You might not be fully aware of how music is tied to your enjoyment or perception of food, until a heavy metal song blasts out in a fine dining restaurant.
It’s a bit of an extreme example, but music can influence our emotions, behavior and even how we perceive reality.
This brings us to Abraham Tee and David Chai, who had two problems.
First, they felt that many of the retail stores and eateries play inappropriate music. Next, their friends who are independent artists are not earning enough revenue from public performance licenses.
To solve that, in 2016, they established MusixMusix, a digital music streaming service that tracks all the music that is being played.
MusixMusix aims to support the B2B music sector by recommending great pieces of music at affordable prices to businesses. This platform costs RM1/day per premise as opposed to the usual square feet and number of chairs to determine the rates of the music licenses.
Working With Sound Perceptions
MusixMusix recommends songs for each business category, curated by specialists in the art and science of psychoacoustics. Psychoacoustics helps their algorithm determines the type of music that should be played.
Dictionary Time: Psychoacoustics is the study of sound perception, and how sound affects humans physically, emotionally and mentally.
They look into various factors including genre, tempo, beat and rhythm. They use tools such as MOODectector and FEELTRACE to visualise the mood values of music and dissect elements of music, which they apply for commercial use.
For instance, the right music could make customers’ moods better, meaning that they spend more time in the store and are likely to purchase more items.
“It requires constant research and testing to create an accurate psychoacoustic algorithm,” said David Chai.
At the current stage, they are applying the curation done by their content partner from US, which is based upon some of the available research. While applying existing music curations, they are also in the process developing and integrating the formulation locally.
“We are actively exploring the potential of music out there to not only serve as an entertainment medium, but also as an effective marketing tool,” he said. “A broad history of psychoacoustic research had been studied to develop a workable application to achieve this purpose.”
Due to limited data, they are currently looking for funding and cooperation with research institutes to have larger scale of data collection and analysis.
They goal is to refine their psychoacoustic approach to match the local mood with the local market behaviour.
Music As A Business Tool
Chief Marketing Officer of MusixMusix, Addie Anson explained that by playing the right music, it improves the overall businesses’ brand image and garners an increase in their sales.
However, not all businesses have the necessary skills in order to curate music that serves a purpose.
“Most of the retail businesses are not aware of that the type of music played will heavily influence the business of their retail stores,” he said. “Not everyone is a musician and knows how a piece of music can influence the customers’ perception.”
“To them music is more for entertainment but to us, we see music as a business tool.”
The music is all royalty-paid (to the artistes and recording studios). So, retail businesses do not need to pay any additional public performance licenses to any music royalty collection bodies like MRM.
MusixMusix hopes to build a large network of “retail radio” that brands can tap on to reach their audiences. To date, over 200 subscribers are using MusixMusix for their business.
As MusixMusix works with retailers and hypermarkets (such as Econsave and Caring Pharmacies), they also have a built-in advertising platform that can play in-store audio advertising messages for brands that are sold on the premises.
The advantages they list include: top of mind presence, a captive audience, and the encouragement of impulse buying. To sweeten the deal, premise owners also get a revenue share.
Impacting The Industry
Traditionally, the majority of music royalties collected is given to the big players of the recording studios. Without a transparent system in place, this hurts music artistes immensely in terms of revenue in the B2B sector.
MusixMusix provides a transparent B2B platform for both independent, or well-known artiste, and recording studios to earn their revenue.
The challenge for MusixMusix is to educate the market that there is an alternative way to paying for music legally without breaking the bank.
“We have to explain why our music is license-free for them,” Addie added. “We also talk about how we support the indie artistes through our subscription and advertising model as opposed to paying for music licenses per square feet.
Through this platform, these independent artistes generate revenue without the monopoly of the larger recording studios. They are paid based on each song being played and rewarded accordingly per stream.
Recently, MusixMusix has joined in partnership with Astro, allowing them to tap onto their large clientele base.
“This offers us an opportunity to speak with their already existing radio advertisers, brands and media agency—whom Astro already have a relationship with,” Addie said.
“We have been and will continue to go for roadshows with Blaze Digital—Astro’s digital arm who will be championing our business.”
- Learn more about how MusixMusix provides the right music at their official website and Facebook page.
Feature Image Credit: MusixMusix