• Touch: A Solutions-Driven Experience Design Firm

    touch_twitter_icon

    By now you should already know that Muzak has moved out of the elevator and into the world of sensory branding.  What you might not know is that Touch, a Muzak company, is the vehicle that’s been delivering these strategic sensory solutions to our clients. Touch is neither a product nor a service.  It’s a concept.  But rather than me trying to craft my own words to describe Touch, let’s grab the official script as written by Touch founder and EVP, Bob Finigan:

    “Touch is a solutions-driven experience design firm that specializes in audio and sensory branding that activates a brand’s experience in-store, online, in advertising and through all consumer touch-points. Through the strategic application of custom music, voice, video and scent, Touch amplifies every experience consumers have with a brand – no matter where they encounter it.”

    This concept has now become a reality.  Just 18 months after its launch at Global Shop in 2010, Touch has really caught on with Muzak clients, including Sports Authority, Texas Roadhouse, Lowes Foods, Cost Plus World Market, The North Face, Luxxotica, The Wit, JoAnne Fabrics, Qdoba Mexican Grill, 4G Wireless, John Varvatos, Aéropostale, Logan’s Roadhouse, AT&T and many others.

    It’s easy to see why Touch has been identified as one of the primary growth vehicles for Muzak (a part of Mood Media Corporation) and Mood Media North America.

    To find out more about TOUCH, visit http://experienceTouch.com

  • Fitting for the 4th

    American FlagBy 1940, with World War II looming overseas, Muzak owner and US Senator Bill Benton knew that the inclusion of patriotic recordings into programs for factories and businesses would raise morale and boost the energy of employees.  Executive Producer Ben Selvin solicited the help of renowned band conductor, Edwin Franko Goldman, and booked several sessions in the early ‘40s.

    The Goldman Band, also known as the American Bandmasters Association, consisted of over 35 musicians, including a large brass section with several tubas. Where would a marching band be without lots of tubas?

    On July 17, 1941 the Goldman Band crowded into the Muzak studio in Manhattan and recorded 12 patriotic marches that became some of the foundation of Muzak programs throughout the war years.

    I thought it would be fitting to share one of those recordings with you during this Independence Day holiday time.  Happy birthday, America!

    Contributed by Bruce McKagan, Muzak Archives Director

  • News Flash

    www.muzak.com

    www.muzak.com

    OK, so the literal definition of a blog is “a web site on which an individual or group of users record opinions, information, etc. on a regular basis.”  We know, however, that many of you are coming to the Muzak blog hoping to catch up on all the news following the recent purchase of Muzak by Mood Media.  For those looking for your daily dose of press releases and news articles about Muzak and Mood Media (and there are lots these days), we invite you to visit www.muzak.com (under About Us/Media Relations) where you’ll get all the latest news as it hits the wire.

    And remember that we’ll be right here with new and engaging commentary, observations and stories every day about our people, culture, music, history and future… You know, just what a blog is supposed to do.  Together with muzak.com you’ll get the complete Muzak story.

    Contributed by Bruce McKagan, Company Communications, Heart & Soul Foundation

  • Keep It Simple

    ds blood drive imageYou love your customers.  You want to keep them informed about your business and how you can help them.  You have a lot to say.  It’s tempting to pack as much information as possible on one screen.  Don’t try to do too much.  You don’t have time, and your audience shouldn’t have to make an effort to figure it out.  A nice, LARGE image or graphic and a simple call to action will get your message across and drive results for your digital signage.

    For more information on how digital signage can help your business visit our DS page on www.muzak.com.

    Contributed by Joe Hall, Muzak Product Line Manager

  • The Face of the Muzak Home Office

    Teria Hefney

    Teria

    If you’ve ever visited the Muzak Home Office in Fort Mill, SC, you might have been struck by the architecture of the building, the music playing everywhere, the display of technology, the archive museum, or the vastness of the facility.  It’s an impressive place that showcases our business of music and media in a very unique way.

