If you are planning to Occupy any particular place today, might we make a few musical recommendations?
1. Uprising -Muse
2. Get up, Stand Up – Bob Marley
3.Revolution – The Beatles
4. The Times They Are A Changin – Bob Dylan
5. Killing in the Name of – Rage Against The Machine
6. D is for Democracy – Spirit of the West
7. Wake Up- Rage Against the Machine
8. Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who
9.Fortunate Son -Creedence Clearwater Revival
10. Ohio- Crosby Stills and Nash
11. For What it’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
12- Clampdown the Clash
13. Dogs- Pink Floyd
14.Allentown -Billy Joel
15. We’re not gonna Take it- Twisted Sister
16. War Pigs – Black Sabbath
17. How Can We Sleep When Our Beds are Burning? – Midnight Oil
18. Do You hear The People Sing – Les Miserables.
Did I miss any?
Well, yet another Stampede season has come and gone here in Calgary. It’s our grand tradition, the ultimate summer kick off party. Sure Ottawa does a mean Canada Day, but we get 10 days of it. Because we are not content with being hung over for just a day…no no no it’s a week or nothing. Go big or go home, it is the Calgary way. So in an effort to reflect on the Stampede, we at On Air thought it might be fun to do a little “East meets West” theme….namely a series of Haiku poems about the Calgary Stampede. The parts of it we remember, anyway.
Oh spray tanned cowgirl
Oompa Loompa in tight jeans
You are quite orange
Deep Fried Oreo
Shining star of the Midway
I think I might puke
A Pancake Breakfast
With a side of cold sausage
What the Hell, it’s free.
Cowboy on a bull
Gets thrown off, he eats the dirt
tastes just like corndogs
Those Daisy Duke Shorts
With their high cut butt reveal
Look better on girls
Oh Lonely Hay Bale
Only Stampede week are you
Used as furniture
Prince William and Kate
Thanks for the quick drive by wave
In your covered car
A Day on The Grounds
Bringing the whole Family
Where’d my money go?
Those Drunken Buffoons
See them stagger down the street
At least they don’t riot
A Stampede Beer Tent
It reeks of desperation
And puked up Pilsners
Okay, nobody does math as a recreational activity. Well, some do but those people are justifiably shunned by society. (I’m looking at you Sudoku) But Math is a necessary evil, particularly when it comes to your business. Today’s lesson, class is using an On Hold Calculator.
Now spit out that gum…unless you have enough for the whole class, and pay attention
Most people are shocked to learn of how much time their callers spend on hold. Do you know how long your customers are holding each year? Lets try an example case….
We’ll assume your company phone rings just 10 times per hour, that you’re open 10 hours a day, and that, as you transfer your callers or look for the information they need, you put them on hold for an average of 30 seconds. Now, prepare to be amazed…
10 calls per hour X 10 hours per day = 100 incoming calls per day
100 calls X 30 seconds of hold time = 50 minutes of daily hold time
5 business days per week X 50 minutes of daily hold time = 250 minutes of weekly hold time
52 weeks per year X 250 minutes of weekly hold time = 13,000 minutes – or more than 216 hours – of hold time per year.
Now THAT is a word problem they don’t generally teach you about in school.
Most companies could not afford to produce and buy 216 hours of television or radio time or the equivalent in print impressions each year. But simply by employing On Hold Messaging from On Air ,you can take advantage of at least that many hours of free marketing time each year just by putting callers on hold.
And we used very modest numbers in our formula: just 10 calls per hour, just 10 hours of operation per day! What if your company receives dozens or hundreds of calls per hour and is open 16 or 24 hours a day? The marketing impact of On Hold Messaging increases dramatically…and for not a penny more. That’s a fundamental difference between On Hold Messaging and other marketing channels such as TV or radio, newspapers, magazines and websites that sell banner ads – the price of On Hold Messaging does not increase as your audience grows.
So in other words, if a train is leaving Chicago heading west at 200 miles per hour and a train is leaving Los Angeles heading east at 230 miles per hour…how long before the train companies realize how much advertising time they are missing out on without On Hold Messaging?
Oh Math, is there nothing you can’t do?
NO RUNNING!!! WE SAID NO RUNNING!!!
Whether it’s your phone message or your radio ad if you want that song…you are going to have to pay for it!
