salt and flowers over a bath

Now is an exceptional time to be in the spa business. The hustle of modern-day life — and the nature of our cell phone addictions — keep us connected and wired at all times. Yoga and meditation can help us disconnect. However, the perfect playlist helps us to truly feel zen.

Spas offer a sense of relief, release, and even healing, so we can step away from the things that worry us and into a world of relaxation. If the treatments we receive at a spa also help us look better in our selfies, that is an added bonus.

The spa resurgence has been happening for a long time. In fact, in a 2007 article published in The New York Times, an industry expert reported that there were more spas in the United States than there were Starbucks coffee shops. Many more spas have opened up since 2007, and interest in spas is not likely to dissipate anytime soon.

That booming interest is good for business, but in this competitive market, you will need to ensure that your spa stands out and offers the exceptional experience your top competitors may not match. The best spa music and the right playlists can make that happen.

How Music Helps Your Spa

The expertise of your staff and the menu of services you offer are of vital importance to your clients. They might use these two factors to determine whether to choose your spa or another in the area. But there are intangibles in your spa that can also inspire consumer loyalty.

For example, in a study of spa consumers published in the European Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation, researchers found that consumers rated the quality of the service on items such as:

  • The comfort given by the furniture.
  • The temperature of the air.
  • The condition of the facility itself.
  • Cleanliness of the staff.

These consumers also reported that the tranquil atmosphere of the spa was important to them. This is a factor that can be directly influenced by musical choices. You could create the soothing atmosphere these consumers are looking for with spa music, relaxing songs, and other mellow music.

The soothing spa music and playlists you choose could also help to augment the services you offer. Your spa may provide massage therapies, nail care, skin care, and other grooming services, but your treatments are also designed to help people feel calm, relaxed, and soothed. Research suggests that music can help with this.

The University of Nevada, Reno suggests that brain waves will align with music playing at 60 beats per minute. At this point, brainwaves will be similar to those we experience naturally when we are awake but relaxed. Playing music like this may be best to help your clients feel relaxed at a subconscious level.

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Choosing the Right Spa Music to Play

In a traditional salon or spa, relaxing music tends to be electronic. Some spa music takes cues from nature, and it contains birdsong, crashing waves, and pulsing rain. Spa music can also pull themes from Native American, Chinese, or Japanese music played on traditional instruments.

Sound waves appear and crash, and no words interrupt the tune.

Sticking with music like this can be a safe choice. This is the music your spa customers expect to hear when they walk through the door, and playing that music for them can help them feel like they are in the right space.

There is the possibility, however, that you could choose slightly unusual music and appeal to a different type of consumer.

For example, the New York Post reports that nearly half of all spa customers are men. These men might also like the soft and soothing nature sounds, but they might also appreciate songs that are a little grittier and louder. This article states that some men take spa treatments together, and they take this time to catch up on conversation. They might appreciate very quiet music, so they can hear one another speaking.

While the music you play in the treatment areas of your spa or salon should soothe, you might consider playing slightly different music in different areas of your spa. Relaxing music shouldn’t be your only option.

For example, American Spa reports that very relaxing music at the checkout desk may not be best as it can keep customers from making purchase decisions. They may not book another appointment when soft spa music is playing, as they might be too relaxed to snap into planning mode. Adjusting the music in the lobby to a slightly up-tempo playlist might help these customers.


1. Ambient:

Song: Asking Nature's Blessings (From "Native American Flute & Nature Sounds")

Artist(s): Native American Flute Ensemble & Jessita Reyes

Song: A Silver Lining

Artist(s): They Dream By Day

Song: All Around Us

Artist(s): Amaranth Cove

Song: An Ending (Ascent) - Remastered 2005

Artist(s): Brian Eno

Song: Between the Lines

Artist(s): Drifting in Silence

Song: Cold Brightness

Artist(s): Justin Vanderberg

Song: Hibernation

Artist(s): Hushed

Song: Awakenings

Artist(s): Reiki Tribe

Song: Lullaby on the Prairie

Artist(s): Jessita Reyes

Song: Quiet Contemplation

Artist(s): Dan Gibson's Solitudes

Assessing the Legal Issues

You might never hear spa music on a traditional radio station, but that doesn't mean robots made this music. The music you play was created by musicians who have a legal right to that relaxing spa music. These artists expect, and deserve, payment each time it is played in public.

Your spa or salon is a public space, and each time you play a piece of music with your retail store music system, it is considered a public performance of the music. Even if you own CDs and play them, you must pay. There is really no exception available if you want to play relaxing music, spa tunes, and other copyrighted music.

Music copyright issues are handled by performing rights organizations (PROs) like BMI and ASCAP. These organizations accept payments and distribute them to the copyright holders. They also have employees who can walk into your spa to determine if you are following the rules regarding payments. You must negotiate with each PRO separately, as they do not work together.

At Cloud Cover Music, we offer a better option. We have connections with PROs, and we can provide you with protected spa music, free from any legal issues, with one contract at one price.

We have literally hundreds of songs that are appropriate for the spa or salon environment, and you can play all of them without worrying about copyright issues. We'd love to connect with you and send you more info about what we can do. Please contact us to learn more. We'll explain our simple pricing model and play you sample songs. It takes just minutes to get started.