faster someone will run, pedal, or complete repetitions of various fitness-based activities.

Consider the type of music that you want to hear when you work out. If you’re going to hit the gym, you want to be able to burn calories. This means that you need high-energy music. By choosing music with a fast rhythm, you get plenty of energy and you can burn those calories faster. The added bonus, as proved by research at Texas Tech University, is that upbeat tunes help to increase your tolerance for more intense exercise.

If you were to play basic radio, there would always be those songs that slow people down. You don’t want people swaying back and forth to the music – you want them pushing hard!

Enjoy a Variety of Songs and Genres!

It’s also important that you provide a playlist with variety. People don’t want to listen to the same songs over and over and over and over again! Although it may be tempting to play a particular song repeatedly because you get good results, you also aren’t going to do your clients any favors.

One of the top reasons why people leave gyms and various fitness classes is because of failure to change up the music. You don’t want this happening to you, which is why it’s all the more reason to focus on a playlist that is going to change periodically. With Burn, you can get the latest hits that are guaranteed to be brimming with energy. Everyone you train or have working out at your facility will love the music and love the results that they get with the music.

Burn is the Mixhits Playlist for Your Business!

Choosing music shouldn’t be difficult. You know what you like. You also know what you can move to. Now, it’s just a matter of bringing it all together. Finding the right business music station will make all the difference in the world.

In the end, you have to remember that you are responsible for giving people results. Although it’s all based on what people do, you need to provide the motivation and the high level of energy to help them get to where they want to be. Music is a big part of that – which means you need to think about the music service that you choose. Burn is capable of giving you and the people you work with the results.

Discover more about Burn and other playlists by contacting Mixhits Radio LLC today. It will be the best business decision that you make all year!

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By Jason Shiff
How Music and Fast-Food Go Hand In Hand

Music affects us in many ways. It improves our moods, relieves stress, anxiety, and depression, and even reduces the amount of calories we eat!

Background music is essential in any restaurant. Music masks the annoying sound of culinary scraping over plates and the rattling of pots and pans in the kitchen. Additionally, music significantly impacts the customer’s choice in whether or not to enter a restaurant. The music you play in your restaurant could significantly impact your customers’ orders, eating behavior, and satisfaction.

Some of the biggest fast-food chains, including Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s, use music to improve their customers’ experience as well as influence their food consumption. There’s no doubt about it – music and fast-food go hand in hand! If you’re hoping to run a successful fast-food business, it’s essential you know the ins and outs of background music in restaurants.

How Does Music Influence the Fast-Food Experience?

Have you ever sat in a fast-food restaurant and noticed what music is playing? You might have thought that it was just playing for the customers’ enjoyment, but that’s not the whole truth. Whether the music was fast or slow, it was chosen specifically to influence your behavior.

Background Music Affects Eating Speed

So, how exactly does the music impact the fast-food experience? Two researchers, Brian Wansink and Dr. Koert Van Ittersum, wondered just that. They performed a study to understand just how the atmosphere – specifically lighting and music – affected how much customers consumed.

A part of Hardee’s fast-food restaurant in Champaign, Illinois was redesigned to resemble a fine diner. The lights were soft, and smooth jazz music was played. Those who ate with the slow jazz music playing in the background ate less and enjoyed their food more. Slow music is relaxing.  It will make customers eat slowly, and thus, eat less.

Fast-paced music, on the other hand, speeds patrons up. They eat faster and drink more. In fact, a Fairfield University study done in the mid-1980s showed that when fast, loud music is playing, your chewing rate increases by almost a third. Genres such as pop, rock, heavy metal, and rap are all fast-paced, whereas slow genres include jazz, reggae, country, and R&B.

Other Effects of Background Music in Restaurants

Background music also affects table turnover. When listening to slow music, patrons linger longer, occupying the table for more time. In contrast, when listening to fast music, patrons eat faster and leave quicker.