If the Napster debacle taught us one thing it’s that the music industry is fiercely protective of their intellectual property. So is SOCAM, an organization dedicated to protecting the rights of Canadian songwriters…and they are very good at their job. Even if you are just using a song for your on hold message you are still technically broadcasting that song and are therefore liable to legal action.
Here is an excerpt from an excellent article on the subject called “Pay the Piper” by Steve Schneider, explaining exactly how music rights work in the industry…and although he’s speaking more about radio…it also applies to all iterations of your audio advertising, including message on hold.
“There are several types of rights or permission one legally needs in order to use a piece of music in a commercial. The rights most broadcasters already know something about are performance rights, which are largely the concern of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; Broadcast Music, Incorporated; and the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers. Radio stations regularly pay these fees as a part of doing business. However, there are some who mistakenly believe that by paying licensing fees to ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, they have also paid for the right to use any music they wish in a commercial. Not so. By paying ASCAP, BMI or SESAC, the station has paid for the right to perform a work over the airwaves, but only the non-dramatic performance of separate musical com-positions. That means, as the song was originally intended.
Let’s say somebody like United Air Lines wants to use “Rhapsody In Blue” for their commercial. The song was not originally written for a commercial. That’s not the way the song was originally intended to be used. If a station wants to play “Rhapsody In Blue” on the radio in its entirety or even a portion of it, then that’s fine, as long as ASCAP, BMI and/or SESAC fees have been paid. (It is not necessary to pay fees to all three. One may be sufficient, depending on the situation.) If the station wants to use “Rhapsody In Blue” in a commercial, then a completely different set of rights are involved.
When a station pays its fees to ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, it’s paying for “performance rights” or the right to perform the composition. As broadcasters, we don’t perform the piece with instruments and musicians, we perform it with CD players and transmitters. The function of ASCAP, BMI and SESAC then is to protect composers’ performance rights (the right to get paid for one’s work) by collecting cash from those who perform compositions and then distributing the money to the publishers and composers.
A common misconception is that since paying for performance rights for a composition allows a station to play a piece of music in its entirety or in part, then it must be okay to use the music in a commercial. Yes and no. As far as ASCAP, BMI and SESAC are concerned, it’s okay, because the station has paid for performance rights. But, United States Copyright Law dictates that an ASCAP, BMI or SESAC license has nothing to do with the right of first permission or approval to use that song for any commercial advertising purpose, radio or on television.
The big question is, “How does my station and my advertiser get permission to use a licensed piece of music in a commercial?” There are agencies that act as go-betweens for music composers/publishers and those who want permission to use licensed music for commercial purposes. You’ll most likely need to go through one of these agencies to get permission and negotiate terms. Check album or CD credits for the name of the publisher, call them, and they’ll direct you to their commercial licensing representative. Once you’re talking to the right people, you’ll explain what you want to use the music for, and you’ll begin negotiating terms. There’s no way to give you an estimate of what it’ll cost to get licensing to use a particular song in a commercial. It depends on how long you want to use it, who published the song, whether it’s exclusive or non-exclusive, who the client is, how many seconds the commercial runs, the A.D.I. or market in which the commercial will be used, and so on. Licensing fees have ranged from zero to four million dollars. Fortunately, the great majority of licensing deals are a lot closer to zero than four million.
Here’s a hypothetical situation. Bob and Bernie’s Used Cars in Franklin, Tennessee wants to use Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in The U.S.A.” in one of their commercials. It just so happens that Lee Iacocca and Chrysler are using the same music in one of their commercials. Moreover, Chrysler got permission, while Bob and Bernie didn’t. What have Bob and Bernie done wrong? First, they never got permission to use the song from the publisher, who would have told them that Chrysler has exclusive rights to use that Springsteen composition for commercial purposes. Secondly, Bob and Bernie are advertising cars in direct competition with Chrysler. Bob and Bernie have also used a master recording and the likeness of an artist, Bruce Springsteen, without consent. In addition, the rights of the producer who put the spot together have been infringed upon, since they were the ones putting together the only commercial that was licensed to use the song.
There’s more; something called “master rights.” This refers to the rights of the record company that manufactured the physical media on which the song is recorded. If you’re going to be taking a song from a physical recording, you need to get permission from the company that made the physical recording. Some broadcasters are familiar with these rights, often called “needle drop fees”.
