Shoppers don’t start Christmas shopping in earnest until 1 December, says a report released this week by Deloitte (US).[1]

OneMusic Australia says if shoppers are not in the mood, don’t annoy them with too many renditions of Silent Night. And remember, your staff have ears too and might just be turning the music right down low when you’re not around.

One journalist says it’s a workers’ rights issue. This would have to be the only downside to the power of music, Adam Johnson said. “Unlike how we can close our eyes to things we don’t want to see, we can’t close our ears to sound,” neuroscientist Jessica Grahn said to Adam in a radio interview.[2]

After almost 100 years experience and with more than 100,000 Australasian music creators behind the organisation, here’s OneMusic’s advice for the next six weeks:

  1. Not too soon. It’s never OK to play Christmas songs before mid-November.
  2. Did you hear what I hear? Find Christmas music that is consistent with your vibe: jazz, soul or even songs in a different language, be original.
  3. 60:40 is enough. A good blend of non-Christmas and Christmas music is refreshing. It’s good to introduce Christmas music every 3rd song to keep the playlist fresh.
  4. Santa won’t come if you haven’t been a good music citizen. You need a OneMusic licence to play Christmas Carrols or any music in your retail space. They start from only $85 a year, that’s 24 cents a day. Creators deserve a gift under the tree when their songs are played in a commercial space.

To avoid infringement, you still need a music licence when you have Spotify playing in your shop, OneMusic Australia is clear about that. The Spotify company has paid for royalties for personal/home use but has not paid royalties for business use and this must be paid by you.

Check the terms and conditions of your Spotify agreement. There is important information in there about using the service beyond personal/home use.
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[1] Deloitte 2019 holiday retail survey
[2] Starbucks’ music is driving employees nuts. A writer says it’s a workers’ rights issue. Johnson, A. CBC Radio website. 25 February 2019.