Now Is the Time to Plan Your Holiday Music Playlist

holiday music

We know… we know… it’s only October. Is it really time to talk about the holidays yet?!

The simple answer to that question is yes.

Yes, it is time to start making holidays plans for your business. The two months leading up to the holidays will fly by faster than you think, and planning ahead can significantly reduce the stress that comes with last minute holiday prep -- especially in the retail business.

So, don’t smirk at the thought of setting up a holiday plan just yet. Start planning one piece of the puzzle today by preparing your holiday overhead music.

Do People Actually Like Holiday Music?

Holiday music can have a polarizing effect on people. Most seem to either love it or hate it.

But studies have found that most people don’t dislike the holiday music itself. They dislike the frequency and duration of which it is played.

When exposed to any type of music over an extended period of time, people begin to have a negative opinion of that music. That goes for all kinds of music. So don’t write off holiday music because of what you think you know about how people feel about it.

A Holiday Music Study, conducted by SOCAN with Leger Intelligence GroupOne, reported that  82% of people actually enjoy hearing holiday music while shopping.

When Should I Start Playing Holiday Music?

While more than three-quarters of people enjoy listening to holiday music, that doesn’t mean they want to be overexposed to it either.

Six in ten holiday shoppers like holiday music when it is played in December only.

While it might be time to start planning your holiday music playlist, it is not necessarily time to start playing it in your stores. It’s a popular opinion to wait until at least after Thanksgiving to start playing holiday music.

What Type of Holiday Music Should I Play?

As you prepare your holiday music playlist, you need to think about a few factors that are unique to your business.

Consider the Preferences of Your Target Customer.

Your overhead music should always match the preferences of your target customer.

Having a good idea about the likes and dislikes of your customer will help you first identify if you should be playing holiday music at all. Then, it will help you determine what type of holiday music you should play.

The Holiday Music Study found that age and generation may have something to do with the holiday music preference of shoppers. The study showed that Baby Boomers preferred traditional holiday carols while Generation X and Millennials were more interested in a variety of holiday music that included both new and old songs.

Consider the Products or Services You Sell.

Research shows that during the holiday season, shoppers buy more holiday-related goods when Christmas music is playing in the store.

If you are in the business of selling holiday goods, playing holiday music may help you increase the sales of those products.

Consider the Shopping Experience You Want to Create.

People shop more slowly and spend more time in a store that is playing low-tempo overhead music. When a store is playing up-tempo music, customers tend to go through the store faster while still making the same amount of purchases according to Eric Spangenberg, Ph.D, dean of the College of Business at Washington State University in Pullman.

Consider how you want your customers to move through your store.

Then, cater your song selections that will welcome them to stay longer (low-tempo music) or usher them through the store faster (up-tempo music).

Consider Your Employee’s Experience.

While it might be easy to put all of the focus on the customer when considering your in-store music selection, you also need to think about your employees.

Employee morale can be affected by the songs played in your store and the frequently that those songs are played.

Consider the Length of Your Playlist Loop. 

You want to add enough songs so that your employees won’t be forced to hear the same song played multiple times during their shift.

Repetitive music can decrease employee morale which in turn can reduce customer satisfaction. Whereas varied music can boost employee morale causing them to deliver a better experience to customers.

What Songs Can I Legally Play?

As you put together your holiday music playlist, it is important to know what the legalities are regarding your song selections.

If you create a custom playlist of music, make sure you know what restrictions or legalities may prevent you from using the songs in your store. If you use a music provider such as Pandora, Spotify, etc., contact the provider or review the terms and conditions to ensure that you are allowed to play the service in your store.

Music legalities can be complex and penalties for breaking licensing laws can be expensive, so be sure you aren’t breaking any laws as you put together your in-store playlist. You can alleviate this concern by utilizing a vendor that specializes in overhead music and provides fully licensed music libraries and playlists.  


The holidays will be here before you know it.

Don’t find yourself scrambling on Black Friday to put together a holiday music playlist that will bring the spirit of the season into your store, improve customer spirits, and increase sales.

Contact Spectrio today to see how we can create a custom overhead music plan for your business just in time for the holiday season.
Tags: overhead music

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