Here’s something else to think about regarding master rights. Many production people think they can avoid this whole business by using classical music, since much of the music is old enough to be in the public domain. While the music may be in public domain, the recording itself may have been recently made. Therefore, using the physical recording to make a commercial may infringe upon the manufacturer’s master rights.
What this all boils down to for the broadcaster is that your advertisers need to get permission to use a licensed piece of music in a commercial from whomever holds the rights. You need to secure commercial advertising licensing, and that comes from the publisher. If the music is lifted from an album, then you also need permission from the record company that physically made the album. And, of course, your ASCAP, BMI and SESAC licensing needs to be paid. That’s three hurdles to clear in order to use Tommy Roe’s “Dizzy” in a Dramamine commercial, and there may be more.”
You can read the rest of the article right here.
When you contact On Air to get an on hold message, or a radio spot done, part of what you are paying for is use of our extensive library of fully licensed and legal music. We pay the licensing fees for you, every year so you don’t have to worry about the possible legal ramifications.
So essentially a) No you probably CAN’T use Nickleback on your on hold message and b) Why would you want to? It’s Nickleback!
If you have any other questions about licensing and music rights, drop us a line and we’ll be happy to clear them up for you.
Here at On Air we hear a lot of vocal demos, lots of good ones, some not so good…some with no experience at all. If you find yourself at home reading cereal boxes aloud, pretending you’re a radio deejay and introducing each song on your ipod, or announcing your bathroom breaks to friends and neighbors with a hearty “Will be right back after these important messages” chances are you are keen on doing a little voice work. We would like to take a moment to share what it is we are looking for in vocal talent.
So you’ve got a great voice. Good for you. Jimmy Hendrix had fantastic guitars…but its how he PLAYED them that made him great. Jimmy could play lead, rhythm, blues, acoustic… he played em all, and was equally great at each of them. A good voice artist needs to be the same way. If all you can do is one kind of read, you are limiting yourself to a certain kind of work and your opportunities disappear. The most sought after voice artists are ones that can do both character and announcer reads, and highlight the sometimes very subtle nuances of the copy.
2. The Ability to Take Direction.
“I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like.”- John Cleese, Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
Clients are often sitting in on sessions, and they are a bit like Mr. Cleese in the above quote. They often don’t know exactly what they are looking for but they’ll know it when they hear it. That’s why we prefer talent that can take direction, from both the client and the engineer. Sometimes it’s as subtle as “Could you try it with just a touch of ambiguity?’, and other times it’s “No no, lose the pirate accent altogether.” But the ability to give the client what they are looking for is key. And speaking of Monty Python and voice talents…
3. A-NUN-CIATE if you please!
We can’t use you if we can’t understand you. To make sure you are hitting all of you consonants crisply and your vowels gracefully try warming up your mouth with a few stretches. Tongue twisters are also a great way to wake up your lips…so try a few of these on for size
4. Accuracy and Consistency
So you’ve just done a great sounding take. If only you hadn’t missed a whole sentence right in the middle. That’s okay…we’ll do it again…but this take sounds COMPLETELY different. And so does the next one…and the next one. Now we have a real problem…this is not going to edit together well, and now we can’t fix your mistake. Make sure you read the copy thoroughly, and when you do a second take make it as close to the last one as you can unless directed to do it differently. Otherwise your 15 minute session gets stretched to an hour…which may be great for your invoice…but not so good for your books if the studios stop working with you.
Okay so we are a little picky about our voice talent, but the fact is when branding a business a professional sounding voice is paramount. If they don’t believe you…they won’t believe in the product or service you are talking about either.
If you’d like to hear a few voice talents we REALLY like, just check us out here
Good Luck…Happy Voicing…Oh and try not to drink too much dairy before a session…it makes you phlegmy. Ew.
It’s been said that the loudest sound in radio…is silence.
It’s also been said that the quickest way to lose a potential client is putting them on hold and having them listen to….well nothing.
We’ve all been there, when you’re not sure if you’ve been put on hold, or hung up on? And you find yourself saying “hello? Hello? Only to have no one respond) Then you look at your phone and check the time to see if it keeps rolling JUST to make sure you are still on hold? Then you try and decide whether to wait and see if someone comes back to the line or hang up and call another place?
Just because your business phone rings all day doesn’t mean you’re generating the revenue you could be.
