Music Industry

Surprise! Canadians Have More Fun When Music Is Involved

SOCAN, Canada’s performing arts collective, has just published a new study on how things seem to go better with music, especially when it comes to eating out.

Restaurants, bars and other establishments are required to pay an annual licensing fee for the privilege of playing music as part of doing business. The fees are reasonable (they’re graduated based on the size of the establishment) and are distributed to songwriters.

SOCAN’s biggest challenge is convincing owners that they need to cough up a little dosh if they want to play music for their customers, hence the need for studies like this. Music is the Food of Fun was published to show how the costs of SOCAN fees are more than recouped by the added enjoyment customers have in places where music is played. Business are encouraged to keep this stuff in mind if they’re grumbling a out paying out SOCAN fees.

Let me quote:

84 per cent of bar, restaurant and retail owners surveyed credit music for helping to create a more positive experience while two-thirds of the Canadian public agreed that music impacts their decision to return to or recommend a restaurant. In fact, more than two-thirds of business owners said that live music attracts more customers, and more than half agreed that live music gives them an edge over their competition.

  • Canadians enjoy their food and beverages more with music – 70 per cent of Canadian diners say that hearing music makes them more likely to stay longer, and half say that live music in a restaurant would make them want to eat and drink more.
  • Silence isn’t golden, it’s awkward – more than a quarter (28%) of Canadians say they would have a negative reaction to being in a restaurant without music and, of those, 43 per cent say they’d be unlikely to return and 20 per cent say they’d feel the need to leave.
  • Live music is in good taste – 75 per cent of Canadians say they enjoy food and drink more when they hear live music they like.
  • Licensed To Play – 34 per cent of Canadians said that if they knew a restaurant was paying its legal and fair license for music, it would influence their decision to go there.
  • The same can be said for grocery and retail stores. More than half of Canadians said they are likely to enjoy their shopping experience more when they hear music in a retail store. About one-third even admit to dancing or singing in grocery store aisles, and 25 per cent said would be likely to inquire about music being played.

Here’s a nice infographic, too.

SOCAN study 2015


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38550 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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