Apple Enters Background Music Market With Apple Music for Business

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Got a business? Apple Music wants your business. The No. 2 music streaming service has partnered with PlayNetwork to launch Apple Music for Business, an exactly-as-it-sounds service geared towards providing a fully licensed — and customizable — soundtrack to retail stores, restaurants and other commercial outlets.   

"Each brand has an identity, a voice, and a story they want to tell — and now they can, with music," the companies said in a joint announcement. "Apple Music for Business centers on human curation that requires attention and skill to make it a seamless part of the experience. With this understanding, we’ve taken the expertise of both Apple Music curators and PlayNetwork music supervisors and injected it into this service to ensure you have the sound right in every location."   

With its PlayNetwork push, Apple Music officially joins competitors including Pandora for Business, SiriusXM for Business and the Spotify-backed Soundtrack Your Business in the background music market. There’s also Mood Media, which purchased the pioneering Muzak brand of in-store tunes in 2011.   

Apple Music for Business says it is breaking "new ground" in the music-for-business sector by providing music experts to "develop the music identity of your brand," as well as "business-focused features" allowing for flexible levels of corporate and store-level control for what plays. There is also an integrated marketing program that aims to help brands connect with customers through existing channels, such as websites and social media.

"All partners receive an Apple Music marketing toolkit containing creative assets, digital tools, and brand guidance to help you clearly communicate what music is playing and where to find it," Apple says.  

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple Music has been piloting a version of its business service at various stores, including Harrods and Levi Strauss & Co stores.

Seattle area-based PlayNetwork was founded in 1996 and specializes in custom and channel-centric music for businesses, along with original videos and other services. According to its website, it has accumulated over 450 partner brands in more than 135 countries.