Playing Music From Your iPod to Customers? Stop Now. (1 of 4)

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Music is a key element in creating an enjoyable customer experience, and understanding what’s legally required to play music isn’t the easiest thing to wrap your head around.  In an effort to simplify the requirements for licensing music in a business setting, we’re publishing a series of four blog posts that dive into the topic.

Our goal is to help you understand what it takes to meet the legal music licensing requirements for commercial settings, whether you’re a single location business or a global brand.  We’ll cover the different types of licenses, the difference between a business and consumer license, where the fees go and the consequences of playing unlicensed music.

Here is post 1 of 4 – Enjoy!

Music rights ownership

Whether you’re a store, clinic, or restaurant, it’s important to make sure you have all your bases covered when it comes to music licensing.  In the U.S. there are three main types of music licenses that need to be obtained by businesses: Master Use, Mechanical, and Public Performance.  In order to publicly transmit or perform protected work, it needs to be licensed from the associated rights holder for all three types.

Master Use License – Gives the rights holder the ability to use a specific master recording.

Mechanical License – Permits the licensee to manufacture, reproduce and distribute the music composition in audio-only formats.

Public Performance Rights – Covers the performance or transmission of copyrighted works where there are substantial amounts of people present.  Performance rights must be obtained from the copyright owner in order to “perform”  (read: play) a copyrighted material publicly.

Want to know more?  Download our free comprehensive guide.

Happy 1st Birthday to the Sea-Tac Airport Music Initiative!

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Today marks the Sea-Tac’s one-year anniversary of the City of Music program.   During the first year, the program was awarded “Best Arrivals Experience” by the FTE consisting of a panel of industry experts.  During the initiative’s second year, the number of live musicians playing throughout the terminal will be doubled.

“The expansion of the live music program allows us to connect with even more of the 34 million passengers who travel through Sea-Tac every year,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton. “With the airport providing the first and last impression of Seattle, we have a unique opportunity to showcase our region’s iconic music culture — and support jobs in the local music industry.”

The Sea-Tac Airport Music Initiative includes more than just live music and overhead music in the terminal.  It also features artist-read public announcements, feature videos on terminal and baggage claim monitors, a local music web player available via the airport’s free wifi, and the City of Music App.

We have teamed up with Port of Seattle,The Office of Film + Music, and Seattle Music Commission to showcase the Northwest region’s music culture and enhance the experience of millions of passengers who pass through Sea-Tac Airport each year.

For detailed schedules, locations, a live performance video reel, and to learn how musicians can participate, visit the Sea-Tac Airport Music Initiative page. You can also find sample audio clips of safety and informational announcements from top Northwest artists, plus more information on the program.

When you are at Sea-Tac Airport, travelers can also submit feedback or let the airport know what they are hearing by following @SeaTacAirport on Twitter and using #SEACityofMusic.

SXSW 2014 Recap – Julia’s Journal

Julia Cummings is Director of Music Services at PlayNetwork. She oversees the team of Music Supervisors who design in-store playlists (as well as on-line, video syncs, and beyond). With a background in radio production (KEXP) and Music Supervision herself, Julia has created the soundtracks for iconic fashion brands from Anthropologie to MAC Cosmetics.

SXSW is a sensory assault. A mad maze of music, music, people, music, lines, late-night food truck visits, sketchy bathrooms, drunk meanderers, and spontaneous jams in the middle of 6th street. Surprises. Navigating blocks and kids banging on buckets and the strangest strangers to catch as many shows as possible or just sitting on a dirty curb because your feet are so sore you JUST NEED TO SIT.  Then there is the dancing, the swaying, and the all-out full body listening to live performances- one after the next.

Day 1:

Check-in. Meet Susie Brown, from Lively formerly of PlayNetwork, for dinner.  Then journey off Rainey St. near the food cart court. Kind of a cool night. Cool enough to wish I brought a jacket, but not too cold for a Northwesterner. Very glad I catch moody set of Icelandic electronic (?) singer-songwriter Ásgeir at Blackheart, the understated one-man band, Chet Faker, and the ever, forever suave Aloe Blacc at Clive Bar.  Really felt like all Soul. All night.

