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POSMusic - Harley Sedman

POSMusic is offering retail brands commercially licensed streaming and analytical tools

Thanks to the introduction of music streaming platforms like Spotify and Pandora, finding the right track to boogie-down is now easier than ever. However, with tens of millions songs streaming, it’s just as easy for the perfect track to get buried beneath a pile of hip-hop, jazz and funk, remaining forever undiscovered.

For a retail or hospitality venue, curating the ideal playlist from this flourishing spring and broadcasting it is a difficult task, particularly when tacking on the fact that hooking up a personal streaming account in a commercial venue is against the law.

POSMusic is a Melbourne-based startup which serves licensed songs though an app and desktop service for retailers. The startup then goes a step further by offering back-end analytical tools, custom-made playlists for specific merchants, and integration with Spotify’s 30 million plus song pool.

The business also supplies a free app for customers to download that a business can be customised to suit the exact branding of a retailer.

Having worked in the streaming and licensing industry for over eight years, founder Harley Sedman said that he began developing the platform after identifying the vital role music played in brand communication.

In-store sound was moving from an operational necessity to a marketing asset, and consumers were looking to engage with brands in different ways. It was clear we needed to retool to allow brands to leverage the full power of music,” he said.

Sedman explained that music holds particular appeal to Millennials, who can connect with the form to build authentic and meaningful brand advocacy.

Founding the business in 2015, POSMusic quickly dug into its niche by offering businesses a platform where they’re able to monitor how their customers are engaging with the music they play.

POSMusic will also meet with a brand to help formulate an idea of what music will work best for their customer demographic.

The startup’s “musicologists” then work beside the company to put together signature playlists unique to their brand’s image, so they end up with a collection of music that can help separate a store from its competitors while targeting its customers.

“We consider the brand’s identity and values, the store environment, the client’s customer demographics, what the company is looking to achieve, and also take some time to discuss technology options,” explained Sedman.

“The POSmusic platform algorithms then refine and optimise song selections based on customer demographic data, in-store staff feedback, and region-specific listening and music trends for their target market.”

Sedman added that the algorithm helps automate the curation process while keeping music “ever-evolving” and relevant to the target demographic.

Using the data, which is presented on an online dashboard, retailers are also able to customise different playlists to play at different store locations to attribute for varying demographics.

The majority of the data itself is simply accumulated by a user being able to upvote or downvote songs on a retailer’s playlist through Spotify’s API.

“We have been working with Spotify for a number of years as we developed this integration with a closed API,” said Sedman.

By providing customers the power to shape a brand’s playlist, Sedman believes that loyalty is created between the customer and the business, as well as a personal “sense of ownership”.

As well as in store, customers are able to listen to music by downloading the free app, provided by POSMusic, logging into Spotify and listening to the curated playlists. Thanks to the Spotify integration, the user is able to search for more songs if they like an artist, buy tracks, or share the playlist on social media.

With legal licensing over the provided music, retail or hospitality stores are also able to broadcast a chosen playlist in their store, using either the POSMusic app or desktop version. Managers can allocate staff access to the platform, allowing them to schedule in times to trigger a specific playlist during the week.

There is some competition in the space; fellow Australian platform QSIC offers businesses a tailor-made app and desktop service allowing them to select from over 100 playlists sprouting over 15 million songs licensed for retailers and venues.

While POSMusic only officially launched this year, Sedman said it’s been in the making for over a decade; it has already brought number of brands on board, including Schnitz, Ben & Jerry’s, Reiss and Quicksilver.

With these brands on board and “generous angel backers”, Sedman said that financially the “burn rate is minimal”. He didn’t name the exact upfront cost of the service for clients, however.

Moving ahead, Sedman said the business will look to global markets for expansion.

Image: Harley Sedman. Source: Bandt. 

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