Goodbye, Muzak: Brand Gets Retired

But elevator music isn't going away
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2013 3:34 PM CST
Goodbye, Muzak: Brand Gets Retired

Muzak is going away forever—but only in name. Parent company Mood Media is retiring the Muzak name this week as it updates the types of services it offers companies in the so-called "sensory marketing" field, reports the New York Times. You can still expect to hear "easy-listening" instrumentals as you ride the elevator and shop, however, either from Mood Media or competitors. The Muzak brand has been around since 1934.

"Would elevator music with a different name be any less annoying?" wonders Jonathan Berr at MSN Money. This "musical equivalent of white bread" went about its business mostly unnoticed for decades, until the Blues Brothers dissed it in their 1980 movie, writes Addy Dugdale at Fast Company. It became cool to hate Muzak, then cool to like it again in the 1990s. Now, however, retailers' embrace of sensory marketing—complete with interactive videos and even scents—makes it too outdated to survive, writes Dugdale. "Muzak, RIP." (Of course, soft easy-listening music has its advantages...)

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