Not only does the pace of the music affect the time your customers spend eating, it also affects the time it takes for employees to prepare the meal. According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, fast-tempo background music lead to faster serving (27 minutes) compared to slow-tempo background music (29 minutes).

Music can even change the customers’ perception of time. As the saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun!” Some songs, specifically jazz and classical music, can help the customer lose track of time. Familiar songs, on the other hand, can make the customer aware of how much time has passed.

 What Music Should You Play in Your Restaurant?

Many brands have audio identities. The music you to use in your restaurant should reflect your brand and brand attributes. Think of what your brand identity is and what mood you want your patrons to feel.  Do you want an upbeat and fun feel in your restaurant? Or a calming and relaxing mood? Music and fast-food can help you establish an identity that consumers won’t soon forget!

Which Restaurants Are Using Music to Their Advantage?

Many of the big fast-food restaurant chains know the power music has on customer behavior, and they yield that power wisely.

For example, Dunkin’ Donuts uses Mixhits Radio to play upbeat, energetic music in their stores. And they aren’t the only ones! Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, Ninety-Nine restaurants, and many more have realized that music and fast-food pair together perfectly, and thus decided to use Mixhits Radio to yield the power of music in their restaurants and boost their customers’ fast-food restaurant experience.

Contact Mixhits Radio With Your Music Needs

Music and fast-food work together greatly to affect how we eat. The music in your restaurant (or the lack of it) has a significant impact on your customers’ experience in your restaurant. Want to play the best music in your restaurant? Check out Mixhits Radio!

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By Gary Hanna
Tips and Tricks for Starting a Fast Food Business

Being a restaurateur is a dream shared by tens of thousands of people across the United States, but those numbers make the dream a difficult one to achieve. If you’re planning on starting a fast food business, your task becomes more difficult still. No matter where you are, the competition in food service requires more than hard work; it demands appropriate and intelligent strategies. Putting in one hundred hours per week at your restaurant will not outweigh the detrimental effect of poor decisions.

What, then, do you need to focus on to make it in this business? At Mixhits Radio we’ve witnessed a number of fast food businesses make it big from the ground up, and so we have some tips and tricks for starting a fast food business!

Pay Attention to the Broadening Market

First, pay attention to the widening ideas about what ‘fast food’ means. For decades, if someone wanted fast food, that meant they were going to McDonald’s or Burger King, perhaps Wendy’s or KFC. Today, with the popularity of sandwich shops that make your food to order within a few minutes, the abundance of sit-down restaurants with takeout entrances, and the proliferation of online ordering apps, the restaurant business has clearly adapted to the desire of customers to have a variety of high-quality options for meals they can pick up and take home to eat.

Your competitors are not only the old fast food standbys, even if they’re the ones your business is modeled on. Any mid-range restaurant that allows its customers to order ahead and pick their food up (which is to say, most of them) exists in a similar market space.

Think About How Much Space You Need

Second, when starting a fast-food business, you must think about what you truly need in terms of restaurant space. Expenses add up quickly in this business, and what seems reasonable with some savings and a small business loan can soon eat up money you would be better-served spending elsewhere.

Your original idea may not have included a true hole-in-the-wall shop, but if that’s the space you can afford while still serving customers in the way you intend, then it’s a space you can use. Likewise, simple furnishings combined with good food and service will keep customers coming back in a way that all the marble counters in the world could never achieve.

Make Your Establishment Stand Out With Ambiance

Finally, pay attention to the ambiance of your establishment. As stated above, if you’re starting out, you may not have your choice of prime locations, which in turn may require you to be creative with how you attract customers. If all you have is four clean walls, some basic tables and chairs, and all the simplest amenities available, then the main aspect of the ambiance you can control is the music.

Figure out who’s likely to come in, given the location. Are you near schools that will result in an unusual percentage of high school or college students? Is it an area filled with young adults finding their way? Professionals most commonly looking for a decent lunch or something to grab on their way home from the office? Put together an idea of your likely customer base, then choose a playlist around the most common demographic(s), while avoiding anything liable to drive away anyone else.

