the eternal cynic

November 21, 2010

I HATE cheap, sleazy, background “music’, wherever it is!!

Filed under: Relevant Issues to the human condition — pissedoffateverything @ 2:04 am

Ted Nugent once tried to buy the Muzak company, so he could put it out of business, but the spiteful cretins would not sell.  And he offered them 10 million dollars and they still wouldn’t budge.  Gov. is probably subsidizing these creeps to drive us all crazy, and to brainwash us.


October 26, 2009
by David McRaney

The Misconception: The low-key songs you hear in department stores are just cheap background music.

The Truth: Muzak is designed to manipulate the shopping habits of consumers.

You’ve heard it, maybe in an elevator, maybe in a grocery store, and maybe you’ve noticed it.

A crappy version of a crappy song is being piped in from somewhere unseen. It seems innocuous, but it isn’t.

You dismiss it as poor taste on the part of the owner, or perhaps it’s just another lowest common denominator attempt to please the most people.

No, it’s Musak, and it’s designed to change the way you act.

Douglas Rushkoff wrote a great book about coersion in the marketplace, and in it he says:

“Department-store customers exposed to Muzak shop 18% longer and make 17% more purchases. Grocery shoppers respond best to Muzak that has a slower tempo, making a whopping 38% more purchases when it is employed. Fast-food restaurants use Musak that has a higher number of beats per minute to increase the rate at which a person chews.”

Muzak has been around for over 70 years. It started out as a sort of private radio service which bypassed the airwaves and delivered music straight to businesses through wires, but that venture didn’t work out.

In the 193os, they switched to records, and sold their sounds to CEOs promising the tunes would increase worker productivity.

They had research to back this claim.

For the next 20 years, the company hired psychologists to craft the perfect music experience designed to shape the minds of diligent workers – bland, emotionless, almost subliminal.

The Musak plan was to have a specific set of songs for each part of the day. The mood would shift to match the shifts in the people – upbeat when they need to be working, down tempo when they need to be digesting.

Eventually, the White House and NASA began using it, and the explosion of hospital and skyscraper-based business adopters led to the modern idiom: elevator music.

Now, with 70 years of psychological study behind them, a customer can pick an astonishingly specific set of behaviors which Musak promises to influence.

Want people to find their shoes uncomfortable? Want people to think about children or pets? Want people to buy coffee and have a seat with a magazine? Musak says they can get you to do that.

Those nice reading areas aren’t for your comfort. They are based on intense research into what it takes to get you to buy a book.

No more records, tapes or CDs, the company now delivers its over 2.6 million songs through subscription-based satellite providers like XM and Sirius.

The unexpected antidote to all of this was the workplace-acceptable personal music device and headphones plugged into desktop computers. These have nearly destroyed the company. In 2009, they filed for bankruptcy.

You may have been saved from Musak’s brainwashing, but it wasn’t because you were smart, it was because Steve Jobs was.


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