    But there’s one thing that catches everyone’s attention each and every time they visit.   Her name is Teria.  Some companies might call her a receptionist, but to Muzak she represents much, much more.  She is the personality of Muzak.  She is what people remember most about this place.  We have many opportunities to impress visitors: entertaining City Center events, tours, guitar signings, an awesome new video wall and the list goes on.  But Teria trumps them all.  She just has the uncanny talent to connect with everyone she meets: the smile, the conversation, the laugh, the warmth.  That still doesn’t capture everything she brings.  She is simply wonderful!

    So, if the award winning facility or the intrigue about this historic company doesn’t bring you into our Home Office, then we think you should consider coming just to meet Teria.  She’ll have you at “hello.”

    Contributed by Bruce McKagan, Company Communications, Heart & Soul Foundation

  • Gucci & Mood Media Partnership Expands

    gucciDid you catch the news last week that Mood Media CEO Lorne Abony was the keynote speaker at the Luxury Summit in China?  Estimates suggest China will be the largest luxury retail market in the world within the next five to ten years with brands like Gucci, a Mood Media client, increasingly turning to in-store media and retail experience design as they build their brands in China.

    Mr. Abony’s keynote presentation comes as Mood Media is rapidly expanding its own presence in China. The company is committed to operating directly in China and taking a leadership role in the domestic industry. “No one is better than Mood Media at extending a retail brand with in-store media, which is why the world’s leading fashion brands choose to work with us,” said Mr. Abony. “Our partnership with Gucci is another example of our tremendous momentum in China.”   Go to www.muzak.com media relations to read the entire story.

    Gucci has also recently teamed up with The Recording Academy to help digitize the historic music archive of Muzak (a part of Mood Media Corporation). This team has begun to unearth some of the roots of jazz, from the likes of Fats Waller and the Dorsey Brothers. Thousands of Muzak master recordings dating back to 1934 haven’t been heard in over 50 years and have never been released to the public.

    “Music, much like film, is such a vibrant part of today’s culture and it also frequently provides inspiration for my work as a designer,” said Frida Giannini, Gucci’s Creative Director. “As a fashion house with a rich history built over nearly 90 years, Gucci is proud to be at the forefront of initiatives like this that support the preservation of the arts. It’s an honor to partner with The Recording Academy, which is not only considered to be one of the world’s leading music authorities, but also a guardian of some of the greatest musical milestones.”

    Working with such a distinguished partner as Gucci, who understands the significance of the Muzak archives, is extremely exciting.  This is another important building block in the Mood Media/Gucci business relationship.

    Contributed by Bruce McKagan, Company Communications, Heart & Soul Foundation

  • Glimpse into Our Future

    Video Wall Reveal

    Video Wall Reveal

    At 11:25AM on Thursday June 9th, Muzak’s Home Office in Fort Mill revealed a glimpse into their future.  Ever since the company’s purchase by Mood Media in early May, the new Mood Media/Muzak team has been hard at work integrating the best of both worlds. The digital signage opportunities within the industry were a top focus.  Experiencing significant success with visual media in over 25 countries across Europe and Asia, Mood Media representatives from France, London, Ireland and Belgium came to Muzak for 3 days to share their secret digital signage sauce.

    Then came the moment… Gathering all 500 employees into what Muzak calls their City Center, Mood Media unveiled a huge new video wall, as hundreds more from across the world looked on via the company’s private network.   A magnificent video played, showcasing the power of video for business and the expertise of Mood Media’s London content team.  Three minutes of hair-raising visuals and audio brought the house down.  The cheers reverberated throughout the building as employees realized they had just experienced their future.

    But seeing is believing.  To see and hear what over 1000 Mood Media/Muzak employees experienced that day just watch.

  • Muzak Evolution in the ‘40s

    Associated Program Services Record

    Associated Program Services Transcription

    In the early ‘40s Muzak’s business model began to evolve.  One of owner Bill Benton’s visions was for the company to diversify.   With licensing changes and leverage applied by radio lobbyists, by 1940 Muzak was no longer allowed to broadcast via telephone lines directly to homes.  But many radio stations were envious of the large transcription music library Muzak had amassed.  Muzak seized on the opportunity by marketing their rich library and providing a music service to hundreds of radio stations across the country.  The product was called Associated Program Service, distributing new 16” record compilations to radio stations on a weekly basis.

