STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 30
demographic. Can you give us some ideas?'
That's where we leverage their audience insights
- demographics and psychographics - to
come up with a curation strategy. We then put
it into action and let the user data guide us
on optimization. We can tell right away what
people are loving and what music they are
Without Feed.fm, Solanki says, Charlotte
Russe could never have pulled it off: Licensing,
agreements and other legal issues would have
made the process too complex. But Feed.fm
made it "easy and seamless," she says.
Understanding how all this data works could
eventually parlay into the bricks-and-mortar
environment, Yasuda says - and have a much
greater impact than a store manager or associate
at the register simply playing what they like.
Feed.fm, with services that include music licensing
in addition to mobile web and in-app technology, has
found that three key factors tell the story: engagement,
retention and revenues.
Engagement is measured in a couple of ways, says
Jeff Yasuda, Feed.fm CEO - both average session
time and the number of sessions per day. As for
retention, that's how frequently people come back after
the initial experience. Revenues speak for themselves.
Feed.fm clients such as American Eagle, Charlotte
Russe and Toys "R" Us have run A/B tests with
music and without in their apps and mobile offerings,
"and they have found without question that when
people listen to music in the product, they stay on
longer, they come back more and they buy more
stuff," Yasuda says.
"When we started, people said, 'Ah! This strikes
me as a nice-to-have, but do I really need music on
my app or website?' But after we show them the
data, we become infrastructure. These are annual
Feed.fm starts with a "curated experience,"
developed by its in-house team of music aficionados.
It then moves toward personalization by allowing
users to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down for each
song played, with those in the negative category
not played again. For Charlotte Russe, songs are
presented in several categories such as "GNO" (Girls'
Night Out), "Wanderlust" (inspired by summer
festivals) and "Pool Party" (with dance, R&B and
"Some clients have a very strong point of view
on music and some do not," Yasuda says. "They'll
say, 'You guys are the experts. This is our target
STORES September 2017
For any retailer interested in upping its music
game, there is a central question that must be
addressed: Should the tunes played already be
familiar to the shopper, or should they be unique?
MoodMixes falls decidedly among the latter.
The company provides music in a variety of genres
- and handles rights and permissions - for
retail, restaurant and other spaces. All of it comes
directly from independent musicians, much from
self-released albums; 50 percent of revenues are
paid directly to the musicians themselves, says John
Buckman, founder and CEO.
"You can feel the honesty in the music,"
Buckman says. "It's not canned or formulaic. And
because it's not what you hear on the radio, it's
often more memorable."
MoodMixes is owned and operated by
Magnatune, a company Buckman started in 2003
to help grow the non-major-label music culture;
that company now provides nearly 22,000 songs
from 715 artists to the MoodMixes catalog.
"There seemed to be only two kinds of customers
for music-for-retail when we started," Buckman
says. "Those that just wanted a cheap way to have
any music, and those that had an unlimited budget
to create a terrific brand experience and typically
go to a sound consultancy. We wanted to be in the
middle, with strong music to support the retailer's
goals, but at a reasonable, non-consultant price."
Clearly, there are numerous strategies for building
loyalty and engagement through music. Turning a
deaf ear is no longer an option.
Fiona Soltes, a freelancer based near Nashville, Tenn., loves a
good bargain almost as much as she loves a good story.