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IMMEDIA PARTNERS WITH JD TO MULTI CHANNEL SOLUTION

By News

IMMEDIA PARTNERS WITH JD TO LAUNCH MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT MULTICHANNEL SOLUTION

Multichannel instore and digital production company Immedia, is working with JD to create a multi stream music entertainment platform, JD X, available to customers in-store and via its mobile app.

JD X is a 24 hr music and entertainment service, part of a larger programme of added benefits designed to enhance the experience of JD consumers. Including, unlimited next day delivery, priority access to exclusive events, early product launch access and other money can’t buy experiences.

JD X offers a main Live channel featuring DJ’s, guest artists and other interesting and relevant content, plus 20 other bespoke streams with specific playlists to cover genres and trends. The JD X Live channel focuses on the biggest tracks right now with the JD audience. Core artists include Drake, Ramz, Mabel, Stormzy, Anne-Marie, Calvin Harris, J Hus, Dua Lipa, Post Malone and Kendrick Lamar.

The 21 channels focus on genres and activities popular with the JD audience, such as UK Reppin’ – featuring tracks from the stars of the UK Grime and RnB scenes. There are other playlists to listen to when in the gym or out running. JD X also provides content relevant to consumer interests including sport, clubs, gaming, gigs, relaxation, and TV. JD X also features videos, for example the latest content from JD including celeb exclusives and features on new products, all available to view inside the app.

Bruno Brookes, CEO, Immedia, said: “Live entertainment channels offer an incredible way for brands, facing the dual threat of declining advertising response rates and the increase in ad blocking technologies, to establish unique connections with consumers that deliver excellent experience and business results. JD, on top of being one of our leading retailers, is now one of our newest media owners.”

The music and entertainment platform is currently being rolled out in all of UK stores. Immedia provide language specific channels on a global basis and there are plans for JD X to be available in other European countries including in Ireland, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

JD X was officially launched and celebrated with a VIP party featuring a performance by artist Anne-Marie.

The JD X entertainment platform was delivered by Immedia’s DreamStream X technology, a global platform which enables brands to launch and develop custom music and entertainment channels, amplifying cultural values and other interactive communications.

Immedia’s exclusive high-quality content streaming platform provides brands with the opportunity to take owned media channels and to convert them into entertainment and engagement channels that can deliver increased commercial return.

Increase productivity in the workplace

BENEFITS OF MUSIC IN THE WORKPLACE

By Blog

Web FX have produced an interesting article on the affects of listening to music within the work place: Does listening to music at work help your performance? Or does it slow you down?

MUSIC AND PRODUCTIVITY

Music has the ability to influence how we experience things around us, and happy tunes can make work more enjoyable.

If you listen to music at work, you’re in good company. In fact, 61% of employees listen to music at work to make them happier and more productive.

And according to research, it works! Studies show that 90% of workers perform better when listening to music, and 88% of employees produce more accurate work when listening to music.

Listening to music not only boosts workplace efficiency, it can also improve your mental and emotional well-being.

Increase productivity in the workplace
Increase productivity in the workplace

MUSIC AND BUSINESS

65% of business owners agree that music makes employees more productive, and 77% of small- and medium-sized business owners believe that playing music increases employee morale.

In certain industries, such as retail and hospitality, music has an even greater impact on employee performance and attitude. Happy employees provide better customer service, and improved customer experience can lead to more revenue and word of mouth marketing.

In fact, 40% of business owners believe that playing music can actually increase sales, and research shows that without music, 25% of retailers and 33% of hospitality companies would actually lose business.

So if you want to boost your revenue, you may want to grab some headphones, find your favorite station, and get down to business.

MUSIC AND THE BRAIN

Have you ever started crying while listening to a sad ballad or tapped your foot along to a happy tune?

Music arouses emotion from the nucleus accumbens, a major player in the brain’s reward circuit. The nucleus accumbens operates on two neurotransmitters: dopamine, which helps regulate emotional responses, and serotonin, which can affect mood and social behavior.

