In 1973, Philip Kotler, one of the biggest names in marketing, published an innovative study on how a store’s atmosphere can affect customers’ behavior. Over the years, new studies began to incorporate concepts of behavioral psychology, corroborating the topic’s relevance to retail companies.

The way that the atmosphere influences a consumer’s mood began to be enormously important at the point of sales. The balance of multiple aspects, such as ambient temperature, lighting, colors, layout, aromatization and especially background music, became a powerful positioning tool for brands.

In 1982, Robert Milliman published another important study that pointed to an increase of 38% in the amount of time consumers stayed in a supermarket with sound recording, compared to those without background music. His research concluded that when consumers spend more time in stores, they tend to buy more.


In commercial atmospheres, popular songs tend to serve as a distraction, making consumers pay more attention to the music and less to the buying experience. The goal of music branding is for the background music to represent the brand’s concept in the best way possible. The music should become part of the atmosphere, as a discreet element, and at the same time able to give the consumer a feeling of well-being, familiarity and confidence.

In 2000, researchers R. Yalch and E. Spangenberg, of Washington State University, pointed out that consumers would spend more time shopping when exposed to unknown music. The reason for this phenomenon is that current hits tend to capture their attention, but give the impression that time is passing faster, which in turn accelerates the buying experience.

  • 40% of music sales are from independent artists.
  • 60% of the music currently heard on online radios is produced by independent artists.
  • There are about 120,000 independent record labels in the world.