A large number of under-30 customers might warrant a fair amount of hip-hop and R&B. If they range closer to forty, work in more 90s alternative music with some newer rock and a sprinkling of other genres. Likewise, some cities and towns might be more amenable to country, others rock, and others still rap. (If you’re not sure what the best option is, or need assistance navigating laws and regulations regarding music licensing for commercial businesses, companies like MixhitsRadio specialize in helping restaurateurs with these issues.)

Once you have good music set up, you can build your restaurant’s theme around it. This doesn’t have to be complicated; some classic posters of artists that make their way through the sound system can be enough to give your establishment a true sense of identity. Other memorabilia can help cement the restaurant in people’s minds, but unless you have something suitable on hand, don’t worry about such things at first. Good food and good music will be enough to start.

Get Help Starting a Fast Food Business From Mixhits Radio

Some of the worlds biggest names trust Mixhits Radio including Dunkin’ Donuts, Ninety-Nine Restaurants, Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, Burger King and more. If you’re starting a fast food business and want a leg up on the competition, then it’s clear utilizing the expertise of Mixhits Radio is the way to go. Please contact us today to learn how you can get started!

Our music programmers each have over 25 years experience in both radio and background music programming. Their passion for music, technology, and entertainment is unsurpassed. Are you listening?

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By Gary Hanna
Choosing the Right Business Music: Not Just an Exercise in Disaster Avoidance

The Emotional Power of Music

Music has a particular power to enhance life experiences. There’s a reason you love a driving beat as the soundtrack to your workout, or always play classic jazz in the background at a dinner party. Well-chosen music complements the context in which it’s played, stimulating the appropriate emotions for the moment. Those emotions can be strong and hard to shake, precisely because we involuntarily associate certain genres or styles of music with a setting and range of expectations. By way of example, consider this YouTube clip demonstrating how your understanding of a single movie scene changes completely depending upon its background score.

Music also influences actions that flow from the emotions it generates. You’d swear that workout mix actually makes you feel more energetic and that the jazz compilation really does mellow out your dinner guests. Which is why when a music choice doesn’t fit the context, the results can be unsettling at best, and ruinous at worst. If you swap your workout and dinner party soundtracks with each other, it’s likely neither will feel quite right. But, if instead, you drown out your guests by blaring death metal through dinner, people will get upset, they’ll leave, and you might even lose friends.

What Happens When You Don’t Choose The Right Business Music?

As a business owner, the music you choose for your business setting is no less influential or important. For one thing, the wrong music choice can be costly and embarrassing. In 2013, for example, McDonald’s made unwanted headlines in one of the United Kingdom’s biggest newspapers when it was forced to apologize publicly for playing explicit rap music at one of its restaurants. The incident was the result of an innocent error. One of the crew members at the store had connected his personal music device to the store’s music system after closing time the night before, and it was still connected the next morning when the store opened. But that explanation did not spare McDonald’s the bad press and distraction.

Less-than-innocent song selections can also wreak havoc. In 2016, the Chicago Cubs faced an ugly public relations mess when someone in their music department played star pitcher Aroldis Chapman off the field at the end of an inning to the sounds of “Smack My Bitch Up” by The Prodigy. The song was not just obviously inappropriate for the family-friendly confines of Wrigley Field, it was made all the more so by the fact that Chapman had served a thirty-day suspension earlier in the season for domestic violence allegations.

The cases of McDonald’s and the Cubs illustrate the lesson that it is critical to calibrate music choices to connect with the market segment your business serves. Of course, it seems self-evident that while explicit rap and electronic dance music have their place in popular culture, they’re not the right choice for establishments that position themselves as family-oriented operations. But, selecting music for your business is not just about preventing highly embarrassing errors and mischief!

Maximize the Potential of Business Music

To maximize the potential of business music, avoiding embarrassment is just the tip of the iceberg. Think back to the YouTube clip linked above. None of the musical selections plugged into the scene seem wholly inappropriate. But, each conveys a different message about the actions we’re watching. The original score communicated a sense of adventure and excitement, perfect for appealing to the PG-13 demographic at the core of the movie’s audience. Other scores, in contrast, could have appealed to an older audience, or an audience skewed to a certain gender or taste, and so on.

To get the most out of your music selections, as a business owner you must consider the nature of your core demographic, and then explore how your music choices speak to that segment. Does your business music attract and hold the customers you most want to reach? Does it set a mood conducive to driving sales or customer engagement? Does it inspire particular behavior or emotions? Only when your music choices are driven by and line up with these business-driven insights can you be sure that the songs or other content you have playing on the sound system is serving your business purposes.

Contact Mixhits Radio For Your Business Music Needs!

At Mixhits Radio, we specialize in helping business leaders select a curated playlist of music and other content to target their specific customer profiles. To learn more about how we can help you not just avoid the embarrassment of playing the wrong music, but also to use just the right music to fine-tune how your business connects with its market, contact us today.

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By Gary Hanna
Music in Restaurants: Licensing Laws & Everything You Need to Know

Let’s face the facts: music in restaurants makes the entire atmosphere and dining experience much more enjoyable! Silenced rooms leave awkward moments and turn private conversations public very quickly. If you aren’t offering music to your restaurant guests you could be negatively affecting your business. It’s really no secret – background music is essential to business.

Thanks to new technology and online streaming, it’s now easier than ever before to access all kinds of music. However, the way artists sell their music is also entirely different today than it was twenty years ago, so it’s important to understand all of the licensing laws and regulations. The restaurant industry is an easy target for copyright infringement claims, so before you hit play in your restaurant, make sure you’re fully protected.

We’ll walk you through all the licensing laws, fees, and common questions you may have about playing music in restaurants.

Music Licensing & Performance Rights Organizations

Music is such a huge part of our everyday lives that we typically think of it as being “free” entertainment. It’s actually not free, however;  it’s a commodity that’s protected by copyright law.

Performance Rights Organizations (PRO’s) are used to control public performance licenses. A “public performance” is one that happens in a public space where people gather, or it can be a transmission to the public such as TV or radio. The PRO’s role is to represent songwriters and negotiate licenses to restaurants, shopping centers, stores, bars, music venues, radio stations, and TV. PRO’s are also in charge of monitoring the spaces and making sure the organizations are following the correct rules and regulations in place.


There are four main Performance Rights Organizations in the United States that represent millions of artists and musical pieces. These are the “go-between” companies for artists and the businesses that play their music in public places. As a restaurant owner, you pay the PRO’s, and the money gets passed onto the artists for use of their work.

  • ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers)
  • SESAC (Society of European Stage Authors and Composers)
  • BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.)
  • GMR (Global Music Rights)

So what’s the bottom line? If you want to play music from an artist who’s a part of one of these Performance Rights Organizations in your restaurant, you need to obtain a license from them before doing so. 

Paying the Licensing Laws Fees: Penalties & How To

What Happens if I Don’t Pay?

It’s a slippery slope if you choose to not pay the licensing laws fees for your restaurant. Artists work hard to produce music, and by paying the fees you’re supporting them and allowing them to create new music. Since there are so many businesses in the U.S., some will slip through the cracks and not get caught. However, it’s a daily gamble that could cost you a ton of money in the long run.

If you’re still considering not paying, consider this as well: you could face federal penalties ranging from $750 to $150,000 if you get caught playing unauthorized music. It’s much smarter to play it safe and pay your monthly or yearly fees regularly.

How Do I Pay?

There are two main options for paying your licensing fees, so you’ll need to decide which works best for you restaurant’s needs.

1. Pay the PRO’s Directly

Choose to pay the ASCAP, BMI, SESAC or GMR directly. Each website has a list of covered music artists on their sites allowing you to play whichever artists they represent. One of the biggest downfalls to this is that you can only play approved artists from that specific company. Another option is to pay a “blanketed” licensing fee to all 4 companies, which can be pricey but would cover you from any and all types of copyright infringement.

