Hold On! There’s a Major Problem with On Hold Music that No One is Talking About


Avoid the biggest pitfall of using bad, brand-damaging hold music

Music has long been a powerful force in telling stories and relaying emotions, and its effects on the mind have been put to use in on hold marketing. Uplifting music can calm a frustrated caller. Slow tempo music can make hold times seem shorter. Classical music can give a sense of sophistication or refinement. Rock music sets the tone for adventure and excitement.

Whatever music you play, regardless of the content of your messages, it tells a story about your brand and places an image of your company into the mind of every caller.

And this is a huge pitfall for companies who don’t realize how much the type of music you play on hold matters.

Does Your On Hold Music Fit Your Brand?


One of the biggest missed opportunities for many companies using on hold marketing is the chance to reinforce their brand.

Music isn’t just about personal preferences or what your callers might enjoy hearing. Your music should help to paint the image you want your callers to see when doing business with you.  

This isn’t the reality many companies experience, though. Instead, they opt for music with mass appeal. They choose the “tried and true” elevator music because it’s easy, inoffensive, and fairly standard. Or worse, they use the built-in hold music that came with their phone system (food for thought: it’s the same music every other business with that same phone system is playing, too).

If you’re guilty of using generic music that sounds like every other company on hold, you’re not doing your brand any favors. Hold time gives you a unique opportunity to extend your brand image to your callers for a consistent experience.

And by all means, you should take advantage of it.

You Can Play Anything On Hold - But There’s a Catch


Most phone systems make it easy for you to play anything you want to on hold. With a simple plug-and-play audio output or file upload, you can usually switch out your audio in seconds. Companies are using everything from iPods and radios to uploading their favorite pop songs from CDs.

But be warned: just because technology makes it possible doesn’t mean you can play whatever you want.

Choosing the best on hold music depends on two things:

It should strengthen your brand, and it must be legal.

It’s a double-edged sword:

On one side, using the phone system’s built-in music is cheap and readily available, but it does nothing to reinforce your brand and stand out to your callers.  In fact, it may be detracting from your brand . . . especially if you happen to be using the same phone system as your competitor . . . or worse, the DMV!

On the other side, playing an iPod or CD is also an inexpensive solution, but it is unreliable, and worse,  illegal unless you license the music for commercial use (which can cost thousands of dollars per song).

Want an inexpensive, brand-boosting, and easy to use option?  Clearonhold.com has thousands of music beds to choose from, and our professionally trained Certified Commercial copywriters and professional voices can tailor fit your messaging to communicate the feel of your brand to your callers.   

The Best Way to Brand Yourself On Hold

Thousands of companies play music on hold because it reduces hang-ups.  But these benefits can be overshadowed if your music and messaging aren’t aligned with your brand.

The best way to brand your company on hold is to first choose music that presents the right image. The music you choose will have an enormous effect on how the caller feels about your company.

Unless you want to be seen a generic version of what you do, canned music isn’t an option.

Of course, to really upgrade your professional image, educate your callers and increase sales, it’s hard to beat mixing the right music with professionally written and voiced on-hold messaging.

But that’s another subject.

Explore our on hold music samples to get a little inspiration and start building your audio brand.