Makes you wonder why you WOULDN’T use your phone message as a business tool, doesn’t it?
Message On hold (MOH) is marketing literally at your finger tips. It is a marketing tool geared toward generating revenue, because your callers can learn about your:
• Products and services
• Hours of operation
• Special events
Or, you could just keep them on hold and have them listen to nothing, that way they’ll spend valuable time on the phone with you asking questions that could have been answered while on hold. Or even better, they could hang up and call your competition.
Still not sure if you need on hold? (Seriously?) Ok let’s do the math.
If your company receives 200 calls a day, and there are 20 work days in a month and the percentage of potential clients put on hold is 60% (still with me?) and they hold for about a minute let’s say… your total advertising time available on hold is 2400 minutes each month!
Check out our website at On Air and try our on hold calculator to find out how much advertising time you have available while your potential clients are on hold. MOH works. If you don’t believe us, just phone your competition.
You know those mornings where you wake up and the sun is shining, the birds are singing, everyone walks with a spring in their step and a smile, and you would STILL bite the head off of a girl scout if she tried to sell you some cookies?
Some days you can’t help it, no matter what the day is shaping up like, you are in a bad mood. You just want to scream at everyone, be belligerent to people, and call them idiots if they don’t agree with every little thing you say. If you are not Bill O’Reilly, who makes a living out of being a complete and utter jack ass this is generally considered unacceptable behavior. So what can you do?
Well for me, there are certain songs that put me in a good mood almost instantly. They are songs that defy grumpiness, that create a small bubble of irresistible cheer. Granted, what you would choose to put on this list might be vastly different than mine. For instance, you may have noticed, with some derision, that there is nothing on my list after 1984. That’s because I’m an old fart who is only a couple of years away from yelling at kids to get off his lawn. I should have growth charts on the wall to measure my pants creeping up. But that is another blog. Here then, is my list of songs that provide me with instant good modification. Feel free to add yours in the comment section.
Call me Al by Paul Simon.
Maybe it’s the jaunty bass line, maybe it’s the peppy horns, or maybe because the video may actually be the last time on record that Chevy Chase was funny. But whatever the reason, this one always gets a quick volume boost from me whenever it comes on the radio
Stepping Out by Joe Jackson
“You can dress in pink and blue just like a child
And in a yellow taxi turn to me and smile
We’ll be there in just a while if you follow me”
How much fun does THAT sound like?
Spirit of Radio by Rush
“Begin the day with a friendly voice, a companion unobtrusive…”
As a Canadian nerd it is my sacred and sworn duty to be a die hard Rush junkie. That bursting guitar riff, with epic drum fills always makes me want to stand up and cheer, even if the song turned out to be painfully prophetic about which direction the music industry was going.
Second hand news by Fleetwood Mac
There was a time when almost every guy wanted to lay Stevie Nicks down in the tall grass and let them do their stuff. This is the first track off of the legendary Rumors album, which was written at the peak of their discontent with each other, but yielded some great tracks.
Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel
Written shortly after his departure from Genesis, Peter Gabriel taps into the uncertainty, but also the exhilaration of being on his own for the first time, and stretching his creative wings.
If you can listen to this song without moving some part of your body along with it, you have no soul, and should probably consult your nearest convenient non denominational spiritual advisor.
Won’t Get Fooled Again by The Who
Before it become forever associated with David Caruso, (Urgh, by the way. Just urgh.) this song was the quintessential rock anthem. The video below is from the movie “The Kids are Alright,” and it may well be everything I love about rock and roll in a nutshell.
ABC by The Jackson Five
I swear to you, this, on loudspeaker in all the world’s trouble spots would bring about world peace in about ½ an hour.
So there you go… the power of music. It’s something that you should also consider in your audio advertising. (He nails the segue, 9.5 from the Russian judge!) When you pick music, be it for a radio ad, on hold message, or in store advertising, you should probably keep in mind what works for your business stylistically as well as something that…well puts you in a good mood.. Take the time to listen to some samples, and really get it right. And remember, it’s never okay to yell at girl scouts.
I’m looking at you, Bill O Reilly.
Well, this is a Christmas blog entry…so please take a moment and click on the video below.
Go ahead, we’ll wait.
