This past spring, Magnatune launched a new side-business called MoodMixes, which provides restaurant music and in-store music.
Because our musicians sign with us directly, we're able to offer restaurants and shops a much lower price than if they play any old music they want, because they then have to pay the high ASCAP/BMI fees (which they don't have to pay if they use us).
Also, in case you haven't noticed, lots of shops and restaurants aren't very good at picking appropriate music for their environment, while we've been sifting and categorizing the best of indie music for nine years now (which is why some of you become paid Magnatune members).
Last week, we exhibited at the national restaurant show:
here is a picture of me standing in front of our booth:
We were the only music company present, other than the collecting society's booth. What's surprising is how apathetic small restaurant owners are about their music. They don't seem to care that much either about having good music, or dropping their bill from several thousand dollars per year to several hundred.
My perception is that restaurant owners have their small circle of trusted suppliers, for everything from bottled water to furniture, and that's how they feel comfortable buying things.
So... one of my major initiatives for MoodMixes is recruiting resellers, as to that end we're paying a 30% commission to people who sign others up to our music service. We did manage to interest about a dozen major restaurant and bar consultants, and that's probably the best outcome of the show.