When you consider how today’s consumers purchase and listen to their favorite songs and albums, there is no denying that the world of music has been transformed over the last 20 years. Music is now more mobile, flexible and accessible than ever before. Have you ever thought about how that impacts the pro AV industry?
Music is often used to complement digital signage installations, as part of live events and entertainment and as a stand-alone feature in lobbies, waiting areas and other spaces. But is your audio offering up to date with today’s music technology? If not, now is the time to incorporate some of the new innovations to meet your customers’ needs.
Here are three tips for offering AV systems that are in line with consumers’ demand for music:
1. Remember that accessibility is key
These days, music fans are accustomed to quick and easy, on-demand access of whatever song or album they want. Innovations like iTunes and Pandora have put an endless array of music at our fingertips, and you can bet that your customers are expecting that level of access in their own commercial audio equipment.
It’s no wonder streaming audio has become increasingly popular as a value-added reseller (VAR) service offering. It provides you incredible flexibility—allowing you to market to a wide range of potential customers. And it can be adapted to nearly any type of facility.
Let’s say a healthcare provider wants to stream music into its customer waiting area to complement its digital signage. However, it needs different, mellower music played in its patient rooms. By leveraging a reliable streaming music service through the customer’s existing IT infrastructure, you should be able to provide the customer with exactly the music that it requires. As an added bonus, providing these types of ongoing music subscriptions can become a source of recurring revenue for your business.
2. Encourage mobility and flexibility
Portable sound systems are growing in popularity in many verticals, because they allow the customer to make use of the technology when and where the customer needs it most. For example, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas hotel and casino is using a mobile sound system for events in its pool area and lobby. The technology ties into its LED displays and strip accent lighting through a centralized show-control system. The result is a professional-grade audio experience, yet with the mobility and flexibility of today’s user-friendly consumer technology.
The demand for mobility has prompted some end users to sidestep VARs altogether. Instead of working with a professional, they are using consumer technology, such as wireless Bluetooth speakers, to create multiple music “zones.” However, by offering this level of flexibility yourself, you can ensure that your customers enjoy a higher level of audio quality and invest in reliable, proven speaker technology that will last for years to come.
3. Embrace live music
Recent research finds that sales of recorded music have been on the decline since 2001, while the popularity of live music shows has grown rapidly, reaching $7 billion last year. As a result, a growing number of businesses—including boutique hotels, restaurants and bars, hotel/casinos and more traditional event spaces—are seeking new ways to capitalize on the resurgence of live shows.
This presents an opportunity for VARs to provide music technology to a whole host of new facilities. Again, these types of customers are seeking flexible audio solutions—often, systems that can easily be moved or that can accommodate both live and streaming music. And in the case of places like boutique hotels and restaurants, owners also require innovative acoustic and soundproofing methods to avoid disturbing other guests and nearby businesses.
For VARs that work in the pro AV space, these and other audio trends present both challenges and opportunities. But as music consumption continues to evolve, staying on top of these innovations can become a significant source of revenue for your business.
What are your customers’ main audio needs? Are you already offering these types of newer capabilities in order to stay abreast of today’s music technologies?