2. Pay a Licensed Music Solution

The way this works is that you pay a music solution company a monthly or yearly fee, they provide approved music, and you can rest assured knowing that anything you play in your restaurant is completely legal and follows all licensing laws for music in restaurants. These companies provide a streaming device or system for 100% approved music. They can also tailor it to the music tastes you would like in your restaurant. It takes the guesswork and stresses off of you! These services also tend to be cheaper than going through the PRO’s, with typical prices ranging from $25-50 a month.

Common Questions About Music in Restaurants

Can I Just Use My Own (Pandora, etc.) Account?

No! The terms clearly state you must set up a specific business or legal account if you wish to play music in your restaurant. Pulling out your phone absolutely won’t cut it.

What About Live Music?

If the performers are playing their own original songs, you don’t have to pay. However, you will have to pay for any live music that’s performed that has been written by other songwriters. You’ll need the appropriate PRO’s licenses to cover your restaurant. You’ll also need certain permits depending on where your restaurant is located.

Can I Use My Own iPod using Music I’ve Paid For?

No! Under the copyright act, the mom and pop exemption (also known as the Sonny Bono Law) only applies to broadcast radio and TV in restaurants that are under 3,500 square feet. Other business types are limited to 2,500 square feet to qualify for the exemption.




If you purchase music through your phone or other devices, you’re doing so to listen to it privately. If you play music from your device, it’s considered a public performance and must be licensed.


What About Really Old Music?

If the music is before 1922, you’re absolutely fine. If it’s after this (as most music in restaurants is), it’s best to double check with the PRO’s online database to see if it’s protected by copyright or not.

Can I Negotiate with the Performance Rights Organizations?

Yes…to a certain degree. Just like other licensing laws, the amount you pay is negotiable based on many factors. Your restaurant size, how often you play music, and the number of customers you receive are all factored in. Performance Rights Organizations are willing to work with you if you’re being proactive about getting your license.

Mixhits Radio is the Music Solution Company For Your Restaurant!

Playing music in restaurants is essential to business, and it’s important that you do it right! Overall, one of the smartest things you can do is find a company that will take care of your music for you and not cut any corners. Determine what type of music you want for the atmosphere in your restaurant, and then reach out to a music solution company to find a plan that suits your restaurant, keeps you legal, and boost your customer satisfaction.

If you’re looking for the best music solution company in the business, then you’re looking for Mixhits Radio! Please contact us today to learn more about how we can find the perfect playlist for your restaurant.

Some of the world’s biggest names trust Mixhits Radio including Dunkin’ Donuts, LL Bean, Ferragamo, Ninety-Nine Restaurants, Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, Bad Daddy’s Burgers and more!

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By Gary Hanna
The Hidden Value of Background Music in Business

Background Music in Business – Why is it Important?

If you aren’t taking advantage of focused and targeted background music in business, then you’re missing out on proven benefits of increased revenue and customer retention! Music has been playing in the backgrounds of stores and restaurants for decades now, and typically nobody, including business owners like yourselves, pays much attention to it unless it is done so poorly as to be noticeable. Like everything else in retail, background music and its correct application have become a science. And this science has proven itself in the form of higher average tickets and customer satisfaction – the holy grail for retailers.

Smart retailers approach the customer experience from a holistic point-of-view. Retail has been undergoing severe growth pains over the last several years, and the competition for consumer dollars is more fierce than ever. Nowadays, it’s especially true that the retailer who provides a pleasant experience for their customers will be rewarded. Background music, correctly applied, is one significant component of providing a positive consumer’s experience! Poorly executed music programs, on the other hand, will cause your business to suffer.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we are all subject to subliminal influences when shopping. All the details of your shopping experience are crafted from specialists whose sole mission in life is to increase the amount of money you spend during your trip. Everything from the color palette to lighting to background music has been studied, analyzed, and programmed for maximum positive effect. Different retail stores will have particular setups tailored for the clientele they want to focus on and the product types they are offering. The question for you as a retailer is: “How do I sort through this maze of information and make the most effective choices for my business?”

