People might whistle while they work, but they like music while they eat, a survey by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) has revealed about Canadians. Does metal music make them eat faster? Does hip-hop make them masticate to the beat? Does new age make them fall asleep on their plate? Who knows! Those questions were not the focus of this particular study.
The performing rights organization, which represents 130,000 members, invested an undisclosed sum in a Food and Music Study conducted with Leger, The Research Intelligence Group, declaring findings of “Eat, Sing and Be Merry: Music is the Food of Fun.” Well, that’s actually the title of the press release with the sub-title: “Research finds Canadians have an even better time when music sets the tone.”
“The external study was combined with internal market research that our licensing team uses to understand our ‘customers’ better, and was very cost-effective.” Andrew Berthoff, SOCAN’s Chief Communications & Marketing Officer, told Billboard in an email. “The information of course allows us to bring in more royalties for our members while we also strengthen the fact that music has tangible value for business.”
The focus of the study was to determine “the correlation between music and the consumption and purchase of food and beverages at restaurants, bars, hotels and grocery stores.”
The company randomly selected 1,500 Canadians and 270 SOCAN-licensed businesses to participate.
Of the businesses surveyed that are licensed to play music, 63 percent said customers stay longer when music they like is being played; two-thirds of those who have live music said that it attracts more customers. Eighty-four percent said music creates a more positive experience.
So how will this study actually bring in more royalties? It’s rhetorical purpose is clear: make more businesses pay for the music they play.
“The data collected supports the value of music to businesses using it,” says Berthoff. “Not all businesses using music are keen to stay current with legal and ethical and fair licensing, and we work to convince them that that is the right thing to do. Data like this adds to the convincing argument that a relatively small annual license is of value to them, since music is clearly important to their customers. The more licenses paid, the more we can distribute in royalties to our members.”
“We were very happy to see that about a third of Canadians, if they know a restaurant is licensed, or not, would be influenced to go there. That indicates that our Licensed To Play initiative is working.”
According to the oh-so-helpful and cute cartoon infographic, 75 percent of those surveyed enjoy food and drink more when they hear live music; 68 percent agree the atmosphere created by music impacts their decision to return to or recommend a restaurant; 78 percent said music in a restaurant makes them enjoy their food and drink more; 34 percent said if they knew a restaurant was paying its legal and fair license for music, it would influence their decision to go there.
More than one-quarter of respondents said they would have a negative reaction in a restaurant without music and, of those, 43 percent would be unlikely to return and 20 percent feel the need to leave. More than half said they are likely to enjoy their shopping experience more when they hear music in a retail store. And, wait for it, about one-third even admit to dancing or singing in grocery aisles.