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Playing music in your bar? Here’s what you need to know to create a great experience—and get paid.

Successful establishments don’t just offer good beer, cocktails, and food, they create an atmosphere where customers stay and enjoy. A big part of this experience is music, whether in the background as an atmospheric element to set a tone or as an interactive component that customers can influence and control. If you’re planning to, or already are, playing music in your venue, here are six things you should know when establishing your bar’s vibe.

You can get paid: Yep, that’s right. Depending on what you choose, you can actually get paid for the music played in your venue. Unlike background music services for which you pay a monthly fee, interactive music systems such as digital jukeboxes pay you! Through the ability to get a share of the revenue generated from songs played, you can actually make money from the music system instead of paying for it while also getting the music system at no cost. Think of it as an always-on way to add to your bottom line as customers work their way to the bottom of their glasses.

Let customers join in on the fun: Music not only means a lot to you; it means a lot to your customers. Being able to personalize each guest’s experience and give them what they want is central to how much they enjoy it and the likelihood that they’ll return. Choose an interactive music system or select a digital jukebox that offers the ability for customers to influence or choose what they want to hear. Some systems even have mobile apps that have millions of users who are actively spending money to play the songs they love at bars in the network.

Customize it for your bar: Ideally, customers can play what they love; however, it’s your venue, and ultimately your music. Many business music systems and digital jukeboxes have large catalogs with the ability to customize, filter, and tailor what’s able to be played. So if there’s an artist or song that you just don’t want to hear, it can be removed.

The same can be said for the music system look. Whether your space has wood and exposed beams or low main light with colorful accents, there are enclosures that can seamlessly fit into any aesthetic.

Don’t forget about the bar staff: As much as the experience should embody your brand and be enticing to guests, your staff are the ones making it come alive from open to close. Look for a music system that includes benefits for your staff: free song plays, the ability to post welcome messages for customers, connect with other members of their industry, and even have their own staff picks playlist that customers can listen to. This is typically included with the music system, with no membership fees required.

Outsource the hassle: The last thing you want to do is disrupt your business and put a lot of time into installation, maintenance, or service of your music system. Look for a system that includes installation at little or no cost, or offers easy DIY setup. For maintenance and service of the unit, the best option is to have this included as well to minimize downtime.

Ensure you’re legal: Music licensing is one of the most confusing topics for small business owners. You’re supposed to know the ins and outs of your drinks, your customers and your business — not U.S. copyright law! When you purchase a CD, download a song from iTunes, or stream music from the internet via Apple Music or Spotify, you’re only paying for the rights for personal use, and these do not carry over to commercial settings. To best protect yourself, look for a music system or digital jukebox that is presented as a fully licensed commercial solution. And be careful; violations can be as high as $150,000 per unlicensed song play!

If you choose a music service and system with these aspects in mind, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a destination that customers love. And best of all, you’re able to get licensed, legal music for your bar that fits all of these requirements with no cost to you. Want to know how? Visit us at touchtunes.com/digital-jukebox, fill out a form, and we’ll be in contact.

This article was created in collaboration with the sponsoring company and our sales and marketing team. The editorial team does not contribute.
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