Variety is the spice of music

Euan McMorrow

July 3, 2024

I was showing a visitor around our studios last week and discussing what we do to ensure our client's customers and staff hear a variety of music.

We spoke about all the different types of variety we can use to ensure our music channels don't sound like one big continuous stream of "same again".

There are many ways we can create variety in a music stream, including:

  • Variety of genres (if every song blends into one our attention fades quickly)

  • Variety of tempo (a change in tempo makes you notice what's being played)

  • Variety of artists (ie not Adele every 15 minutes!)

  • Variety of era (if everything is too old or too new it can alienate some of the audience)

Usually, the trick with variety is not to lurch from one extreme to the other, which can become jarring, but to shift gears and take the audience on the journey with you.

Which is NOT what happened when I was buying groceries recently.

The overheard speaker system was giving me Supersonic by Oasis, which sounded dated (it's 30 years old!) and quite bombastic in the supermarket setting. The next song bowled me over in terms of variety... Frank Sinatra singing Come Fly With Me. A song my mum would consider ancient and one that has lyrics that were twee in 1958 when it was written.

Both great songs in their own right, but a sign to me that this music was ticking a box of variety while giving me, and the other customers, a music experience that was ragged and disjointed.

Euan McMorrow is the Managing Director of AVC Music. Want to have a chat? Hit contact us at the top of the page.

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