Music Sounds Better When Guests Listen to What They Really Want

Woman listening to music on a radio

Some guests get away for the weekend, some are in town on business, and some just come for dinner or to watch the game in a fun environment. Hotel and motel guests run the gamut of why they’re on property, but they all want the same thing: a bit of spoiling to make them feel comfortable while they’re away from home. U.S. lodging establishments know this and that’s why they’re adding music to their list of amenities, whether it’s performed live in the hotel lounge, recorded in the lobby, or playing on TVs in a common area or eatery.

In fact, a recent study conducted by Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) and Leger, The Research Intelligence Group, showed that out of more than 2,200 Americans surveyed, 93 percent said that the right song has the power to change their mood or make their day, and 87 percent consider music to be an important part of their daily routine. Other findings show that 80 percent of customers will stay longer in a bar or restaurant if there is live music, while 70 percent will spend more on food and drinks. As for recorded music, studies show that high volume, fast tempo music can speed up table turnover, while slow tempo tunes can get diners to stay longer. But before businesses take advantage of these benefits, they must first know where the music comes from.

Songwriters and composers all over the globe who have spent years perfecting their craft belong to performing rights organizations that license their music when it’s played publicly by any type of business—whether a restaurant or hotel. U.S. Copyright Law, as well as laws in many countries, recognizes music as the intellectual property of its creators, and anyone playing it in a public setting must first get permission from those creators. In essence, music is the product songwriters and composers offer, just like products sold to businesses by other suppliers. And just like other suppliers, music licensing fees are how these songwriters and composers stay in business and continue to create music.

Because the songwriters who actually created the song are often not the artists who perform it, they count on licensing fees to make a living. In fact, these protective laws were put in place to incentivize music creators to continue to write music for all of us to enjoy and benefit from. And it’s working, because a business’ atmosphere is more appealing to their customers when they play music. Given all the different styles that people listen to, there’s an abundance of music to choose from to help any business, including hotels and motels, find their own niche to market themselves.


So, what’s the key to getting music to work for a hotel? With blanket music licenses that performing rights organizations offer to make the licensing process easier, hotels have the permission needed to play millions of songs and experiment with what attracts guests and keeps them coming back, whether they’re locals, out-of-towners, honeymooners, or business travels. Today’s hotels aren’t looking to be a place for guests to hang their hat for a night or two—they want and need to be as much of a destination as they can to stay in business in competitive markets. Adding music to the mix may be just what guests ordered.


About the Author
Jessica Frost is the executive director of industry relations for Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI).

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