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Subject:Please don't do this...
Time:11:38 am
According to Private Eye it now costs £1600 in performance rights fees to provide piped music to a 10,000 foot area, e.g. a department store. Marks and Sparks just dropped muzak, presumably for this reason.

It occurs to me that there's probably a lucrative market for anyone who is prepared to write a computer program that will generate random music that isn't subject to performance rights payments for this purpose and for e.g. call waiting. All evidence suggests that quality is VERY low on the agenda of the people who use this stuff, so it doesn't need to be GOOD music.

Is this an unfilled market niche, or are there possible snags - such as Performancee Rights Payments still being charged and going to the programmer?
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beer_good_foamy
Link:(Link)
Time:2016-06-10 11:05 am (UTC)
http://www.fakemusicgenerator.com/
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ffutures
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Time:2016-06-10 01:43 pm (UTC)
Good grief.
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robby
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Time:2016-06-10 01:27 pm (UTC)
It's a clever idea. I know of a discount supermarket that pipes in popular music from the 1950's. I quite like it, but perhaps the cost to them is a factor.
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2016-06-10 01:49 pm (UTC)
In the UK anyone playing recorded music or radio in a public area on a regular basis is supposed to pay into the Performance Right system which theoretically distributes the money to creators. In practice this mostly seems to be a bureaucracy that benefits big record labels and nobody much else. Given how crap most of the supermarket music is, this struck me as a way around it. I think there's a similar situation in the USA.

Trouble is, I think this would end up as payments to the programmers and rewarding banality.
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robby
Link:(Link)
Time:2016-06-10 03:01 pm (UTC)
A quick check seems to indicate a U.S. business can play Sirius radio for just $25/mo

http://www.siriusxm.com/servlet/Satellite?c=SXM_PageDetail_C&childpagename=SXM/SXM_PageDetail_C/OpenContent&cid=1430798553743&pagename=SXM/Wrapper&desktop=yes&desktop=yes
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julesjones
Link:(Link)
Time:2016-06-10 05:41 pm (UTC)
The PRS monopoly has been broken as anti-competitive, and a writer/performer is no longer obliged to sign up to PRS for all income streams. There is at least one outfit which supplies a shops-only feed of music which has been signed up to their royalty collecting system, which is much cheaper than the PRS licence (good for the shops), and gets exposure with some modicum of payment for the artists from shops that would otherwise refuse to pay the PRS licence fee (good for artists looking for such).

[Googles] http://www.soundreef.com/en/blog/1/making-money-from-your-music/music-royalties-in-the-uk-a-quick-guide
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2016-06-11 05:20 am (UTC)
I wasn't aware of that - sounds like Private Eye are just being bitchy about M&S then.
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julesjones
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Time:2016-06-11 07:01 am (UTC)
Whoever wrote the Private Eye squib may not be aware of it. I only know because there's a small independent retailer in the family, and the price rise to £1600 was seen as gouging rather than fair compensation (particularly as having the radio by the till playing Classic FM was primarily for the entertainment of the staff in slow periods). The arrival of a computer by the till was rapidly followed by the arrival of the internet feed from Soundreef or similar.
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d_floorlandmine
Link:(Link)
Time:2016-06-10 03:16 pm (UTC)
There was an article recently about the different responses to piped music among different kinds of shoppers - apparently, while piped music increases sales amongst impulse shoppers (presumably more so if a genre which relates to the shoppers), 'contemplative' shoppers, which are more M&S's clientèle spend less in the face of background music.

So it may well have been a combination of cost-reduction and a hope that sales would pick up ...
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ffutures
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Time:2016-06-11 05:21 am (UTC)
Plausible. I don't actually like piped music myself, I was just curious about ways out of the PRS quasi-monopoly.
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uk_sef
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Time:2016-06-11 01:39 pm (UTC)
In my voluntary role running a dance club, I know there are several components to and options for music performance fees. There's one licence (payable to local council) permitting you to make a public nuisance of yourself or your organisation by playing music at all at a venue! In addition to that, though, there's the one you mean - where the "owners" of the music allegedly get paid for what's played in their absence.

However, that musical content fee also comes in different flavours. Very few people do the proper DJ thing of itemising exactly which tracks got played and paying the individual owners for those (that's the sort of payment required of TV/Radio shows and films). More people opt for paying the generic performance fee which presumes that everyone is going to be listening to the top acts of the day and is supposed to be forwarded accordingly in varying proportions to those acts or their handlers. This is very very wrong in respect of our particular club (where ballroom etc dance tracks are *not* usually top 100 pop / rock / soul or whatever) but it's by far the easiest fee to administrate.

Personally I prefer shops to be silent and not play muzak! I wonder if it's reached the stage where they might do better in both financial and publicity terms by hosting local guest bands.
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