New customer research has revealed that retail stores playing music have significantly higher Net Promoter Scores (NPS) than those who don’t play music at all, meaning customers are more likely to recommend those retailers to others.

What’s more, people visiting stores where they hear music are significantly more likely to enjoy their visit and say they are significantly more likely to return to those retailers again.

Carried out by an independent company, the research looks at the perceived value of music in the high street retail sector, highlights the positive impact music can have on customer experiences, particularly when suitable music is played.

When thinking about stores that play music, music has to be done well to yield the greatest benefits to the retailer – poor music can be worse than no music at all.

Music benefits

When looking at customer attitudes towards music in stores, people were significantly more likely to describe stores playing music as more dynamic, upbeat and fun. Of those surveyed aged between 18 and 44:  

  • 82 per cent believe music improves the atmosphere in retail stores.
  • 79 per cent enjoy listening to music when shopping. 
  • 78 per cent believe that when good music is played in stores, it makes them feel more positively towards those retailers. 
  • 66 per cent think more stores should play music.
  • 62 per cent are more likely to stay longer in stores that play good music.


The research was commissioned by collective management organisations PPL and PRS for Music. PPL represents tens of thousands of performers and record labels, while PRS for Music represents songwriters, composers and music publishers. Both organisations ensure music creators get paid when their music is played in public or broadcast on radio or TV.

Peter Leathem, Chief Executive at PPL said, “These findings illustrate the important role music can play in creating the optimal retail customer experience. What’s interesting is that some of those surveyed specifically said that stores should play music which is relevant to the brand and the customers who shop there. This shows just how music savvy customers are these days, and highlights the importance of a well-planned music strategy to satisfy customer demand for good music”.  

Paul Clements, Commercial Director, PRS for Music, said: “It's great to see that music is as popular as ever in the retail space and can have a real impact on customer satisfaction. This research shows that when it is used in the right way, music is an important factor not just in encouraging customers to spend more time in stores, but also in establishing positive feelings towards those retailers. The right music can really add a dynamic element to a brand’s identity.”   


Footnote:Research conducted by Market Measures across significant high-street shopping locations in the UK between 24th June and 4th July 2017. 1,031 people were spoken to equating to 2,474 retailer evaluations. All results were subject to a T-Test at a 95% level of significance.

About PPL

Founded in 1934, PPL is the UK music industry’s collective management organisation (CMO) for tens of thousands of performers and record companies. We license recorded music in the UK when it is played in public (shops, bars, nightclubs, offices etc.) or broadcast (BBC, commercial radio, commercial TV etc.) and ensure that revenue flows back to our members. These include both independent and major record companies, together with performers ranging from emerging grassroots artists through to established session musicians and influential festival headliners.  

PPL has a market-leading international collections business, with 84 agreements in place across 40 countries, helping members to maximise their revenue when their repertoire is played overseas.  We collected £212.1 million in the UK and internationally in 2016 and paid over 92,000 performers and record companies.

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of over 125,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK. As a membership organisation it ensures creators are paid whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced, championing the importance of copyright to protect and support the UK music industry. The UK has a proud tradition of creating wonderful music that is enjoyed the world over and PRS for Music has been supporting the creators of that music since 1914.

PRS for Music provides business and community groups with easy access to over 22.2m songs through its music licences. In an industry worth over £4.1bn PRS for Music is uniquely placed to be a voice for music and music creators. Collecting £621.5m in 2016, PRS for Music is one of the world’s leading music collective management organisations. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music's network represents over two million music creators.