EnQii’s latest newsletter tells us that we were almost right in our post in early March this year entitled ‘Music Software From EnQii‘ – seems like the new add-on module for their software is actually called InTempo.
James Abdool, EnQii’s EMEA President who most definitely knows what he is talking about when it comes to in-store audio and video writes a very nice thought leadership piece that is reproduced in its entirety below by kind permission…
The Choreography of Audio and Video in Retail Environments.
In-store audio really appeared in our daily lives in the 1950s in the form of background music, or Muzak, as it quickly became known. In the early days, it was difficult to acquire the rights to play licenced music tracks in public so companies like Muzak were left with no choice but to produce their own compositions to break the silence in hotels, shops, restaurants and the coin-phrased lifts.
These instrumental tracks were followed up with cover versions – interesting versions of the original songs performed by wannabe artists and bands. Thankfully the 1980s saw some streamlined licensing arrangements and background music progressed through some great compilations that retailers used to get closer to their customers. As a medium, cassettes made way for CDs, CD moved to satellite and then came the hard disc era spurred on by the increasingly popular iPod.
Today, the retail experience is essential to driving brand loyalty and the use of technology to achieve this is becoming increasingly evident. In addition to the ability to handpick music tracks to suit each hour of every day we now see digital video content displayed in-store on screens and projected into windows and even interactive floors. Brands know that to keep their retail experience alive they need to rely on the technology that delivers a lasting emotive experience and EnQii have lead the way through the evolution of their award-winning Remote Transfer software platform into ‘EnGage’ – the most dynamic content management platform using tomorrow’s technology, today.
The most recent addition to the EnGage suite is ‘InTempo’ – an in-store audio module that extends the digital signage platform into a full audio-visual programming tool for any environment. By combining the audio and video playlists you can create the ultimate retail theatre experience and seamlessly manage this on any day, in any region and in whatever language.
This combination means that brands can entertain, surprise, delight and relax – in different areas of a store at the same time, and all from one media player. Music and videos are synchronized at all times with no chance of the 2 audio sources clashing as they are controlled from the same place.
Many in-store audio companies have tried to progress into the in-store video world but few with any success. Both require the right content strategy but that is where the similarity ends. The technologies have different challenges, the content management is vastly different and the levels of interaction are poles apart.
EnQii have done that hard work first by mastering the in-store video solution and have now entered the audio solution by extending their software capabilities with InTempo as well as securing global content agreements to ensure their customers have licensed content in all countries. Given the wide-ranging locations of our global clients this is the only way to ensure consistency and ease of management – another reason why EnQii’s global strategy is chosen by the leading names in retail, leisure, hospitality and transport.
James Abdool, prior to joining EnQii built TSC Music Systems, a very successful retail music supply business which was then sold to Imagesound.
His practical expertise with in-store audio includes the likes of Starbucks, McDonald’s The GAP, Caffe Nero and Orange.