Music that Matches Your Coffee Shop
When we launched our first coffee shop, I knew that music was important, but I had no idea what type of music I should play or what system I should use. I naively hoped it would be as easy as playing a premade Spotify playlist through a speaker. Besides, people usually have headphones on at coffee shops, so does it matter what we play?
Source of Music
It turns out that it matters quite a bit, and that you cannot simply play a Spotify playlist. I learned through our research phase that the law requires commercial establishments to either use music streaming systems that pay royalties to songwriters or to use live radio stations/royalty free music. At our first coffee shop, we did not yet make enough profit to afford the commercial options. Instead, we streamed royalty-free jazz and classical music from Public Domain Radio. It was not our favorite, but it was far better than a radio station full of ads. We realized through this experience the large impact music has in a coffee shop. We knew we wanted to invest in the right system and the right style of music before we opened our second location.
One of our team members researched and tested several well-known commercial music streaming companies. She eventually found a company called Jukeboxy that imports your uniquely made Spotify playlists into the Jukeboxy commercial music system. We purchased their Jukeboxy player and connected it to our sound system. It had the best of both worlds! We could craft playlists exactly to our liking on Spotify (very user friendly) and follow commercial music laws. Jukeboxy is the only company that does this, and they have provided excellent service.
Now one of our most commonly asked questions at our coffee shops is, “where did you find this great playlist?” or “what song is this?” This brings us to the importance of selecting music that matches your coffee shop style and values. Do you want your coffee shop to feel upbeat, fast paced, and trendy? Choose songs that are upbeat and unique. Do you want your coffee shop to feel calm, relaxing, and slower paced? Select slow, calming music. No matter what style you choose, it is wise to choose songs that are cheerful and positive so that it lifts your customers’ spirits and makes your coffee shop a desirable place to be.
Our personal method of building Spotify playlists is one that takes a bit longer, but it is absolutely worth it in the long run. Rather than choosing five or six full length albums, loading them into the playlist, and sending it in to Jukeboxy, we select songs individually from a much larger group of artists that share a similar genre. This brings diversity, character, and longevity to your playlist. When you load a few full-length albums into a playlist, the songs quickly grow old as they sound quite similar. Choosing individual songs from a number of artists keeps your playlists fresh, interesting, and unique!
Pro tip: avoiding songs from the radio sets you apart from your local grocery store playlists.
Lastly, your playlists should be around 15 hours long. If your playlists are less than the length of a shift, your staff will quickly grow tired of the music.
As a Christian company, the majority of our songs are within the Christian genre. We decided to choose unique, lesser known, acoustic type artists because we want our atmosphere to be calm, encouraging, trendy, and an escape from the daily grind. Our music also conveys values and messages consistent with our company, because we believe every aspect of your coffee shop conveys something about your business. Customers notice the little things, and we want to be intentional in all that we do to serve them and in the ways we communicate to them. We encourage you to select music that is consistent with what you want to communicate about your business as well.
If you would like to listen to our playlists, click the links below! If you would like to play them at your business, you can email these Spotify links to Jukeboxy and they will import them into your account.
HOPE Coffee’s Daily Playlists: