In-store music for Christmas: we’ll pay you for better Christmas songs!

Posted on 24 Dec 2013 |

Hannah Boothby, Soundreef


So here it is, merry Christmas, everybody’s having fun rocking around the Christmas tree with mistletoe and wine. Joy! 

Bored of hearing the same in-store music every Christmas?

If you’ve always thought that every shop, restaurant, bar and café - and even the gym! - played the same tedious Christmas hits every year, you’d probably be right. ASCAP, a US collecting society, lists the inevitable Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, the worn Winter Wonderland and the tiring Jingle Bell Rock among others in its top 25 most performed songs (source: http://www.ascap.com/press/2006/112706_xmassongs.html). The list was compiled in 2006, and is based solely on radio play, but it’s still notable that the newest song was released in 1984: Band Aid’s Do They Know it’s Christmas (Feed The World).

The top ten in the UK, according to the UK’s collecting society PRS, includes the bittersweet Fairytale of New York alongside the somewhat more grating All I Want For Christmas Is You, the nerve-jangling I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday and the frankly excruciating Merry Xmas Everybody (whose B-side was the appropriately titled ‘Don’t Blame Me’) (source: http://www.prsformusic.com/aboutus/press/latestpressreleases/Pages /FairytaleofNewYorkmostpopularChristmassong.aspx). Though this list was compiled to cover the years 2010-2012, and - like ASCAP’s list - only uses data from radio play, the newest song was recorded back in 1994.

It seems that people rarely write new Christmas songs: as soon as retailers start putting up the Christmas decorations, we’re straight back to the land that time (and taste) forgot.

What does that mean for artists, record labels and publishers?

Artists, record labels and publishers can earn a massive amount of music royalties for their contributions to Christmas past and present. Since they should be paid royalties every time their songs gets played, they can probably stomach the jolly refrains and sleigh bells a good deal better than most shoppers. Other music is played at Christmas, but it tends not to get recognised, at least financially: due to the way collecting societies usually work out how to split royalties, the same bunch of hitmakers are probably getting more than their fair share!

If you’re an artist, why not write your own song Christmas song and register it with us? If it meets our strict quality standards, you’ll be able to see exactly where it’s played and how much you’re being paid. Being jolly sorts, we accept Christmas music all year round - so if you’re into the groove and want to keep those sleigh bells ringing, go ahead!

What does that mean for music for stores and other businesses?

Unless you run the kind of late-night takeaway establishment that tries to encourage people to leave as soon as possible after they arrive, both your customers and your staff would probably like to try something new! Soundreef provides music for stores that is different: our collection of Christmas songs will keep them all happy.

All our Christmas music is chosen by specialist Music Supervisors, who create the perfect seasonal backing track. Soundreef’s music comes from many sources - from aggregators, record companies and publishers to independent artists and singer-songwriters, and will save you money on the licence fee you’re currently paying! Give your staff and customers a treat, and make this the first year that you don’t wheel out Shakin’ Stevens, Boney M and Slade, and create a better atmosphere in your store.

Look to the future now we’ve only just begu-u-uuuun...

Happy Christmas from Soundreef!