    Because of the demand for this service, and the requests by radio stations for various styles of music, Muzak executive producer Ben Selvin broadened his sessions to include not only jazz, bluegrass, gospel and big band, but now opera, musicals, Latin, Hawaiian and hundreds of novelty orchestras.  He also wrote, arranged and recorded hundreds of “production aids,” which were a series of short musical promos, bumpers, station breaks, time intros and instrumental transitional segues, used by stations throughout their locally produced shows.  Radio was a Muzak money maker in the ‘40s and Mr. Selvin made sure he produced the quality, variety and aids to keep it that way.

    However, Bill Benton knew his biggest opportunity was music for business, which had grown steadily since 1934.  His research and marketing approach was starting to produce major results in the early ‘40s.  The Muzak franchise network, the first of its kind in the US, was starting to expand, with new territories popping up all over the country.  Music service via telephone lines along with the design and installation of quality sound systems into businesses was the foundation of Muzak’s business and growth model.  Then WWII took everything to another level for Muzak.

    But, let’s get back for a second to the “production aids” Muzak produced for radio.   Here’s one example of the creativity and ingenuity that Ben Selvin and his team applied to their craft over 70 years ago.  Ya gotta love this stuff!

    Contributed by Bruce McKagan, Muzak Archives Director

  • RED Everywhere!

    HS AdminIf you just happen to visit Muzak’s Home Office in Fort Mill, SC, and that visit just happens to be on a Friday, you’ll see an ocean of RED.  Red T-shirts, golf shirts, hats and balloons everywhere!  It’s not a company promotion.  It’s not a birthday or an anniversary.  To most employees it’s something much more than that.

    The Muzak Heart & Soul Foundation has been a part our company’s culture for over 13 years.  It’s all about giving back to the community, extending the power of music to the lives of today’s youth.  Through music education, a child can better achieve his/her full potential and stimulate personal and educational growth.  One heart-felt program of the Foundation is Music Matters, a grant program focusing on grade K-12 music education programs serving the underprivileged.

    So why the RED on Fridays?  It’s simple.  Our Muzak Heart & Soul Foundation color is red and our staff wanted a day to commemorate the educational programs we have and will support through Music Matters.  Inspired by a group of passionate employees, it’s called Music Matters Fridays.  Building each Friday for weeks, we don’t expect it to end anytime soon.  Hundreds of employees have now joined in, with RED literally seen everywhere.  With each Friday our employees seem to come up with new ways to bring to life the real impact of the Foundation by sharing stories, posting pictures and writing articles about the kids we’ve touched.

    Music Matters Fridays demonstrate the passion that runs deep in our company culture.  Muzak is a company with a commitment to give back by supporting our music community today and in the future.  RED symbolizes the passion of our employees in keeping the Muzak Heart & Soul Foundation heart beating strong… for the sake of the kids.

    For more information about Muzak Heart & Soul Foundation go to: heart.muzak.com

    Contributed by Bruce McKagan, Company Communications, Heart & Soul Foundation

  • Jewel’s “The Merry Goes ‘Round” Release Date Set

    Jewel's Lullaby

    Jewel's Lullaby

    Mood Entertainment announced this week that it will release Jewel’s newest album, “The Merry Goes ‘Round” on August 16, as part of the Fisher-Price Music Series.  This is Jewel’s second children’s album and will be released within months of the birth of her first child, a son.  “Lullaby,” the first album included the single, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” which reached #1 on the Top Children’s Songs chart.

    In her blog, she says of the new release, “I want the album to be fun for kids and adults, whether they have kids or not. I looked at it as a chance to write songs for my baby boy, that he can dance around to when he arrives.”

    Her sweet voice is perfect for children’s songs and still deep enough to appeal to the adults.  The new album includes more up-tempo songs than “Lullaby.”  With rockers playing and producing and styles like Dixieland and bossnova – there should definitely be a fun and unique sound that you won’t want to miss – children at hand or not.