Guide To Hold Music for Your Business

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Hold music for your business is vital. Hold music, also known as MOH, Music-On-Hold, or Phone Hold Music, is essential for any business.

Please be aware that this article includes affiliate links and sponsored backlinks, which supports both Switching Styles and local music journalism.

It may seem trivial, but it significantly impacts customer relations, especially if a business is often done over the phone. It improves business relationships with their customers through phone calls and boosts the customer’s opinion of the brand.

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Why Is Hold Music Important?

Music is fantastic for its ability to elevate a moment. Music improves brand perception. A Mood Media and Sacem study explains that music improves overall business if done correctly.

  • 76 percent of customers felt that their service wait times passed faster when music played.
  • When the business played music, the perception of a company as “premium” increased by 20 points, from 36 percent to 56 percent.
  • 93 percent of employees preferred music versus no music at work.
  • Most customers, particularly in banking, felt more comfortable having confidential, private conversations when music was playing to mask their conversations from others somewhat.

“This conclusive study reinforces that correctly designed music can improve the ambiance and Customer Experience in various business environments, even in those industries not part of traditional retail. Every business that welcomes on-site customers and clients into their space has a legitimate reason to incorporate music – not only because it is an integral part of people’s daily lives but because music is as important to the Customer Experience as lighting, store layout or other key element design features,” said Valentina Candeloro, International Marketing Director at Mood Media.

Tips For Choosing the Right Hold Music.

This can be hard to choose as music is very subjective to the business and the customer. Picking the right music means enhancing the customer’s experience with your company. Don’t underestimate a customer’s experience, even if it’s just on the phone.

Match The Music to Your Brand

Matching the music to the feel and image of your brand ensures an excellent experience for the customer and enhances your brand’s image.

Over 70 percent of customers had a more positive view of a business’ image when the site was playing music. Moreover, 65 percent of customers agreed that on-site music helped to differentiate the company from its competition.

If your company is looking for a live music venue in downtown Edmonton, upbeat and contemporary music would be the best. However, if your company is a senior assisted living facility, maybe something with a Childish Gambino flair is a bad idea.

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Don’t Let It the Music Stagnate

Update your music regularly and frequently. This keeps your brand perception new and trendy. That aspect is important when competing against others in the same industry.

Nobody wants to listen to the same hold music every single time they make a reservation or an appointment. This is important if making a phone call is a regular activity for your clients, such as a doctor’s office or a retail location with a comprehensive service area.

Chose Your Hold Music Wisely

If you have multiple different lines for different departments, consider having different hold music tailored for the caller’s reason to call.

In the Mood Media and Sacem study, when more traditionally serious sectors such as banking & pharmacy were silent, only 33 percent of customers initially thought adding music would feel appropriate in those establishments. However, 76 percent of customers agreed that music was compatible and complementary to the business once music was introduced.

Ensure High Quality

Although hold music can suck simply because it’s not good quality music, typically, the phone system is used instead of the music.

Don’t blame the musician if the music sounds like a cassette player in a tin that can be used as a pinata. It’s probably a tech issue as phone systems are made and designed for human voices, which have a different range than music. Quality is key, and it doesn’t mean just the music. Nothing is worse than hold music that sounds like it’s coming from inside a tin can. Check your phone systems.

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Where do you find Hold music?

As a small business or freelancer, obtaining music may seem daunting. If you don’t have access to a musician on hand or the finances to pay for the media outright, your options seem limited. But there are other options available.

Commissioning Hold Music

This is one avenue to find music by commissioning hold music from various artists throughout your community. Consider who you’d want to create your hold music and what style would fit your business. Once those are figured out, reach out to the music community, explaining what you need and what you can offer.

Where to reach out for music commissions

  • Reach out to local community choirs, music schools, theatres
  • Search online for bartering sites like Fiverr, or Simbi
  • Connect to musicians on social media or forums like Facebook or Reddit
  • Share a contract position job for the creation of your hold music.

Here are some artists that commission holds music and highlight their work.

If none of these tickle your hold music fancy, check out directories such as Music Folders and MusicXS, among others, to find a musician with a sound you like and reach out to them.

Royalty-Free Hold Music

Royalty-free music is music you can use without having to pay royalties. The reason for this is that the artist has put the work into the public domain or has given up the rights to them. These can also be works of music that have aged long enough to be naturally in the public domain.

Here are some various places to find royalty-free hold music.

Which MOH was your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.


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Droit-Volet, Sylvie, et al. Music, Emotion, and Time Perception: The Influence of Subjective Emotional Valence and Arousal? Vol. 4, 1 Jan. 2013, http://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00417/full, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00417. Accessed 26 July 2023.

Meet the Composer Commissioning Music: A Basic Guide. “Mood Media & Sacem Study Reveals the Virtues of Music on Overall Customer Experience, Even within More Traditionally “Serious” Sectors.” Businesswire.com, 12 Oct. 2017, http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171012005445/en/Mood-Media-Sacem-Study-Reveals-the-Virtues-of-Music-on-Overall-Customer-Experience-Even-Within-More-Traditionally-%E2%80%9CSerious%E2%80%9D-Sectors. Accessed 26 July 2023.

“Mood Media – We Partnered with Sacem to Pilot a Study about The…” Facebook.com, 2023, http://www.facebook.com/moodmedia/posts/1602178056470884/?paipv=0&eav=Afb1bLMY6PJweIUxtC6z2aoJPXH15PCDCWFiq5NErKGHlvQnNQ_esoNecZBK9F3rqig&_rdr. Accessed 26 July 2023.

“Mood News.” Moodmedia.com, 2017, us.moodmedia.com/assets/email/moodnews/1017/. Accessed 26 July 2023.

MusicDirectory.com, MusicXS. “MusicXS Is a Musician & Music Business Directory – Find Musician & Music Business – MusicXS @ MusicDirectory.com.” MusicXS @ MusicDirectory.com, 2023, http://www.musicdirectory.com/. Accessed 26 July 2023.

“MUSICFOLDER.com.” MUSICFOLDER.com, 2023, ca.musicfolder.com/. Accessed 26 July 2023.

“Pixabay.” Pixabay.com, 2023, pixabay.com/music/. Accessed 26 July 2023.

“Royalty Free Music and “Free to Download” Music – Free Music Archive.” Freemusicarchive.org, 2023, freemusicarchive.org/. Accessed 26 July 2023.

“Royalty Free Music Download.” Free Stock Footage – Videvo.net, 2023, http://www.videvo.net/royalty-free-music/. Accessed 26 July 2023.

“Royalty Free Stock Music, Download Free MP3s for Videos | Mixkit.” Mixkit. Co, 2023, mixkit. co/free-stock-music/. Accessed 26 July 2023.

Let me introduce myself. I'm Dylanna fisher, a writer, creator, and visionary. Currently, I'm a journalism student at Grant MacEwan University based in Edmonton, Alberta. I've recently graduated with a journalism major while growing a freelancing writing company on the side, Dylanna Fisher Communications. Ever since I can remember, I've always been fascinated with sharing ideas with people. And that's exactly what I want to do. Check out my work on Switchingstyles.ca and on dylannafisher.com.

1 Comment

  1. Tell me why I was just working on figuring out what to do for my hold music when this popped up. lol I so needed this right now, because if any of you have tried figuring out what kind of hold music to use, you know that it’s not as easy as it seems.

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