New research suggests playing music increases retailers' Net Promoter Scores

Customers more likely to recommend retail stores playing music to others

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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.

Table showing customer experiences in stores with and without music

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.


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.

Peter Leathem, Chief Executive at PPL

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.

Paul Clements, Commercial Director, PRS for Music



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

Here for music since 1914, PRS for Music is a world-leading music collective management organisation representing the rights of more than 175,000 talented songwriters, composers and music publishers. Redefining the global standard for music royalties, PRS for Music ensures songwriters and composers are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. 

For 110 years it has grown and protected the rights of the music creator community, paying out royalties with more accuracy, transparency and speed. In 2023, PRS for Music paid out £943.6m in royalties and collected a record £1.08 billion in revenues.

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