Is Muzak Ever OK?

Is Muzak Ever OKIt seems to be unanimous that everyone hates Muzak, but would you hate Muzak if they were playing music you like? Is this simply a matter of subjectivity and personal choice? Is this simply a case of, you can’t be all things to all people? If everyone hates Muzak, why is it so omnipresent? Are the people who subscribe to Muzak aware of this discontent?

Lots of questions for sure, but one would think that with so much discontent, Muzak would be marginalized to obscurity.

Muzak takes a big risk marketing a product that is inately subjective. The fact they are able to continually market and sell piped music against such backlash is a testament to their tremendous marketing ability. The marketing department of Muzak should be enshrined in some sort of Hall of Fame for marketing.

For years writers have been bashing Muzak, similar to the post on The Telegraph blog.

There is no better accompaniment to a meal than the gentle swell of human conversation. Likewise a spell reading in a café, or browsing in a shop, or on public transport. Yet in almost every enclosed public space these days we are subjected to such aural assaults as the aforementioned Eighties tune. As Stephen Fry put it, “piped water, piped oil, piped gas – but never piped music.” Or as Joanna Lumley said, “I have left shops unable to browse at leisure – and indeed buy anything at all – simply because of the piped music.”

via Piped music is the scourge of modernity – Telegraph Blogs.

The incessant bashing has not slowed down the adoption of Muzak, 250,000 client locations worldwide and growing. Everyone may have a deep dislike of piped music, but evidently Muzak’s clients do not care.

Piped Music vs Automated Voice Attendants

The dislike of piped music is analogous to the dislike of the automated voice attendant. Both, no one likes, but companies adopt them anyway. The adoption of these technologies against public opinion is a phenomenon that really has no logical explanation.

They’re Playing My Song

What if the piped music being played is a style and genre you like? Is it still unacceptable? What about the people around you?

In a public area, it is difficult to please everyone’s musical taste. This makes Muzak’s business model so confounding. A business model that provides music mostly passer byes (whose ratio could change every half hour).

Muzak seems to be successful, but the more escapable answer is why.