Christmas is one of the most important times of the year for most hospitality businesses – a period that not only provides a boost in top line spend, but also allows you to create unique experiences that your customers will remember for years to come. With the global pandemic forcing the doors shut for many businesses this December, creating a suitably festive diversion when your customers are able to return is more important than ever. As tempting as it is to stick on that 20 year old ‘Now That’s What I Call Christmas’ compilation on repeat again, the choices for Christmas music to play in your business are surprisingly bigger than ever.
So if you’re asking yourselves the question: what music should I play in my business this Christmas, then we have a few recommendations below:
Read the room.
Tailoring the music to the right time of day is key. As much fun as Wizzard’s ‘I Wish It Could be Christmas’ is, playing it during a quiet candle-lit dinner might give your customers a reason to think again about coming back next year for a cozy romantic evening. On the other hand, if you own a lively retail space where turnover and consumer spend is high, creating a feelgood, uptempo atmosphere may be a key priority. Think about what kind of atmosphere you want to create on-site this Christmas and work back from there, taking into account how your music sounds during your different trading patterns along the way.
Think outside the box.
Each year a ton of excellent new Yuletide themed music is released, much of which never reaches the ears of most audiences. From She & Him‘s gorgeously gentle album of festive covers to Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings soulful collection of original songs, the Christmas music industry is in rude health. Take, for example, Ola Gjeilo‘s album of choral and piano-based classical music – a perfect match for luxury and high end businesses who want a festive feel without the usual lyrics about mince pies and snowball fights. Over in the pop world, the stars have also been busy: Sia’s ‘Santa’s Coming for Us‘ is one of the best new songs to be released in the past few years, whilst Ariana Grande released her ever-popular Wintry bop ‘Santa Tell Me‘ back in 2014.
But don’t forget the classics.
Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree‘ is still a longstanding favourite across all age demographics, winning over new generations of fans with its inclusion in the Home Alone film soundtrack. Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You‘ has aged gracefully since its release in the 90’s, managing to beat the likes of newer tracks by Justin Bieber and Kelly Clarkson in the streaming charts year-on-year. Love him or loathe him, the warm, raspy tones of Michael Bublé’s cover of the old standard ‘It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas’ is fast becoming a modern classic of its own too.
Don’t scare off your regulars.
Christmas music is a divisive subject that can even cause heated arguments around the family dinner table. If your customers are hearing festive tunes in every shop, cafe and bar that they go into, then playing non-stop, all-day Christmas music at the beginning of December might be a bit too much for some of your regulars.
Here at Ambie we have the technology to insert these tracks seamlessly into your playlists so that turning Christmas music on / off is not a binary choice. If you feel like only hearing one Christmas song for every three of your regular day-to-day tracks, our player ensures that Christmas music only plays at the appropriate frequency. Likewise, if you only need 100% Christmas music during the evenings in the run up to the 25th, our system effortlessly delivers the music you need at the right time.
For our money, Wham’s ‘Last Christmas‘ is still hands-down the best Christmas song ever made, but we’re willing to concede that might be a controversial choice. If you want to argue with us or want to implement a brand new soundtrack for your business this year, get in touch with us here.