My kids and I had the “joy” of a multi-hour car journey up the M6 recently. As is traditional, we had the battle over which music we should be listening to. After having my ears assaulted by their current favourites, my youngest decided to shut dad up by putting on my all-time favourite song.
Well, I was delighted and singing my heart out as we soared past Lancaster services. My kids? A mixture of pain at my vocal abilities and comments about how bad my second favourite song must be if this was my number one.
That’s a perfect illustration of how easy it is to get it so badly wrong when it comes to picking music. If you assume everyone likes the music that you love you’re going to end up pleasing no one. If you don’t take your audience’s tastes into account, it’s going to go amiss.
Have you every walked into somewhere that’s got everything going for it but the music they’re playing makes your toes curl? I’d put money on it being the music one person loves being imposed on everyone else.
It’s my job to make sure that we at AVC Immedia are playing the right music for our partners. How could I have screwed up so badly in the car? What should I have done to make our musical voyage up the M6 a more pleasurable?
Forget the music I love
It wasn’t about playing my favourites; it should have been about playing tracks we all really liked.
Look at the audience
Who are they? What do they want to hear?
Do the research
Look outside your own world and see what’s really going on with people’s tastes
It might be really easy to put on a Spotify playlist, but we can do better than that and make it much more bespoke.
Get the mood right
We were off on an exciting trip. This wasn’t a time for ballads or Billie Eilish style introspection. It was a time for positivity and fun.
We should have worked as a team to find songs that suited us all.
That’s what I do in my day job working on music for retail outlets, the hospitality industry and workplace radio stations. I know how those steps can transform the sound anywhere from being toe-curlingly bad to award-winningly good.
In a nutshell, it’s forgetting the music you love and working extremely hard to get the music that the audience will really, really like.
P.S. My favourite song of all time is Pretty In Pink by the Psychedelic Furs (original version please) and the fact my children have questioned it will have repercussions.
Written by Euan McMorrow, Content Director at AVC Immedia