Day 2:

I hit Mellow Johnny’s in the afternoon and see the beautiful KEXP people and stunning Dum Dum Girls set that started off sleepy and ended expectedly rollicking.

Panel: “You Got Music, You Got Tech, Now Build Me Products”
http://schedule.sxsw.com/2014/events/event_MP17552

Hit the Hype Hotel party and to catch an amazing set by Painted Palms. If you like their record you must see this band live! Then headed down to the FedEx showcase with the amazing creative team of Angelica and Tamara managing the event with Filter.

Damon Albarn rooftop magic. Indescribably perfect really.  Enough said.

In the deepening hours of the morning Kelis shuts it down, literally, at Clive Bar. Back-up singers and horns in full effect. Party. “Milkshake” mid-set was also a surprise. The sound guy pulls the plug amid a song called “A Capella,” which seemed staged at first as the singers took out their monitors and just kept singing, the horns quieting down… But they really had shut it down because it was getting so late!

Day 3: Lady Gaga keynote. This is when things get weird. Waiting in the cavernous auditorium. Lady Gaga was ethereal, all flour-dreadlocked with garbage bags so sheer she didn’t come out in any of my pictures. I think she is genuine even all wrapped-up in cellophane. At least she is trying to do something: inspiring young people to be inspired. It’s not about selfies, but self-love. After hearing her speak, I think that is a genuine aspiration.

Then it was show time for a panel I was asked to participate in! In-Store Retail Radio: http://schedule.sxsw.com/2014/events/event_MP20506
The discussion centered around the impact of in-store radio on customer’s shopping experiences and how this exposure can lead to fans for emerging artists. Key point: we may be in the B2B world, but artists and labels are our clients as well.

Lucius transformed the sterile convention center into a blissful uprising. Caught the end of Jungle’s set. This song basically stuck in my head for the rest of the week, if not month…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JkDzNOgO3U. Saw  and although her voice was waning, she was still a firecracker steaming up the stage at Clive Bar. British singer Sam Smith (who had a shot to fame as the guest vocalist on Disclosure’s 2012 UK hit “Latch”- noting he was bartending 2 years ago…) sang a heartfelt, short set at St. David’s Historic Sanctuary- always a lovely venue for a final transcendental moment and another opportunity to rest one’s feet and rehydrate after trekking the blocks. Ended the night with a perfectly raucous and insanely fun show by my friends on Bar/None Records The Front Bottoms. Fun to end up in a pit of kids bouncing around, sweating, and singing along.

Day 4:

I catch Belle & Sebastian front man Stuart Murdoch talking about his new film, “God Help The Girl”, a musical he wrote and directed http://www.godhelpthegirl.com/about/

Catch ANTI- band Saintseneca’s lovely Flatstock set. Stopped by the British Embassy Showcase and caught The Crookes then headed back to our FedEx showcase to see the end of Gardens & Villa and check in on the ass-kicking Creative Strategy team of Angelica & Tamara again. After dinner (ahem, one of the best lobster rolls ever!) at Garbo’s food truck and a sunset bat siting, I go back to the British Embassy to catch San Fermin, Temples, and stick around for the surprise that is Fat White Family. All great performances, all around. Closed out the night catching our Director of Music Strategy Sean Horton spin records at the Lively closing night event.

See you next year, you wily town you.

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SXSW Interactive 2014 | Infographic

SXSW Interactive 2014 | Infographic

SXSW Interactive 2014 | Wearables, privacy, security hawks

DSE 2014 | Beyond the “Sign”

Double-Accolade-for-Benetton-Live-Windows-at-the-Las-Vegas-Digital-Signage-Expo

This year the Digital Signage Expo hosted over 4,000 attendees in Las Vegas over three days. PlayNetwork had the privilege to present at the seminar, Beyond the “Sign”: Creating Experience and Enhancing Brands with Digital Media.  During the seminar, the panel discussed how digital signage can deliver an emotional experience that enhances a brand, captures a customer’s attention, while delivering a return on investment in media technology.  Examples highlighting the best ways to use content to achieve business goals, optimize promotions, support customer education and improve selling effectiveness internally.

Visit our DSE site  to download the full presentation, view the Instagram feed and access our resource center.