This is why songs can instantly grab our emotions and transport us back to a certain time and place.

An experiment at McGill College found that listening to music activates the same brain structures and regions linked to other euphoric stimuli, such as food, sex, and drugs. Blood rises and falls with the swells of music in areas of the brain associated with reward, emotion, and arousal.

In addition, music activates that motor cortex, the part of the brain that controls voluntary movements. So if you find yourself moving to the beat of a song, you can thank your motor cortex.

Music in the workplace

Music also stimulates memories from the hippocampus, the center of memory, learning, and emotion located in the medial temporal lobe of the brain. This is why listening to a particular song can take you on a walk down memory lane.

Why people benefit from music in the workplace

WHY PEOPLE LOVE MUSIC

Ever wonder why people are so passionate about music?

Music releases dopamine in the reward center of the brain, the same chemical released when you eat your favorite food or when you get a new follower on social media. And it makes you want more!

This is also why finding new music you love is so exciting. Listening to pleasurable music releases dopamine, and dopamine increases happiness.

People also love music because they can express their personalities and opinions through the music they listen to. And they can often relate song lyrics to experiences in their own lives.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF MUSIC

Listening to music also has a multitude of health benefits. It:

  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Decreases pain
  • Improves immune function
  • Aids memory
  • Increases motivation

According to neuroscientists, listening to music magnifies positive emotion through the reward centers of the brain, and it stimulates hits of dopamine that can distract you from painful or stressful situations.

Music therapy is also beneficial for dementia patients, helping them recall memories and emotions.

Health benefits for employees

MUSIC FOR BOOSTING PRODUCTIVITY

Music provides a great escape in noisy office environments, and it can help you drown out distractions to keep you at the peak of productivity.

However, how do different genres of music impact productivity?

In addition, 58% of people completed tasks more quickly when listening to pop music. So if you need to get a job done quickly, play your favorite pop tunes.

Ambient noise is also great for sparking creativity and improving concentration.

Contact Immedia today to discover our award-winning brand engage solutions within Retail, Hospitality, Banking, Automotive and more.

In branch live radio provider

IMMEDIA WINS CONTRACT TO PROVIDE NATIONWIDE LIVE!

By News

Nationwide Live! Is a high quality, live, presenter led radio service that enhances the in-branch experience and Nationwide member engagement by offering a range of targeted music and brand appropriate information, as well as amplifying Nationwide’s work in the community.

Richard Newland, Director of Branch Transformation at Nationwide Building Society, commented: “As part of our branch investment programme we looked at introducing radio into our branches. In December 2016 we partnered with Immedia to trial the concept. The feedback we received from our people and members was really positive and we decided to roll it out across our network.

Alongside the team at Immedia, Nationwide Live! has now been installed in over 600 of our branches and we continue to work with them to produce creative and engaging content which is in line with our brand and style.”

Expertly curated restaurant on brand music and marketing communications

AWARD WINNING WORK WITH SUBWAY

By News

Immedia continues its multinational expansion of music and marketing channels to one of the largest restaurant chains in the world, delivering real time content streams around the clock to over 3000 restaurants. In UK, Ireland, Germany, Finland, Sweden and The Netherlands.

We provide award winning music content and delivery of multilingual marketing, promotions and colleague communications to all locations.

As testament to our work, Immedia was awarded ‘European Supplier of the Year’ for its services in 2016.

BRAND ENGAGEMENT AT BMW AND MINI – IN PARTNERSHIP WITH IMMEDIA

By News

BMW Group UK desire to provide an industry benchmark in retail customer experience and following exceptional responses to trials held in a small number of prestigious showrooms in 2014, Immedia Group plc has been appointed as the official provider of digital music channels for BMW and Mini dealer showrooms across the UK and Ireland.

The music selection for each channel is designed to encapsulate the spirit of both the BMW and Mini brands. Immedia has developed a music strategy with heightened brand symphony, creating a closer demographic alignment between the music and their customers.

Historically, franchisees have been tasked with creating their own music playlists for showrooms, iPods, local radio stations, CDs and in some cases, no music at all. In every case providing the right audio ambience for the retail space has proven to be difficult.

