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It is all in the mix: The interactive effect of music tempo and mode on in-store sales

Abstract

Though practitioners have relied on tempo as a criterion to design in-store music, scant attention has been devoted to the mode of musical selections, and no consideration has been given to the potential for the interactive effects of low-level structural elements of music on actual retail sales. The current research reports a field experiment wherein the positive main effect of slow tempo on actual sales reported by Milliman (J Marketing 46 (3):86–91, 1982, J Cons Res 13 (2):286–289, 1986) is qualified by musical mode. A significant interaction between tempo and mode was evidenced, such that music in a major mode did not vary in effectiveness by tempo while music in a minor mode was significantly more effective when accompanied by a slow tempo. That is, the Milliman effect was eliminated for music in a major mode. Implications of our findings and directions for further research are discussed.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    EchoNest API is a free, web-based audio analysis interface (http://developer.echonest.com/docs/v4/)

  2. 2.

    last.fm is an online music recommendation service (www.last.fm).

  3. 3.

    Source: Swiss Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology—MeteoSwiss

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Correspondence to Eric R. Spangenberg.

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Knoferle, K.M., Spangenberg, E.R., Herrmann, A. et al. It is all in the mix: The interactive effect of music tempo and mode on in-store sales. Mark Lett 23, 325–337 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11002-011-9156-z

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Keywords

  • Retail atmospherics
  • Musical tempo
  • Musical mode
  • Linear mixed models