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Grow Your Business Technology

Cue the Muzak: Apple Launches Music Service for Businesses

image for LDProd / Getty Images
LDProd / Getty Images
  • Thanks to a partnership with PlayNetwork, Apple Music for Business uses proprietary tech to let businesses curate licensed music to play in the background.
  • Apple Music's editors will regularly create new playlists in each genre styled to fit different moods. Those playlists will then be used to "develop a solid music strategy."
  • With this new program, Apple joins the ranks of Pandora, SiriusXM and Spotify in the realm of music for businesses.

Few things set the mood in a room like music does. The right tune can get people dancing, smiling and, yes, even shopping. Today, Apple announced a new partnership with PlayNetwork that expands the existing Apple Music service to allow businesses to play fully licensed music in their stores.

Aptly dubbed Apple Music for Business, the new service brings the world's second most popular music streaming service into the public arena of brick-and-mortar retail. The new service has been piloted for weeks at a number of high-profile stores, including Harrods and Levi Strauss & Co., with plans to expand the service soon.

In a joint statement, Apple and PlayNetwork said Apple Music for Business "centers on human curation that requires attention and skill to make it a seamless part of the experience." [Read related article: How to Drive Sales Using Sound]

"Each brand has an identity, a voice, and a story they want to tell – and now they can, with music," the companies said. "With this understanding, we've taken the expertise of both Apple Music curators and PlayNetwork music supervisors and injected it into this service to ensure you have the sound right in every location." 

Apple Music for Business places the company's streaming music platform right next to its competitors in this space, as Pandora, SiriusXM and Spotify all have services for business background music. Thanks to copyright laws, you can't play a normal stream in public, since the license for personal streaming rights is limited to use outside of a commercial setting. Like its competitors' business options, though, Apple Music for Business makes licensing music easier. 

You can expertly craft a mood by playing the right music at the right time. Through Apple Music for Business, the two partnering companies believe their focus on the playlist will set the service apart from its competitors.

Offering "world-class music curation," the companies state that the service's plans of Apple Music editors and experts creating playlists will help "develop the music identity for your brand." To that end, PlayNetwork "music supervisors" will cherry-pick tracks to fit a business's music strategy.

The companies say that the new service will also allow companies to play on their locales, with options to tailor music selections to a specific country or region. Over time, the music selections will also reflect changes in public taste, so if a particular star rises through the charts, their music will likely be playable on the service.

While most of the service is predicated on pre-constructed music playlists, Apple Music for Business allows for some control by management and employees alike.

Through the proprietary Apple Music for Business app, playlists can be adapted at the corporate or store level. You can also schedule playlists for certain times of day, so customers who visit your location at different times of the week won't necessarily hear the same background music. This is also a great way to keep your employees sane during long shifts. [Read related article: Music and Its Effect on Productivity]

The new service comes with specialized marketing tools that allow customers to engage with the music playing in the store. Customers who like a particular song can find out what it is and "take it with them."

If implemented correctly, according to Apple, the new service will let customers interact with their surroundings through established channels like social media.

"All partners receive an Apple Music marketing toolkit containing creative assets, digital tools, and brand guidance to help you clearly communicate what music is playing and where to find it," the companies' statement said.

When the service will become more widely available and how much it will cost has not yet been revealed. Right now, interested business owners can sign up on the service's website to learn more at a later date.

Andrew Martins

I am a former newspaper editor who has transitioned to strictly cover the business world for business.com and Business News Daily. I am a four-time New Jersey Press Award winner and prior to joining my current team, I was the editor of six weekly newspapers that covered multiple counties in the state.

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