Thursday, 29 December 2016

A Look Back on the Music of 2016

2016 is almost over, but the year’s soundtrack will transcend January 1st and carry on with us as an audio yearbook, stirring up memories and taking us back to relive the moments that moved us January through December.

This year had its ups and downs—especially in the world of music. Sadly, we lost great talents and musical legends with the passing of David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen, among other influencers. Each left behind irreplaceable contributions to music, and will live on through their compositions.

2016 was filled with fierce women in music. Female musicians continued to chart new territory and charge forward: BeyoncĂ© started a buzz with her new album Lemonade, released with a provocative one-hour-long HBO film; Taylor swift became the first woman to win a Grammy for Album of the Year two years in a row; and Madonna was recognized as Woman of the Year at Billboard’s Women in Music event, where she opened up in a blunt, raw and emotional speech about the challenges she faced in her career as a female musician. 

One of the more lighthearted highlights of 2016 was musical meme pandemonium—namely the viral meme of Drake that circulated with the release of the artist’s Views album. The meme became so well-known and highly shared that it inspired the creation of a photo generator app that allowed users to create their own mock-album covers by inserting a tiny sitting Drake into photographs.

Many factors influenced the music of this year, most notably the political landscape, social issues, and the evolution of the way people consume and access music. In 2016—more than ever—music was a social experience and connected people from all walks of life through its unique language.

Here is a list of the songs that you loved this year—controlPLAY’s top 10 most requested music videos of 2016:

  1. Work by Rihanna ft. Drake

  2. Uptown Funk! by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars

  3. Hotline Bling by Drake

  4. Stressed Out by Twenty One Pilots

  5. My House by Flo Rida

  6. Love Yourself by Justin Bieber

  7. Heathens by Twenty One Pilots

  8. Panda by Desiigner

  9. 679 (Remy Boyz) by Fetty Wap

  10. CAN’T STOP THE FEELING! by Justin Timberlake

From the whole team at controlPLAY, Happy New Year! We can’t wait to see what new tunes 2017 will bring.

controlPLAY is the number one music, music video and digital signage service provider for bars and restaurants. Our exclusive software and exceptional customer service save you time, money and can even increase your revenue—most of our customers see an average increase of $1000 per month. Visit to learn more. 

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Giving Really is the Best Part

Continuing the tradition of helping our community

Think of a time when you felt truly alive, purposeful and fulfilled. Chances are, you can connect those feelings to an act of selflessness—a time you did something to benefit others.

Most of us are fortunate enough to enjoy the holidays as a season of celebration and plenty—come January there are a lot of us who can even see the evidence of these celebrations when we step on the scale or try to squeeze into our skinny jeans (I know I do…).

But some don’t get to experience the holidays that way. Many families struggle just to enjoy a meal, and some children spend Christmas Eve feeling hungry.

In fact, more than 40% of food bank clients in our community are children.

That breaks our hearts.

And it just won’t do.

We know it’s our responsibility to support those who need a helping hand over the holidays. To us, kindness, love and helping others are what the season is really all about. This is why every year we are proud to support the Business Cares Food Drive.

This season we’ve been collecting canned goods, diapers, formula and baby food, where we keep under the office Christmas tree until delivery day on Dec. 21. Last year we donated more than 800 pounds of goods, and this year our staff have been challenged to beat that record. In addition, 787 Networks will donate $2,000 worth of groceries to the food bank.

Helping others feels good, it makes our world a better place, it builds a stronger team and it’s easy.

We're grateful for our subscribers and incredible team who consistently contribute to our success—they make it possible for us to be part of Business Cares and to make a meaningful difference for families in our community.

Please join us in making the holidays happy for everyone, and consider supporting those who could use a little extra help.

From our controlPLAY family to yours, have a warm and happy holiday!

Friday, 16 December 2016

The Sounds of the Season: Jazzy Crooners or Popstar Sensations?

How to build the perfect holiday playlist for your bar or restaurant

Have you ever noticed that some businesses start playing holiday music well before most of us have taken down our Halloween decorations? There’s more to a holiday playlist than just getting into the holly jolly spirit—spreading a little holiday cheer helps to inspire holiday spending, which means a jump-start on seasonal sales.  

In addition to rolling out holiday playlists early, more businesses are favouring modern pop remixes over the holiday classics to cater to younger generations. 

So does this mean that bars and restaurants should jump on the bandwagon and start playing modern holiday pop songs during the first week of November?
Before you go swapping out your cocktail crooner holiday classics for modern remixes, make sure it’s the right fit for your bar or restaurant. Studies show that the tempo, genre and style of music played in your establishment impacts how your clients perceive your brand and their experience, and can directly impact your bottom line. 

