What’s on the playlist?
Although there are those who have long been familiar with playlists such as radio disc jockeys, musicians and recording industry practitioners, there are relative newbies who have only come to know about such more recently. Online music enthusiasts are one such example. Those very much into accessing and downloading music from popular apps or sites such as iTunes or YouTube (for MP3) and the like. These are usually music fans of various acts whose songs they compile into playlists for their own personal listening pleasure. Downloaded music playlists are commonly compiled by music fans and stored in their web-accessible devices and media players like PCs, laptops, tablets, MP3 players, iPods and the like. The concept of creating playlists have since then become common among people as digital technologies used in media players made recorded music readily accessible and available to consumers and enthusiasts. This, however, ushered in illegal downloading practices that came into conflict with existing intellectual property rights and copyrights laws worldwide. Such illegal practices continue to happen worldwide despite laws being enforced and serious policing being done by concerned parties like governments, artists, and recording industry workers.
Playlists have become so household word familiar that even business has for years employed its use even in various retail environs such as supermarkets, shopping malls, coffeeshops, and recreational facilities and venues. Lifestyle broadcast service providers pioneered such services at the beginning of the new millennium and made their debut in various recreational hangouts and retail spaces in cities worldwide. The concept of lifestyle broadcast works around the platform of musical playlists being applied to environments to project a certain mood or ambience in a venue. This is a specialized form of online broadcast that certain venues air within their spaces to simulate radio broadcasts. The playlist is composed of songs and pre-recorded deejay spiels that evoke the mood and emotional branding approach of the venue. These can be observed in the following settings like:
- Supermarket piped-in music. Usually made up of commercial jingles of products and commodities on sale at the supermarket’s aisles. Can also contain promotional info and spiels and sometimes-intermittent mood music.
- Elevator music. Made up mostly of low-key, relaxing instrumentals played at low volume. Broadcast can sometimes extend to an establishment’s hallways, lobby and parking areas.
- Coffeeshop chain broadcast. More adventurous in musical content depending upon coffesshop chain location and clientele profile. May feature promotional tie-ups with recording companies featuring new artist output or upcoming live musical events getting branding support from the chain. Broadcast nature resembles simulated radio broadcast complete with disc jockey voiceovers and spiels. Usually changes playlist repertoire on a periodic basis. Content evokes the chain’s branding approach.
- Fashion Boutique ambient. Similar in approach to coffeeshop chain broadcast but with a lesser amount of simulated radio deejay voiceovers or spiels. In some fashion retail spaces, the radio simulation is totally omitted and replaced with intermittent branding and commercial jingle material. Playlist repertoire also changes periodically and likewise evokes the brand’s seasonal fashion mood.
- Shopping mall music. Big shopping malls with more complex piped-in music and paging alert systems usually contain the mall’s various commercial jingles in the playlist. Appropriate music to go with the seasons also gets into the mix along with promotional spiels for upcoming events and ongoing promo offerings.
- Fastfood ambient. Similar in approach to the coffeeshop chain broadcast but with lesser sophistication with regards to musical repertoire featured in the playlist. Always contains in-house promotional material and branding on heavy rotation. No radio broadcast simulation elements like deejay voiceovers or spiels are to be found, however.
Playlists also figure in phone system environments in business establishments via pre-recorded wait call music and promo spiels for audio brand tours to entertain callers on hold. Pre-recorded voices and spiels are commonly encountered in such playlists. VoIP features in mobile applications for certain smartphones also make use of playlists but not in the usually expected musical configuration. iPhones display visual voicemail in RingCentral voicemail number services similar to musical playlists. Users can pinpoint voicemail files from playlists and listen with play, pause, rewind, fast-forward, stop, and volume controls.