Ahhhh, that’s better. It’s important to get the right atmosphere in any holiday message. You may think it’s a little early, but think again. A holiday on hold message does a lot of things for your business.
-It creates an atmosphere of warmth that makes your customers smile
-It highlights any products you have that might be ideal for someone’s gift list
-It stops people from wondering why your “Have a great summer” message is still on there. In other words, letting your customers know that you have a basic understanding of how a calendar works will instill them with confidence.
It’s the biggest retail season of the year. It’s on the minds of the people phoning in, so why not acknowledge it, and send them your best wishes. Plus with the holidays , you might have extended hours, or closures to tell them about. As much as you would like to share a hot chocolate over the phone, the technology isn’t there yet (But Starbucks is totally working on it, we can pretty much guarantee that) so exchange warm greetings instead of warm cocoa. Get your holiday on hold message right here.
In the meantime, enjoy a few holiday phone messages from a few characters you might be familiar with.
Hello and thank you for calling the North Pole If your call is about a gift exchange press one. For inquiries about items on your wish list, press two. To Appeal your Naughty list status, press three. To reach Santa Claus himself, please hang up and write a letter like everyone else. Thank you for your patience, your current wait time is…
Thank you for holding.
You have reached the offices of Scrooge and Marley. Please note, we do not accept solicitation of any kind. To reach Mr. Scrooge, press one. To Reach Mr Marley, leave a message and he will appear on your door knocker as soon as he is able.
Tired of Christmas Hulabaloo?
Then Hire a Grinch to steal it for you
He’ll take their pantookas and plinkers and trumpets
And stash them all in a cave on Mount Crumpet
So stay on the line to speak to a Grinch
He’s no Santa Claus, but he’ll do in a pinch.
LOL, LMAO, OMG. BTW TTYL WTF, BFF, BGF
Unless you are an avid “txtr” the above acronyms may leave you saying WTH? But I can at least help you with the Acronymapidia of on hold messaging.
So, if you require an MOH and would like information about an IVR with a 4UP we can discuss the option of a USB.
Let’s break it down:
- Message on hold
- This marketing tool can generate revenue by keeping callers on the line and providing them with information about your:
- Products or services
- Hours of operation
- Special events
- Seasonal offers
That brings me to IVR
- Interactive Voice Response:
- On Air can help you choose from our many long standing voice talents which voice will work best to promote your company while potential clients are on hold.
Now that you’ve decided MOH is the way to go, and have chosen what you would like to say about your company through IVR, are you looking for a 2 up, 4 up, 6 up or 12 up?
2UP, 4 UP, 6 UP, 12 UP
- This stands for the number of updates (or recordings) a year.
- Update your on hold message with a customized production 2, 4, 6, or even 12 times a year.
- You may require a 2 up package all the way to a 12 up depending on your business needs.
Though the following are not acronyms, it still must be mentioned; the difference between a “script” and a “prompt” when it comes to on hold messaging.
You will often hear the creative writers at On Air refer to your on hold message as the “script”. This is your on hold message in its entirety.
While a PROMPT is:
A paragraph that focuses on one or two things you’d like to talk about in your message. So if you have 10 prompts, in its entirety that is called the script.
So I hope to have clarified some of the acronyms that exist when it comes to on hold messaging, and that your fear of sending an email or a txt with acronyms NLE.
by Ken Gold
Recording voices can be tricky and it is extremely dependant on the type of voice being recorded. For instance, some mics sound better on a female voice than they do on a male voice.
A talented producer can usually listen to a voice and select the right microphone for the job .
If you don’t have a talented producer, there are many forgiving microphones that will get the job done. Usually the best mics for voice in the studio are Condensers and Ribbon microphones .
If you looked at album covers from the 50′s and 60′s, you’ll often find artists crooning into an RCA ribbon Type 77 microphone. It’s one of several microphones whose silhouette has become iconic of recording, and even of music itself. The 77 deserves its reputation, the ribbon’s natural sound can also be made to sound warm, big, and syrupy (Bing Crosby-like) when placed within two or three feet of the voice talent (generally, you can’t close-talk a ribbon without having a greatly exaggerated bass characteristic). An adequate breath filter in front of the ribbon is also necessary to protect the delicate ribbon (NEVER blow into a ribbon mic).
It is hard to beat the lush sound of these microphones as they have stood the test the time and are still preferred by many today for pro audio voice recording.