Using Music on the Web
We’ve known for a while that among web developers using music and sound online is a touchy subject. Well, TreBrand is here to push boundries, so I want to share with you a little bit of research along with a great example of a business using music on their website. Lets dig in!
A Case for Sound on the Web
There are a number of studies on both ends of the music debate when it comes to usage on the web. Some studies suggest that using music on your website can be harmful to important stats like bounce rates, but overall these studies show that it’s about control and expectations.
When I visit a blog about business topics, I don’t want music blasting out of my speakers – that’s unexpected and out of context. It can also cause conflicts in areas where you want peace and quite, like a library or boardroom during a meeting.
On the other end, a few studies have looked at the performance of websites that have music on them and have found that people are more likely to return to a website if the site has audio playing on it. As well from my own experience, people are also more likely to stay on a site or at least leave it playing in the background if they like the music on the site they are visiting.
The MGM Grand SkyLofts Website
The main purpose of this site is to imerse your in the experience, to excite your senses, and to entice you to book a room (and maybe a little late night room service too). This is a highly interactive microsite promoting the ultra exclusive MGM Grand SkyLoft suites at the top of the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The site has great visuals and allows you to take a virtual tour through your private suite.
Part of creating the ultimate experience on this site is the background music that plays while you visit. Using a steroetipical Las Vegas sound is all part of the plan and hightens the connection with the brand.
As you explore the site you’ll be able to visit each of the areas that are part of the SkyLoft experience, from the moment you arrive from the airport to the private terrace. Each room or part of the experience has it’s own look, but also it’s own sound. This helps to create a mood for each room and eliminates the chance that you’ll be bored with the site.
The key for web developers to take from this example is that user experience is paramount. If it makes sense to play music or add an element of sound then do it, if not don’t. Your visitors will thank you by returning to your site and hopefully that will lead to a transaction in the future.
Here’s a few pro tips:
- Make the player controls obvious, don’t hide them.
- Have the music or sound start playing at a lower than normal level (your visitors will turn it up if they like it).
- Remember context and expectations.
- Music should fit the brand.
What are your thoughts on using music and sound on websites? Do you like it? Can’t stand it? Tell me in the comments below.