The Changing Face of Retail – Five Ways Brands Can Keep Up

Retail

For retailers, integrating the latest technology is not a choice, it is a necessity. While technology has presented many challenges for brands, it has also created many opportunities.  From the guardian, here are five ways brands can keep up:

Channel Consistency – A brand’s message can get lost by consumers as they move across touch points; walking into the store, using their smart phone on the bus and then using their PC or tablet at home.  Brands must be structured to ensure consistent delivery.  This requires that brands not only know what their values are, but they also filter them across the organization, so the brand message can be expressed confidently across consumer platforms.

Offer Best-In-Class – With access to so many brands, across so many channels, consumers will quickly disregard anything that doesn’t live up to their expectations.  Brands must create a friction free world for consumer, while adapting internal technologies that will keep up.

Decentralize - Retailers must make consumer’s experience across channels easy and enjoyable, this might require small adjustments outside of high-level brand strategies.  There are so many small interactions outside of a brand’s control that all employees touching customers, from store managers to customer service agents at call centers, need to feel empowered to create the best experience for the consumer.

Co-create – Social media is a two-way conversation that allows consumers to take part in brand activity.   Brands can use this unstructured consumer driven data to drive ad campaign creation or fuel marketing content.  Brands can use social media platforms to show humility and open up to consumers, finding a new path towards brand relevance.

Proximity Mobile Messaging –Brands can use this technology to provide valuable information and offers relevant to consumer’s purchase path.  Consumers will adopt technology that provides information that helps them move seamlessly to their decision point.

Tom Cruise. Robocop. Fight Club. Here’s What They Have In Common.

Minority Report - Robocop - Fight Club

In Minority Report, Tom Cruise is greeted at The Gap by a digital display asking how those tank tops worked out from his last shopping excursion. Robocop’s head mounted display recognized faces and displayed information about the subject in target. Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club flips through Ikea catalogs wondering what kind of dining set defines him as a person, set to a virtual catalogue of his condo.

What do these movies all have in common? Augmented Reality technology. The idea of Augmented Reality (AR) has been around for decades, but not until recently have we seen this futuristic technology being remarkably employed in commerce. AR offers the ability to provide brands content rich, utility based experiences that can entertain, educate, and capture –and even better, retain – customers.

The more time we spend interacting with a brand, the more likely we are to develop a loyalty and affinity for said brand. There’s no room for gimmicks in Augmented Reality anymore – used without content in the proper context, shelf life is low, with a one and done approach. But when used to breathe life into a commerce experience with entertainment, customized suggestions, and interaction opportunities, long lasting, successful AR campaigns bridge the gap between passive and progressive relationships. It’s estimated that in 2014 30% of mobile subscribers will use AR at least once in a week. 864 million smartphones will have AR technology enabled on them.  Revenue is expected to reach $600 billion by 2016. It’s continuing to broaden customer experiences more than ever – so, just how?

Let’s take a look at a recent example of AR being used in retail today and a demo experience PlayNetwork recently created:

Ikea | (Fight Club was on to something!) Turn your home into an Ikea showroom with a scalable view of 90 catalogue products. This clever use of AR brings the Ikea brand right into your home, allowing you to take the time to match up your next furniture purchase perfectly. The Set Up: The Ikea app uses the measurements of the Ikea catalogue in comparison to the surrounding room to scale each furniture item at the appropriate size. Choose from 90 popular pieces to flip, set, and rotate in any space. Think you’ve found the perfect fit? Snap a picture to tide you over until the real deal takes its place.  Ikea showrooms can be overwhelming even for the savviest of shoppers; this AR application solves the problem of finding parking, adds an entertaining element to their shopping process, and allows customers to interact with the brand in a whole new way.


PlayNetwork | Our Product Innovation team created this proof of concept using Father John Misty’s latest album. The Set Up: While browsing the record section at your favorite clothing store, you find you’re able to make the cover artwork “come to life” using your phone; turn the album over to preview the tracks then and there. Continue browsing the rest of the store by double tapping to take the player with you and by the end of track 3, you’ve decided you need this in your collection. Simply tap to add it to your cart and checkout online. This AR experience increases the time customers spend shopping, giving them an interactive excuse to linger as they listen. It also allows the customer to make their purchase decision in-store or after they’ve left.


Interested in using AR to help build your brand? Give us a shout.

Stats Source: phys.org