Monday, November 05, 2007

The Mall Radio Network

I'm admittedly weird. And particularly now that we're entering Ontario's grey months. However, I found the topic of Mall music interesting enough to find out where it comes from. The Mall Radio Network creates ''audio atmosphere, both for the pure love of music, and because in doing so, we have developed a powerful media platform for our advertisers.'' They have a number of different stations designed to fit different sorts of stores. I'm fairly certain that our supermarket was playing Modern Popular today- I heard their bumper after a Cheryl Crow song.

A Mall subscribes to the network and has customized programming sent to them via the Internet or satellite. The company provides music, ''lifestyle features'', and customized ads for the mall as part of the programming. So, it's basically like what Musak did, but with a different aesthetic. Theoretically, this programming plays all day while the mall is open. This is good; I've always had the feeling, while watching lethargic mall shoppers, that they seem relatively placid, but were the mall services to break down, they would start rioting.

The Mall Radio Network is pumped across America, but the mall here in Hamilton apparently subscribes as well. According to the website: ''It's part music programming, part content scheduling, part creative execution… and it's all consumer marketing.'' So that explains something about the ''audio atmosphere'' in public places.

Again, I'm currently weird. But I find this fascinating.

Update: Here's a Boston Globe article on how record labels are also promoting their new albums by paying Mall Radio to play tracks from them.

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