Now, franchisees can order one or both of the official digital music channels relevant to each brand. Each channel is carefully mastered with hundreds of ‘brand tracks’ updated monthly.

“Music and first class sound reproduction can be a huge enhancement to the overall driving experience, and we aim to remind customers of this in the retail environment” – Immedia.

Creative media services to Tomatin

TOMATIN – THE SPIRIT OF THE HIGHLANDS

By News

THE BRIEF

The Tomatin Distillery has been producing the finest Whisky from its home, a quiet corner in the heart of the Highlands, since its beginning as far back as 1897. Since then the distillery has gone from strength to strength currently seeing its range of single malts sold in over 50 export markets across the globe.

Tomatin looked to roll out a subtle rebrand, revolving around the theme of the softer side of the Highlands, alerting to the overall look and feel of the brand. A corporate video was a core asset in the overall rollout strategy and as such the production had to capture wholeheartedly the true essence of who and what Tomatin is, importantly ensuring the passion that goes into creating the drink is underlined throughout.

THE SOLUTION

AVC Immedia got involved in devising a storyboard and providing creative direction with our focus on brining the story of Tomatin to life. From humble begins to a drink enjoyed across the globe we followed this very journey from production to pour. We progressed the story by showing the scale Tomatin has reached from trendy bars in big cities to small enchanting country pubs. As with any branding project the target audience is at the core of every decision we made and for Tomatin this meant communicating with loyal and new customers both locally and internationally whilst also appealing to their mass social following.

To ensure we conveyed this message we produced the video with a heavy sensory emphasis. We activated all the customers senses when they watched the video, we wanted them to almost smell, feel and taste the whisky from the visuals and sounds. This was achieved via various production methods getting closer to the action than any traditional means with our unique fleet of tech.
Complimented by breaks in the audio and subtle sound effect additions we again elevated the viewers experience: the rustle of the grain, the subtle drip of the water from the icicle, the footsteps of the highland cows in the field, the sound of the glass being placed on the bar all came together to heighten the user experience when viewing.

 

RESULTS

Following the launch of the video it was extremely well received both internally and externally and now takes pride of place being played daily in thier visitor centre. Due to our approach and emphasis on delivery to Tomatin’s specific target audience the project is now being further developed to take sensory marketing a step further. We are developing Tomatin’s very own brand channel by developing and delivering a customer experience focused app with the inclusion of Virtual Reality.

Learn more click here

SUPERDRUG ROLL OUT INTERACTIVE IN-STORE RADIO

By News

Superdrug are rolling out across their estate an interactive in-store radio channel to strengthen their customer engagement.

The in-store radio – Superdrug Live will be launched alongside the a free Wi-Fi service and available across their 700-strong store estate by the end of the year. The radio station supplied by Immedia Group PLC will be broadcast live, allowing the retailer to interact with customers while shopping in store, improving their customer experience and helping the retail to engage with their customers on a new level.

Being a Live channel Superdrug will be holding competitions, encourage music requests and read out messages to create further engagement with their customers.

Superdrug Marketing Director Matt Walburn stated: “We know how trend conscious our customers are and Wi-Fi will allow them to go online to gain instant inspiration.

 

Superdrug recorded up to a 24% increase in sales of products promoted on their channel.

“The new technology will add an extra element of interaction and fun for customers.”

Superdrug Marketing Director

IT AIN’T (JUST) WHAT YOU PLAY – IT’S THE WAY YOU PLAY IT

By Blog

This article title has given me a little tune that will surely get stuck in my head later. But it also has a strong message, which draws attention to the focus of this weeks’ scientific blog: the importance of considering the way that you play music for the public. Ignoring consumers’ psychological reactions to the quality of sound reproduction is likely to have negative consequences for customer satisfaction and related retail behaviours. 

Any public space that provides music to the public would be advised to think carefully about HOW they provide that music; consider music centres, amplification systems, and speakers. There are two reasons why choosing a bad (most often, very low cost) system might have negative effects. 

