If you played CDs I'm guessing you already do this. But, as a reminder: pay the ASCAP, BMI and/or SEASAC fees for the music you play. If you get busted playing music without permission they'll stick your butt to the wall with a big fine. They are nasty and will require you to play ball with them.
We have an Open Mic night. Somehow this came across ASCAP's radar and we're now entering year four of harassment. After we started getting weekly letters and thrice weekly phone calls, BMI joined the game (though with less calls) for about a year, then let us be. Despite explaining to ASCAP that our live performances are not in violation of copyright law and that we listen to the radio, not CDs, also in accordance with copyright law, THEY WILL NOT LEAVE US ALONE. The only reason we haven't been dragged into court is that we're not breaking the law, but that doesn't stop them from trying to intimidate us into paying the licensing fees. So please think very very carefully before plugging your ipod or CD player into the store stereo.
Luckily, we've got good commercial free community radio in town. Since copyright law hasn't been updated in a while, music over the internet is a really murky area. Does anyone know if this falls within the exemptions, similar to radio?
In looking for good music to play, I came across many posts on here as well as doing some research.
A Multi-Method Exploration on Coffee Shop Atmospherics by Li Shang Ly
A New Coffee Shop Location Planning for Customer Satisfaction in Taiwan by
Wen-Hwa Ko and Chihwei P. Chiu
Atmospheric Effects on Shopping Behavior: A Review of the Experimental Evidence
I was initially looking into what kind of music to play. I was wondering about playing classical music or some lounge music. Classical music is also supported by research as a good type of music to be playing in a retail establishment.
Anyone have experience with playing classical music or lounge at their cafe and feedback from customers?
Good comments and ideas so I had some too like a jukebox or some way for customers to interact. Ultimately station jacks for head phones and programmable options would be great. Or individual players at tables XD I guess in today's world you may need to add some acoustic design allowing some acoustic privacy. As a testament to the importance of music to people I started "Music you play Loud" on Facebook and had 1000 members in two weeks I trimmed it down but people love them some music and if you cater to well know regulars it brings in business. Ask the talkers what they think:)
Yes, definitely have music! I agree with many of the above comments that you have to be discerning in your selection, though. Also, try to keep a finger on the pulse of your clientele--i.e. in regards to volume, type of music, etc. To be safe I also recommend the Pandora coffee station, and just keep it at a low volume as background music. Good luck!