Muzak Not Planning On Dying Anytime Soon

A Muzak PR rep would like you to know that their filing for Chapter 11 status is just so they can reorganize their debts and that they and their creditors expect Muzak to be in business for years to come (yay?). Also that they mainly sell music by original artists to retail stores (read: cleaned up for mass market appeal but tailored specifically to the stores’ demo), as opposed to the elevator music their company name became synonymous with. For a more in-depth look, The New Yorker did an interesting feature on them back in 2006, in which we learn the company HQ has a fantastic sound system that goes to even their parking lot, but, “for deeply felt symbolic reasons,” not their elevator.


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  1. johnfrombrooklyn says:

    Darn you. Everytime I hear the word Muzak, I have a Pavlovian response whereas the song “Up, Up, and Away” instantly circulates inside my brain. And it wont’ go away!!!!

  2. aka_bigred says:

    “…music by original artist to retail…” – you may want to pluralize artist to be artists.

  3. lowercase says:

    I’m not sure if the blame lies with Muzak or the management who selects the service and the channel, but regardless, they made my life miserable for 25 hours a week through most of college.

    The least they could do is come up with a 10 hour rotation so you don’t have to hear the same soft-pop songs 2 or 3 times on a Saturday shift.

    • 67alecto says:

      @lowercase: That was the fault of the management – MUZAK is basically like Satellite radio – tons of channels filled with songs specific to genres/decades/etc. I used to operate the system at work and I’d change it once a week (or more).

  4. morganlh85 says:

    The worst were the Muzak Christmas discs…there would be the same 8 or 9 Christmas songs covered by 10 different bands/artists each, so it was ten different versions of “White Christmas” or whatever over and over all day. Pure torture!

    To this day I still get the heebie-jeebies when I hear any of the songs that were on those Muzak discks…

  5. Meathamper says:

    Muzak, please just DIE! I beg you…

    *shakes in the corner, cold sweats trickle down*

  6. ophmarketing says:

    As part of their “reorganization”, they should consider a full rebranding. Because no matter what they do at this point, the name “Musak” is synonymous with “elevator music.” If they truly have moved beyond 101 Strings Play the Hits of the Beatles, they should adopt a name that reflects that reality.

  7. Yeraze says:

    wow… I never new “Muzak” was an actual company.

  8. dave23 says:

    After spending 15 years working in retail, I am sorry that Muzak will make it. I have never met anyone who actually enjoys more than one song on the loop. Hearing the same 1.5 hour loop every day for 12+ hours a day almost drive me to have an “Office Space Moment” with the Muzak player.

    PC load letter? What does that mean?!?

  9. Mozoltov, motherfucker says:

    Same here…My mind is blown.

  10. Aphex242 says:

    @undefined: “The Girl from Ipanema” here.

  11. savdavid says:

    Oh, hell. Why do you get my hopes up, Consumerist, then dash them!? LOL!

  12. Klay says:

    DMX (a similar background music company) declared bankruptcy some years ago so that it could be taken over by an investment group, shed debt (read: not pay suppliers) and look really good on the books. As DMX is now trying to merge with Muzak, my suspicion is that Muzak is pulling this same crap.

  13. bohemian says:

    The old elevator music from when I was a kid in the 70’s is still what I associate with Muzak. Bad versions of the aforementioned songs were all you heard.

    My dad was a regional VP for a company back then, thus in charge of the building. Muzak would send him an album of their Christmas music every year as a gift. Just think you too could have that awful elevator music in your home!

  14. jmndos says:

    Cleaned up ?

    Like “Back that ass up” but with no words….

    • rickhamilton620 says:

      @jmndos: LMAO, I pictured myself hearing that w/ no words in a store, and practically spit soda all over my monitor….

      Thanks for that ;)

  15. Corporate-Shill says:

    Given a choice, would you rather have Muzak, or allow every employee in an office to bring their boom-boxes to work and listen to different music at the same time?

    How about having to listen to the echos of footsteps in an empty store?

    See, there really is a purpose for Musak.

    Personally I have solved the problem by piping my choice of music over the company PA system. Being boss does have slight advantages. Greatest hits of Barry Manilow is playing right now.

  16. Trai_Dep says:

    Thank the gods. Because the soundtrack to the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse will definitely be Muzak.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I briefly interned at at Muzak and I have to say – it’s a great little company – smack dab in South Carolina. Every morning they would send out a email with that day’s featured theme in the office and it was always amazing to hear what they would pick. It’s surprising how much work you get done with the music playing in the background. Oh and their meeting rooms don’t have chairs, just these standing pods to place your computer on – which I personally think is the BEST idea anyone ever had.

  18. bluewyvern says:

    That New Yorker article is a good read.

    I didn’t really think that Muzak was just elevator music these days, but they clearly have some public perception work to do. Maybe a hip new rebranding is in order — “audio architecture by ‘Zak!”

  19. TechnoDestructo says:

    So is Musak the reason I can’t stand Smashmouth?

  20. Bs Baldwin says:

    Muzak isn’t so bad when you are constantly working. But when all you hear is muzak, it gets to you. Christmas Music is horrible anyway, that isn’t their fault. I do like the st patty’s day cds.

  21. gt3guru says:

    I worked retail about 2 years ago and some of the muzak equipment would break occationally leaving us with only 3 songs to listen to for weeks. One of which was the most obnoxious songs I’ve ever heard. Goodday sunshine… gooood daaay suuun shiiine… GooOOOOoood DaaaaAAAAaaay SUUuuUUuuUUn SHiiiiiIIIIINNE!!!
    That was 80% of the song. every 7 mins.