1) People react quickly and decisively when they are in an environment that is playing poor music. Immedia’s own survey suggests that people will vote with their feet and simply leave a store where they don’t like the music. And poor quality music reproduction (i.e. “tinny”) is never going to be popular. 

2) Poor music reproduction can lead to cognitive dissonance – a psychological feeling of upset caused when there is a gap between what people expect to hear and what they hear. 

The important point about cognitive dissonance is that people’s listening expectations fall in line with their own experience of music, which will largely be based on the systems that they have at home, in the car or on personal music devices. The vast majority of us do not invest hundreds of pounds in music systems, speakers or headphones; but even in this case a poor quality, tinny reproduction will not sound right as it is not what we are used to hearing. 

So, we are not talking huge investment here. A standard system that mimics the quality that most people would have at home is a good investment. Anything less could turn out to be a poor investment. 

Do people really notice changes in sound quality? Science tells us that they do. Olive (2011) found that people prefer the sound quality of CD to MP3 reproduction (where the sound is more compressed) indicating that they “can discern and appreciate a better quality of reproduced sound when given the opportunity to directly compare it against lower quality options.” Pras, Zimmerman, Levitin and Guastavino (2009) also found that people can reliable detect the difference between CD and MP3 quality, especially in genres like pop and rock. 

The science tells us that our ears are capable of extremely fine tuned judgments of sound quality. And if the music we are hearing, especially music we like, is not up to the usual standard then we are likely to be disappointed. In previous blogs I have written about how this type of disappointment in retail music can translate into a negative image. Poor quality music choices can suggest a lack of attention and care. 

The importance of sound quality came across to me when I considered my own behaviour. I like to visit my local shopping centre every couple of weeks as there is a lively fruit and vegetable market, and a number of small local shops. Since I spend a lot of time outside on these trips I usually play my own music on my iPod. But there is one local charity shop where I tend to spend a lot more time browsing compared to any other; thinking back on it now it is the only place where I consistently remove my headphones. The manager places nice upbeat easy listening music on a small music system, of the kind that most people own. And I like it. It feels just like being at home, but with a fantastic pile of vintage bags to explore! I hope they never change. 

THE RIGHT COMMUNICATION IN THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT

By Blog

Speech has been our main communication medium for thousands of years and there is plenty of scientific evidence that we process language fairly automatically. For example, studies have shown that background speech is more disruptive when we are trying to read or study compared to nonverbal sounds like music, probably because we are automatically drawn to notice the speech..

In order to get a message across in non-direct speech you must pay careful attention to factors such as tone, congruency, and trust. This article explores the science behind quality (i.e. effective) speech communications.

Let’s start with an example that happened to me only a few days ago. I occasionally visit the gym on my lunch hour, where they play commercial radio. In between the songs there are the standard promotions, adverts and infomercials. I had been warming up when my friend turned to me and said, “Did you hear that, that is a really good idea”. I said “What?” I knew someone had been speaking but I had no idea what had been said. Turns out it was an announcement about a new non-emergency phone number for the UK police (101, by the way) – so, good information. But I completely missed it. Why?

Tone and environment: I believe the first reason was the tone. It was a male speaker with a fairly monotone, relaxed voice which failed to capture my attention. And this was not the actor’s fault, as the biggest problem was the environmental incongruence or mismatch. The information that gets my attention in a gym is usually given by lively, energetic voices – as that is how I tend to feel in a gym. So we have two issues here: the temperament failed to grab my attention and the fit with the environment was wrong.

This example highlights the importance of the right communication in the right environment. If you are interested in putting across information to staff or consumers then you must consider what might be the most effective way to use language in that space. Consider the environment. Consider the tone of the voice. Consider the demographics of your consumers or clients as well as their likely aims and mood in your space.

The ultimate aim is a match, or congruency, between message and environment as we process information most effectively when there is minimal cognitive dissonance in our world.

