Trade must keep up to date with technology, suppliers say
ADVANCEMENT in technology means audio visual equipment is ever changing – and bar and club owners must keep pace with developments.
That was the message from suppliers and industry groups last week, who underlined the benefits a high quality audio visual experience can bring to licensed premises.
Roddy Stewart, managing director of sound system supplier RS100, reckons digital media represents the future for audio in bars and clubs.
“The latest innovation in recent years has been music streaming via broadband,” he said.
“Companies such as Spotify and Napster offer the ability to create different playlists for different times of the day. This is effectively achieved by plugging a computer up to your amplifier instead of the traditional CD player.
“It’s really a case of out with the old CD player to be replaced with a media player that will enable you to play music in a more modern way, and save on buying CDs.”
Toby Hoyte of digital jukebox supplier Soundnet echoed the importance of moving from hard copy formats, like CD players, to a purely digital format.
“There really is no need to rely on background music or an old CD jukebox for entertainment,” he said.
“Modern digital jukeboxes can be easily set to filter out inappropriate music at certain times of day, such as hard rock at lunchtime.
“Also the cost of entry-level digital jukeboxes and music packages is now so low that we are finding sites that have held on to their CD jukeboxes are finally seeing the value in changing over and benefitting from automatic music updates with the latest tracks, profiled to their venues.”
The move to online streaming allows venues to keep their music collection up to date with minimal effort, according to Hoyte.
“Soundnet has calculated that over 80% of the plays on its jukeboxes are from new and chart music,” he added.
Laura Ferguson, of music licensing body PPL, said music can play an important role in venues.
“In addition to providing a key point of difference for licensed premises, our research has shown that music can also contribute to a business’s overall success, boosting profits and increasing staff morale,” she said.
“This is particularly true for those operating in the licensed and hospitality trade, with 73% of bars and pubs questioned agreeing that playing music increased sales.”
Having an online catalogue at their disposal means operators can tailor playlists to suit the venue and occasion, but Stewart said licensees can still fall short by neglecting hardware.
“Most owners make the mistake of sorting the sound system for their bar or restaurant last thing, especially during a refurb,” he added.
“What they forget is that it’s not something people really see, but they definitely hear it. Too quiet, customers can’t hear it; not enough speakers, then you have loud spots and quiet spots.”
Getting the audio set-up right can improve more than just customer experience. PPL research suggests that playing music in licensed premises can improve the working environment for staff.
“It is not just customers that benefit; playing music can also help increase staff productivity and drive, with 81% of respondents reporting that playing music in the workplace increases staff morale,” added Ferguson.
Images – Operators now have a range of options when it comes to choosing audio equipment, say suppliers.