Music on Websites: Compelling or Repelling?

The answer to the question should be based on ‘user intent’.  More to the point, the purpose of your website and who you are trying to attract.

For example, if your website is about promoting music, and/or if you are The Apple iTunes store, it’s a safe bet that people are going to your site to listen to and download music.  If you are a plastic surgeon and your site is about attracting new patients, music may not be welcome or appropriate.

In many cases, music on websites results in high use of the ‘back button’.

Still thinking about music for your non-music based website?  Consider the following scenarios:

1. Office Surfing: in other words, surfing while working.  With ‘Born To Be Wild’ blaring in the background of the latest site you visit, the boss may catch on that you’re not really working; unless you work for Harley Davidson.  

2. Shock and Awe: it’s a fact; innocent web surfers love nothing better than to unsuspectingly stumble upon these ‘sound mines’, especially with their computer volume turned on.

3. The Law: besides annoying innocents, as a website owner, your selection of website music may put you at risk of ‘Copyright Infringement’.

4. The Cheese Factor: as a website owner, you may be trying to set a mood with your music, similar to that found in elevators, shopping malls, department stores and finer public toilets.

Speaking of cheese and an annoying use of website music, give a listen to  Tylenol not included.

Ray Litvak

WebSite Content Writer & Developer – Toronto