This founder optimized in-store music to maximize sales

Marketing melodies has evolved from a “background music supplier” to a fully-fledged retail technology company.


February 23, 2020

Have you ever stood in a store and thought, “I wonder if this music is making me buy more stuff?” Neither have we. But last week, Marketing Melodies dropped into our small business database.

Dean Cherny started the company in 1989 (it’s not affiliated with TSwift), combining his fledgling DJ career with a strategic marketing assignment. Back then, stores focused heavily on visual displays. He wondered, “What about music?”

His project supplied bespoke music to retailers. He managed to complete the assignment and nab his first client (which still pays him 3 decades later).

In the early days, Cherny mixed music onto cassettes. With the advent of the mobile phone, the business evolved into an app and has expanded into 5k retail stores worldwide.

The brand has grown from a background music supplier to a fully fledged retail technology company, supporting live events and augmented-reality experiences.

This year, Marketing Melodies is looking to integrate machine learning into its app storePlay. Cherny wants to create dynamic playlists that optimize sales by adjusting tempo or style.

  • Founders: Dean Cherny
  • Employees: 4
  • Years in business: 30
  • Cost to launch: $5k
  • Funding methods: Personal savings
  • 1st-year revenue: $10k
  • Current annual revenue: $2.5m

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