The Best Music to Play in Your Smoke Shop (+ Playlists)

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Walking into a vape shop is a sensory experience. The lights are bright, the shelves are stacked with sleek products, and the faint whiff of the goods you're selling may fill the air. Matching that scent to the sounds you're piping through the store's sound system could be crucial.

In research explained by Psychologist World, a deep connection has been found between the scent consumers inhale and the sounds they hear. This research was conducted during the holiday season. When consumers were exposed to Christmas scents with no holiday music, it seemed annoying. When holiday music and holiday scents were combined, it all seemed clear.

Research like this demonstrates the importance of matching your music and playlists to the experience you deliver in your shop. Here's how to make that happen.

What Happens in a Vape Shop?

In order to determine what music you should play, you'll need to think about what consumers will do while they're inside your shop. Some of the activities they tackle have little or nothing to do with buying a product.

For example, in a study in the journal BMC Public Health, researchers found that 90 percent of vape shop staffers said customers asked for advice on quitting smoking. These consumers are there to buy, but they're also asking for counseling and support. In a way, the shop functions a little like a support group.

Imagine if your shop played death metal music. Would your shoppers feel more comfortable talking with you? Or would that turn off your customers?

The products you sell also play a role. Your shop may sell only vape products, or you may sell:

  • Glass pipes for marijuana.
  • Marijuana products.
  • Other types of drugs, like salvia.
  • Edible marijuana products.

An editorial published in the industry journal Smoke and Vape Magazine suggests that traditional vape shops are "one-trick ponies" that do one thing well, but may not be able to compete with convenience stores, big-box stores, and other retail outlets that also sell vaping products. To stay competitive, the vape shop may need to do more. When it does, that can introduce a very different vibe into the shop.

Successful marijuana dispensaries may use playlists that are heavy on reggae, and they may feature songs that discuss marijuana legalization. If you also sell marijuana products, this could be a good shift for you. If you don't, this could be a disconcerting choice for your consumers. They may walk in and feel as though they're in the wrong store.

Finding the Right Music Playlist

"Testing may help you hit on a perfect formula. Choose a set list and keep it on rotation for a week and watch reactions, including sales."

Authors writing for BMJ suggest that there are 3,500 independent vape shops across the United States. This is a huge number, and it's unlikely that every shop is the same. There are differences based on geography, price point, products sold, and ideal customer base.  Any or all of these factors could influence the choices in music a business owner might make.

Similarly, it's very difficult for vape users to speak as a bloc. Some use vapes to substitute for cigarettes. Others use them before using any tobacco product. It's no wonder that choosing music for this group is difficult. They have diverse tastes.

On Reddit, a man asked his audience to tell him what type of music he should play in his vape shop. Readers told him to play heavy metal, instrumental hip hop, or classic jazz. Other readers told him never to play metal and to stick with classical music.

Testing may help you hit on a perfect formula. Choose a playlist and keep it on rotation for a week. Watch reactions, including sales. Then switch the list and see if things improve or decline. In time, you'll know just what your shoppers want.


1. Hip Hop:

Song: Ballin' (with Roddy Ricch)

Artist(s): Mustard, Roddy Richh

Song: How I Move (feat. Lil Baby)

Artist(s): Flipp Dinero, Lil Baby

Song: Life is Good (feat. Drake)

Artist(s): Future, Drake

Song: Make No Sense

Artist(s): YoungBoy Never Broke Again

Song: Own It (feat. Ed Sheeran & Burna Boy)

Artist(s): Stormzy, Burna Boy, Ed Sheeran

Song: Rapture

Artist(s): Koffee

Song: Shake The Room (feat. Quavo)

Artist(s): Pop Smoke, Quavo

Song: TOES (feat. Lil Baby & Moneybagg Yo)

Artist(s): DaBaby, Lil Baby, Moneybagg Yo

Song: Big Boy Diamonds (feat. Kodak Black & London on Da Track)

Artist(s): Gucci Mane, Kodak Black, London on Da Track

Song: Hot Shower

Artist(s): Chance the Rapper, MadeinTYO, DaBaby

2. Jazz:

Song: Blue in Green

Artist(s): Miles Davis

Song: Cantaloupe Island - Remastered 1999 / Rudy Van Gelder Edition

Artist(s): Herbie Hancock

Song: Dat Dere

Artist(s): Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers

Song: Dig Dis - Remastered 1999/Rudy Van Gelder Edition

Artist(s): Hank Mobley

Song: In Your Own Sweet Way

Artist(s): Miles Davis Quintet

Song: Flamenco Sketches

Artist(s): Miles Davis

Song: Cheese Cake - Remastered 1999/Rudy Van Gelder Edition

Artist(s): Dexter Gordon

Song: Ruby, My Dear

Artist(s): Thelonius Monk, John Coltrane

Song: Airegin - RVG Remaster

Artist(s): Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver, Percy Heath, Kenny Clarke

Song: Speak No Evil

Artist(s): Wayne Shorter

3. Rock/Metal:

Song: Unholy Confessions

Artist(s): Avenged Sevenfold

Song: The Diary of Jane - Single Version

Artist(s): Breaking Benjamin

Song: My Own Summer (Shove It)

Artist(s): Deftones

Song: Immigrant Song - Remaster

Artist(s): Led Zeppelin

Song: Wrathchild - 2015 Remaster

Artist(s): Iron Maiden

Song: Sad But True

Artist(s): Metallica

Song: Stillborn

Artist(s): Black Label Society

Song: Chop Suey!

Artist(s): System Of A Down

Song: Cowboys from Hell

Artist(s): Pantera

Song: Armed And Dangerous

Artist(s): Anthrax

What to Do Next

You can't turn on the music without jumping through a few hoops. Most pieces of recorded music are protected by performing rights organizations (PROs), says, and those PROs are charged with collecting royalties on behalf of copyright holders.

Playing music without a license to do so could mean paying fines to those PROs. You may also have to pay a lawyer to defend you.

Working with an organization like Cloud Cover Music is smart. We've secured agreements with all the major PROs, and our library is vast. We can help you get set up in minutes, and our prices are remarkably low. Contact us to find out more.


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