Back to top

Research Confirms: Music Builds Business

Toronto – Can you imagine a pub without music? Or a silent clothing store? Or a restaurant without musical ambience? Neither can Canadian businesses that, according to new research1 conducted by Leger on behalf of SOCAN – the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada – confirms music is increasingly important to their success.

Among other findings, the research shows that music improves their customers’ experience, and that most will never stop playing music.

Results of the Music In Business research study confirm the importance of music to business owners has increased in the last two years, and most businesses believe that the music they play gives them an advantage over the competition. In fact, one-third of business owners ranked music as the most important aspect of their establishment’s ambiance, ahead of both décor and scent.

“Music is essential to many business owners, and using it in the workplace can create a unique and inviting atmosphere, influence customer behavior, increase employee morale and, quite simply, make more money for businesses,” said Jennifer Brown, vice president, Licensing at SOCAN. “Working with SOCAN gives a business a license to play virtually any music it desires – SOCAN is an important partner on the business team.”

Click on the infographic to enlarge.

Highlights of the Music In Business research study:

  • Nearly half of the organizations that responded stated that the importance of music to their business has increased in the past two years.
  • Nearly three-quarters stated that playing music in their place of business is very important or important. Almost half of respondents claimed that they would never stop playing music in their establishment, and believe that their customers would complain if they did.
  • Sixty-nine per cent agreed that songwriters, composers and music publishers deserve to be compensated fairly for their work.

The Music In Business study also showed that more than a third of businesses are putting live music to work to entertain customers and prompt even better results.

Mike Campbell, SOCAN licensee, and owner of the Carleton Music Bar & Grill in Halifax, Nova Scotia, described the importance of music to the success of his business: “Live music is primarily responsible for whatever success we’ve achieved. Our customer-base is one that wholeheartedly supports what we do and understands the importance of music in life. Without music, we’d be just another joint on the street – and we’re definitely not that!”

Tom Cochrane, legendary songwriter and a recipient so far of seven JUNO Awards, seven SOCANs, a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and an Officer of the Order of Canada, said: “With the support of businesses that use the music of artists through a fair and ethical SOCAN license, it is important to remember that songwriters on every level, including myself depend on fair royalties to make a living, so that we can continue to create the music that businesses enjoy playing and their customers love to hear.”

The research study is part of SOCAN’s work to underscore the true value of music in business and with the general public. The organization recently launched its long-term LICENSED TO PLAY program for its more than 125,000 licensed businesses and their customers.

“Our research finds that music is of great value to Canadian businesses, and that business owners believe it improves customer experience,” said Dave Scholz, chief marketing officer at Leger, the Research Intelligence Group. “They also frequently use content by Canadian music creators, and believe that these creators should be compensated for making their establishments better.”

Ian MacKay, President of Re:Sound Music Licensing Company, which represents artists and record companies for their performing rights, said, “This research confirms findings from similar international studies and reinforces the message that SOCAN and Re:Sound have been advocating for over the last decade and more – music adds quantifiable value and helps drive business results.”

For a complete summary of the Music In Business research study, click here.

1 Survey of 1,079 Canadian business owners completed online. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.9%, 19 times out of 20.

SOCAN is member-based and governed organization that represents the Canadian performing rights of more than three-million Canadian and international music creators and publishers. SOCAN is proud to play a leading role in supporting the long-term success of its more than 120,000 Canadian members, and the Canadian music industry overall. SOCAN licenses from more than 125,000 businesses in Canada, and distributes royalties to its members and music rights organizations around the world. SOCAN also distributes royalties to its members for the use of their music internationally in collaboration with its peer societies Eighty-six per cent of music rights revenues coming in to SOCAN are distributed to those who created the music and their publishers.


Media Contacts
SOCAN: Amal Yassir, (416) 445-8700, ext. 3747,
Environics Communications (for SOCAN): McKenna Wild, (416) 969-2774,