Muzak gets a name-change, tries to ditch stigma

Muzak Holdings, the company responsible for creating and popularizing muzak the music, is about to get a name-change from its parent company, Mood Media, reports New York Times. Apparently muzak the music makes Muzak the brand unshakably lame.

Mood Media, formerly Fluid Music Canada, Inc., provides music, video, scent technology and signage—a huge array of sensory muzak—to retailers for luring and enveloping customers.

As stores fight harder to compete with online retailing, managers increasingly replace muzak with much cooler music, as well as a wide array of “interactive marketing,” like kiosks where customers can try on clothing virtually. Low-caliber sax solos can no longer compete.

Muzak the brand was started in 1934 to create and distribute simple background music for hotels and stores. Through the late-30s and 40s they produced original recordings by top acts, then later tailored music specifically to increase workers’ productivity during wartime.

Then the 60s and 70s rolled around, and boring music went out of style. The public co-opted the term “muzak” as an insult for lame music—usually some kind of easy-listening jazz—that by then was playing constantly both at the office and in public environments like hotels and supermarkets.

According to Joseph Lanza, the author of “Elevator Music: A Surreal History of Muzak, Easy-Listening, and Other Moodsong,” muzak had become “a pervasive soundtrack” to life.

Now Mood Media is ditching “Muzak” because everyone everywhere is way cooler. (Pats on backs, super-cool high-fives).

Now let’s go hang out at kiosks and try on some digital clothes.

(via New York Times)