Trust and honesty: Another important issue to consider in generating effective, quality sound communication is trust. Most people have a natural tendency to be wary of adverts; we are well aware of the difference between somebody trying to sell something and somebody providing helpful information.

The key to the successful consumer/ client communication is to give the impression that you are providing useful information rather than trying to wave a product in someone’s face when they would rather just be left alone to browse. This is doubly important in a public area, where our sense of personal space is strong and we are resistant to ‘invasion’. This applies to the auditory world as much as anywhere else – our desire to retain private space is one of the main reasons that people in busy cities walk around with headphones.

And then there is honesty. A long standing finding in psychology regards the Duchenne smile or a variation that became known as the Pan-Am smile, apparently named after the smiles worn by flight attendants on the now defunct Pan American World Airways. These types of smile, most of the time, are fake. And studies show we can reliably tell a fake smile from a real one, even if we don’t know how we are making the judgement. And we can also hear fake emotion in voices as well. So if you are trying to provide information and expect an impression of trust and honesty – qualities that we associate with genuine information – then there is little value in going for a faked emotional expression or tone.

Quality sound communication is built on a scientific understanding of our psychological responses to being in public spaces, the limits and biases of our perception and attention mechanisms, and our ability to evaluate social and emotional intent. Getting the balance right between these features can make the difference between simply hearing speech and listening to the message.

“Immedia have perfected these psychological speech variations in in-store environments. It is these differences that drive effective speech communications and indeed entice further spending decisions supported by honest information and correct tonality.”  – Bruno Brookes, CEO

PSYCHOLOGY OF MUSIC

By Blog

One question that might be on your mind is what can science bring to music strategy? The aim of this blog is to introduce you to the fascinating world of music psychology; discipline and passion, and to demonstrate why this new and exciting science has the potential to take music strategy to a new level. 

Psychology is the study of human beings; how we behave, how we feel and how our minds work. Music psychology aims to understand our mind and behaviour with reference to one of our most powerful, regular and unique activities – producing and listening to music. 

Music is an essential component of human life. There is not a single known human society on earth that does not use music in one form or another, and our love of music is completely unique in the animal world. Other animals use pitch and timbre to communicate simple messages (sometimes refer to as ‘song’) but we are the only being that engages in creative and spontaneous musical behaviours in order to influence our state of mind and body. And we have been musical for a very long time. Archaeologists have discovered bone flutes, carved with great skill and dexterity, that date back 35,000 years. And of course this is likely to be an underestimate in the age of music use; most modern tribes create instruments from biodegradable materials which disappear quickly in archaeological terms. Evidence from fossilised skeletons suggests that humans had developed the bone structure necessary to be able to communicate using musical vocal sounds and gesture over one million years ago. 

So music is not just a modern creation, expression or commercial activity. It has been a part of our lives for so long that it has become a key part of human existence and this is reflected in our minds and bodies. Neuroscience studies show that music is capable of activating the oldest reward centres of our brain. It can energise us for challenging mental and physical situations, including work and exercise. And it can relax and soothe us, from the time that we are infants through to the end of life. 

Furthermore, music can have a large impact on our reactions to everyday environments, including our own homes and cars but, importantly for music strategy, on our behaviours inside and reactions towards shops, restaurants and other commercial premises. But let’s not go too far! Music is not any kind of magic elixir for persuasion. Hearing a piece of music will not convince someone to do something that they do not want to do. But it is true that music it is an essential and too often overlooked factor in how we react to an environment, whether we are a customer, a worker, a resident or just passing by. After all, our auditory environment is not something we can avoid (i.e. our ears cannot be closed!). If we are not happy with the sound around us then our only option is to walk away. Music strategy is about understanding how to maximise an auditory environment for a specific setting whereby an individual in that space is comfortable, relaxed and engaged. 

Our musical reactions are based on millions of years of evolved behaviours, such that many of our brain responses are fast, automatic, and beyond our control. The benefits to understanding the potential influence of music on behaviour and thought processes are significant and immediate. By careful application of music strategy we can improve our sound environments for the better, an activity which benefits everyone who inhabits those spaces.