Boulder company sells customized music playlists |

Boulder company sells customized music playlists

The Denver Post
Boulder, CO Colorado
**FOR USE IN WEEKEND EDITIONS OF JUNE 6-7**In this photograph taken on Thursday, May 21, 2009, in Westminster, Colo., hair stylist Erica Hernandez is moved by the music from the salon's selection piped in by Custom, which provides customized, radio-quality programming for businesses. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, John Prieto) ** MAGS OUT, TV OUT **
AP | The Denver Post

BOULDER, Colorado – Many businesses work hard on their “look,” but wants to convince them that having their own sound is important, too.

The Boulder-area company sells customized, radio-quality channels that businesses can play for their customers and employees.

“Our model is about getting our clients exactly what they want and delivering it in a unique way over the Internet,” said Dave Rahn, co-president of the company.

Custom Channels generates fresh music rotations from constantly updated playlists, avoiding the repetition of prepackaged services such as Muzak.

The company covers copyright liabilities that those playing “do-it-yourself” music for the public face and carries songs that can be difficult to get licensing for.

Denver-based Floyd’s 99 Barbershop uses the service to help create an atmosphere that co-founder Rob O’Brien likens to “Hard Rock Cafe meets a barbershop.”

“We were just streaming Internet services like Yahoo music, and each store had its own playlist,” O’Brien said. “We were held hostage by the emotional feelings of the 19-year-old receptionists.”

The Floyd’s 99 channel mixes songs from 18 genres and plays in 35 stores across the country and on the company’s Web site.

Employees initially pushed back, but the channel takes requests via e-mail and leaves workers with one less task to worry about, O’Brien said. Prerecorded comments and jokes from a deejay mixed in with the music help provide a more personal feel, along with Floyd’s promo spots.

Eventually, O’Brien wants the channel to carry songs from local bands, getting them broader national exposure.

Other Custom Channels customers include Whole Foods Market, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Cost Plus World Market, as well as dental offices that have access to a dozen musical genres, from jazz to country, on Smile Radio.

Rahn and his business partner, John Bradley, worked together at KBCO-FM before helping launch KXPK-FM, “The Peak.” They worked as consultants designing “adult alternative” formats, helped pioneer streaming media on the Internet and designed online channels for broadcast stations before coming up with Custom Channels.


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