The Data Behind Music in Bars and Pubs
Music plays a subtle yet significant impact on people’s lives. It influences everything from moods, brain responses and even physical responses through changes in activities.
The right kind of music can decrease physiological stress indicators and help your customers relax. It can lighten their mood and get them more interested in the products and services you have to offer.
Below, we have provided you with a walk-through guide to help you choose the right music to set the ambiance in your bar. If after reading you are interested in building the content in your business, head to loop.tv/business to get started with Loop's free tools.
What Does Music Do To Bar Patrons?
The type of music you choose can create a sense of social connection and familiarity amongst your patrons, contributing both to successful bar sales and an overall positive customer experience.
One study found that a wine shop could influence the type of wine sold by playing background music. When French music was played, customers were more likely to buy a French wine. In contrast, when the store played German music, patrons were more likely to select a German wine. In this way, music can subtly prime customers for certain decision-making patterns. Music can influence how long your patrons choose to stay, what they buy as they wait, and how much they spend.
Another study showed that music could actually change costumers' perception of time. When exposed to music they regarded music as "familiar," customers tended to report their time in retail spaces as being shorter than the amount of time they had actually spent.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Bar Music
When selecting music, it's important to consider what you want your customers to do. Do you want a vibrant, energetic crowd? Or do you want your environment to feel more mellow?
Creating and maintaining the ideal bar environment will require you to select the best type of music genres and playlists for your bar. Since the energy level in bars often fluctuates, the kind of playlist you played yesterday might not work well for the patrons you have today.
You can use a scheduling tool to match these natural ebbs and flows throughout the day. Loop offers a number of free tools - including scheduling and digital signage - free of charge for clients.
Different Generations And Their Taste In Music
Bars and pubs are open to all adult ages, with pubs accommodating minors in several locations. Sifting through your traffic will enable you to know how to better cater to them with music.
If your bar or pub is often brimming with young adults between 18 and 24, your primary audience is the Gen Z age group. They are usually seniors in college or young professionals just testing out their various career paths. There are currently about 68 million Gen Z in the US.
Hip hop has quickly become Gen Z's genre of choice: YPulse's 2021 music report found than more than 55% of Gen Z respondents said they listened to rap and hip hop. Other genres that have seen a rise in popularity amongst Gen Z are alternative, rock and country. A glance at the Billboard charts or top Spotify lists should give you a good idea of popular songs for this demographic.
Generation Y adults, also fondly known as millennials, are adults between 25 and 40 years old. There are currently about 72.1 million Gen Y adults in the US. While The Ringer has made a compelling argument that young millennials and Gen Zs have similar if not identical tastes and habits, the aforementioned YPulse study did find that pop music and alternative had fallen in popularity in the last few years.
If Gen Y adults make up a large percentage of your bar, you should play a mixture of songs from the 90s, early 2000s and early 2010s - nostalgia can be helpful in setting a mood that is upbeat and familiar.
Your Gen X patrons are between 41 to 56 years old. They make up about 65.2 million people in the U.S. Gen X adults tend to enjoy a variety of older genres like punk, disco, Eurobeat, New Wave, synthpop, rap, and glam rock.
Gen X is often called the MTV Generation, so when catering to their interests select classic music from the 70s-90s to inspire a sense of nostalgia that, in turn, creates a great customer experience.
Tempo & Time of Day
Some studies suggest that taking the tempo and volume of the music you wish to play at different times of the day is a great way to ensure the success of your business.
Tempo is measured in beats per minute (BPM). This means a song of 60 BPM is one beat per second. Tempo can have a profound effect on customer behavior; one study shows that fast music leads to fast drinking.
On the other hand, a study shows that slower tempo music might lead customers to stick around and spend up to 40 percent more on drinks and desserts. Setting a mellow ambiance will help you keep people in your space longer (and can thus result in more revenue).
When you consider the time of day, you might find out your lunch crowd prefers less intrusive and slower sounds when compared to your night crowd. You might also find your Friday crowd likes upbeat and fast-paced music to match their energy.
Regardless, it is essential to note that fast music tends to cause people to buy more drinks, while slower music drives customers to take their time over their drinks. So it is often best to play slow-tempo music during slower parts of the day and switch to a faster tempo as sales pick up.
Loop's music channels display tempo data so you can get a good sense of the general BPM - this is a great way to make sure you've selected the right channel for your customers!
Final Tips And Tricks
To figure out what works best for your bar or pub, we suggest making a playlist to experiment. According to Statista, the most popular genres by market share are hip hop, pop, rock, R&B and latin. Country is also popular: according to a Billboard study, 42 percent of Americans are country music fans. Try playing a list made with all of the above genres and seeing what gets a response.
You can also run polls on social media to ask your fans and customers what type of music they want to hear! Social media can be a powerful tool for gathering information on your customers.
If you are looking to set the mood in your bar or pub, consider signing up for Loop's free service to stream music videos and other short form entertainment (including drone footage, funny fails and more) in your business. There are a number of ways to use Loop's features to help put into practice some of the above principles - you can even use Loop's scheduling tool to set the tempo in your space throughout your day! Start with slower songs during the afternoon to encourage patrons to stay longer, but pick up the tempo during the evening to encourage higher spend.
Head to loop.tv/business to see if you qualify for a free Loop Player.