The Sound of Money: Malaysian ‘homegrown’ psychoacoustics platform

AvantiKumar | Nov. 1, 2017
Revenue generation and deeper customer engagement are two of the ROIs from a first of its kind cloud based solution from two Malaysian companies.

Photo 3 MusixMusix

Photo: Converting shoppers to buyers with MusixMusix: (from left) Addie Leong, Chief Marketing Officer VAV Apps; Daniel Lee, Malaysian Idol Season 2 winner and Content Executive of MusixMusix; Alden Leong, Chief Strategy Officer, VAV Apps; Alvin Lee, Product Development Manager, MusixMusix


  Revenue generation and deeper customer engagement are two of the returns on investment offered to Malaysian businesses from a first of its kind cloud based media solution.

A fresh approach to advertising and promotion formed the objective of a collaboration between two Malaysian companies - MusixMusix, a business-focused music streaming platform and sound media technology company VAV Apps (VAV).

Alvin Lee, product development manager, MusixMusix, said research has shown that 41 percent of shoppers have bought an item that was promoted through custom branded in-store marketing messages (Arbitron Inc, "The Arbitron Retail Media Study", 2005).

"Everybody knows music is important but most do not understand why," said Lee. "This is because music has always been seen mainly only as a form of entertainment and has never been considered a powerful business tool."

"That's where we come in to change the perception and encourage businesses to take more consideration of the power of music and sound and their potential effect on their business bottom line," he said.

Wan Kamarul Zaman Wan Yaacob, executive chairman of VAV, agreed. "Sound has always been a primary medium of communication. However, its business potential as a broadcast medium has never been fully developed and utilised."  

Next steps

The partners explained that the service is delivered through the MusixMusix player, a new sound-media solution, a cloud-based management system, which "integrates strategically curated playlists with targeted third-party advertisements or in-store announcements."

Key benefits of the MusixMusix solution include converting shoppers to buyers with music. Research has proven that companies using a clear music strategy can influence customer behaviour and perceptions. For example, classical music in a wine store increases sales and leads customers to purchase more expensive merchandise than pop music.

In addition, brand-fit music - songs or collections of songs that are congruent with a brand's identity - can enhance a brand's image and improve overall brand experience in-store.

Research suggests that brands, which use brand music strategically are 96 percent more likely to be remembered than if they used non-fitting music or no music at all (Heartbeats International, "Uncovering a musical myth", 2011).

In other research finding, music that fit the brand made people up to 15 percent more likely to buy additional items than if the restaurant played random popular music (HUI Research, 2016).

To this end, music and songs available in the MusixMusix playlist are curated by a group of experts comprising psychologists and musicians using psychoacoustics principles to define sound (based on tempo, genre and volume) that matches the type of business.

MusixMusix currently has 80,000 songs on their playlist. This extensive and growing collection has also been licensed for commercial and public space usage. This means businesses no longer need to pay for expensive fees to license collecting agencies, which allows them to enjoy savings of up to RM10,000 per outlet as no additional Public Performance fee is required.

The MusixMusix sound-media solution is being offered to media agencies, advertising and brand agencies, as well as premises where sounds are used such as shopping malls, supermarkets, retail outlets, cafes and restaurants, convenience stores, pharmacies and more.

The next step for VAV is to use its unique sound media technology solution, which uses inaudible soundwaves, to transmit digital content to smartphones - a new alternative for any organisation to engage with its audiences and consumers.

VAV is currently completing the final testing for this one-of-its-kind offering in Malaysia, said the partners.

User feedback

"Music is a very important component of the overall ambience of a restaurant but compiling and managing a playlist that fits the atmosphere and brand can be challenging," explained K.H. Saw, chief executive officer of D'Italliane. "Adopting the MusixMusix platform has helped taken away the burden of having to search for brand-fitting music for my outlet(s). It's simple and easy to use, just click and play. And the best part is, it's all license free."

Another client of MusixMusix who has benefited from the platform is Jadi Batek Gallery, one of the largest batik and handicrafts centres in Kuala Lumpur. The gallery was compiling its own playlist with brand-fit music and had been having challenges finding relevant ones for their brand and type of business.

"When I heard about MusixMusix and its services in Malaysia, I was thrilled and immediately signed up for a trial. So far, I am happy with the wide selection of playlists that is relevant for my business, which makes it all very hassle-free!

Additionally, we have saved thousands of ringgit per year from paying the rates charged by the various license collection agencies in Malaysia," said Colin Yong, managing director, Jadi Batek.

Furthermore, premises such as retail outlets and shopping malls that stream MusixMusix can generate extra revenue by streaming and broadcasting third-party advertisements. These advertisements can be up to 30 seconds in length and are played between songs at pre-determined schedules and frequencies for more focused targeting and effectiveness.

"VAV has managed to develop a unique technology platform that will enable users to enhance the utilisation of the sound medium for business and communication," said Wan Kamarul. "Given the vast potential of this technology, VAV and MusixMusix is working together to offer our potential customers a business tool that leverages the sound medium to enhance their respective revenue and profitability."

The latest edition of this article lives at Computerworld Malaysia