Using Background Music Purposefully

A 2013 paper published in Frontiers of Psychology explains how previous research categorized the response to music into four psychological categories or dimensions: emotional, social, cognitive and arousal. The most important of these four dimensions for you to focus on are:

  • Emotional – Emotional music calls to the listener to feel something: happiness, sadness, or excitement, for example.
  • Cognitive – Music that has a cognitive function will allow shoppers to feel either removed from the world or more engaged in it.
  • Arousal – Arousal-focused music excites the auditory sense and invites the listener to action.

Selecting background music sends messages to shoppers, and to maximize results, you need to be sending the right messages. You want customers to feel confident and positive about their choices and you want them to be excited to make a purchase and live in the present! When music engages the cognitive, emotional, and arousal functions of your customers, they will feel more positive about their experience in your business.

While no one selection of music will guarantee that all of your customers will have a positive experience in your business, you want to maximize the return on your investment in music and reach the most shoppers possible. Whatever your business is, there is a music selection that will help you influence the majority of your customers.

The Basics of Background Music in Business:

Tempo and Pace

Tempo and pace are the simplest ways to influence your customers. They are fundamental to how your shopper feels while in your store. The scientific consensus is that slower-paced music will help consumers take their time making purchases; they will be more leisurely in their approach, studying more products, enjoying the atmosphere, and spending more money. Conversely, faster-paced background music in business will have shoppers moving quicker and making fewer purchases.

Volume – Less is Sometimes More

Music volume is a tricky topic. Depending on your clientele, the music levels can either attract them and make them enjoy your shop or drive them away. Walking through a mall passing by different shops, you can hear the varying volume levels and realize what type of customer each store’s target may be. The volume from an Abercrombie store is much different from Victoria’s Secrets.

What is the proper volume for your shop? The quick answer is – “It depends.” Selecting the best volume level will take some experimenting, as different people have a varied sensitivity to volume. Studies have shown that some people can be adversely affected by loud music, even triggering a “flight-or-fight” response, which is the last thing any retailer wants!

Genre – Tailored to Your Clientele 


In a smaller business your target market is generally more specific, so tailoring the genre of music is especially critical. You want to attract your target audience and make them feel comfortable shopping in your store because they’re hearing similar music that they would play at home or in the car. There is scientific proof that genre changes perception and buying habits. Playing classical music in a wine store has been shown to increase sales with consumers buying higher priced wines, and playing cartoon music in a candy store also increased sales!

Choosing a music provider that fully understands the benefits of using the appropriate genre for your business is an important decision. A provider with the ability to tailor a music selection for your needs will reap the rewards as compared to an out-of-the-box program. Mixhits Radio programmers have decades of experience and can create a successful and tailored program for any type of business.

Time Perception

Name one thing you never see in a restaurant…Clocks!

Restaurants are successful when they provide a comfortable environment for the diner to enjoy the food, drink, and ambiance. Time spent at the table is often an indicator that shows how comfortable the clients feel. In general, most retail establishments have very few, if any, clocks hanging around. They want the customer to experience the environment leisurely and take their time to make purchases.

Background music in business plays an important role in altering time perception. When people are enjoying the music they are listening to, time spent is less important. They tend to be more relaxed, less hurried and will spend more time in the shop.

Background Music: An Essential Piece of the Puzzle

Having a profitable retail business depends on many interrelated factors, including background music! Music will not, by itself, increase your sales. Paying attention to product selection, placement, marketing, etc. work together with proper music selection to create that holistic experience mentioned earlier.

Background music in business is a vital tool for creating and maintaining a success. Using the right combinations of genre, tempo, and volume will create a pleasing experience for your customers and grow your business. If you’re looking for a music provider to improve the background music for your business, contact Mixhits Radio today!

From Bach to Rock, Mixhits Radio has the right music to create the perfect atmosphere for every type of business!

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By Gary Hanna