For example, when played in the right kind of establishment, classical music can help increase the amount a consumer will spend. However, this only works for fine dining or bars or restaurants with an upscale vibe—if classical music doesn’t match the brand, it can backfire and actually produce the opposite effect. 

IN SHORT: your holiday genre selection is just as important as your everyday playlist. Any old holiday song won’t do. And just because it’s the trendy or popular choice, doesn’t mean it’s right for your bar or restaurant.

In addition to what kind of music you play, WHEN you queue up your Christmas tunes also makes a big impact on your bar or restaurant’s holiday vibe—and your staff’s patience. There are advantages to starting early; however, some polls suggest that consumers in the USA aren’t ready to get into the holiday spirit until after Thanksgiving. 

A balanced approach to incorporating your holiday sound is the key to success. The best way to extend the life of your holiday mix while maintaining your bar or restaurant’s unique brand identity is to take what we at controlPLAY call the Progressive Hybrid approach.

The Progressive Hybrid approach blends a mix of holiday songs that match your current sound and vibe with your existing playlists. Various holiday tracks are carefully selected to maintain the energy and sound of your brand. The ratio of holiday songs in your playlist increase as it gets closer to the holiday.

Sounds complicated?
With controlPLAY, executing your Progressive Hybrid holiday playlist is a simple click. Getting started is easy, free and there are no strings attached. Contact Jesse Martin one of our solution specialists today.

controlPLAY is the number one music, music video and digital signage service provider for bars and restaurants. Our exclusive software and exceptional customer service save you time, money and can even increase your revenue—most of our customers see an average increase of $1000 per month. Visit to learn more. 

Monday, 5 December 2016

New Years Eve Day

Create an all-day celebration with your music, music video and digital signage system. 

Why limit the New Years Eve countdown to ten seconds? With controlPLAY, your twelve-hour countdown can automatically start at noon! Countdown’s can also start at 6:00 PM or 8:00 PM.

Every half hour, your screens will light up with a notification of how long until the New Year.
At 11pm, the frequency increases, right up to controlPLAY signature New Year’s Eve ten second countdown with Auld Lang Syne and a megamix of party hits to turn the party up.

Your screens will come to life with fireworks and you can add your own Video Text messages to create your branded experience.

Be sure to utilize our New Years Eve Infotainment to let your customers know you are the New Year Eve Celebration Headquarters!
Click here to Opt-In

or please contact us if you would like our Subscriber Success Manager help you create your custom New Year Party!

Monday, 21 November 2016

Ten Reasons to Support Local Bars and Restaurants

Have you started your holiday shopping yet? Friday, November 25 marks Black Friday—the unofficial kick-off to the holiday shopping frenzy. While many of us scour the sales racks or take our hunt online searching for the perfect gifts, it’s important to keep one thing top of mind: how is your purchase impacting your community?

How and where we spend our money shapes everything around us: from the type and variety of products that are available to us to the economic strength of our cities, towns and neighborhoods. A good bargain feels great—but what does it really cost us?

There are so many great reasons to support our local shops and businesses, and that includes the bars and restaurants that bring the fun and flavor to our communities. Our local eateries and watering holes are the places we build our memories, celebrate life’s milestones and gather with our loved ones for that special night out.

You can never replace the memories you made with your friends at your pub or coffee shop. When you’re away, one of the first things you’ll miss is the Thai soup or crispy fries from your favorite restaurant back home—you won’t be able to find anything like it anywhere else.

Our local pubs and restaurants are more than just places to eat and drink.

We can help support our local businesses this season by participating in Shop Local Saturday on Saturday, November 26. All you have to do is shop at the unique businesses that make your community special—and that includes dining or socializing at your favorite local hotspot.

Besides being a great excuse to enjoy a day or evening out, there are many great reasons to shop and dine local:

  1. You don't have to travel
  2. One of the best parts about supporting your local businesses? They're LOCAL! That means less time you’ll have to spend travelling and more time to enjoy the things you love.

  3. You won't find it anywhere else
  4. Local businesses offer unique and one-of-a-kind products and services. You’ll never find another cafĂ© that makes chai lattes like your local coffee shop.

  5. You'll create jobs
  6. Small businesses are responsible for most of the new jobs created in the USA. By supporting your local shops, pubs and businesses you're helping to bring new jobs that will directly benefit your neighbors—or maybe even you!

  7. You'll find a bargain
  8. Local businesses typically offer products of a higher quality and are often open to price matching or bartering.

  9. You'll benefit from the investment
  10. The money you spend at your local business goes back into your community. A thriving local economy can even lead to lower taxes, which means more money in your pockets.

  11. You'll get better customer service
  12. A lot of local businesses are run by family and friends with a deep and personal connection to their products and services. This often means you’ll get superior customer service from business operators that will go above and beyond for their customers.

  13. You'll increase your choices
  14. It's simple: the more that you buy close to home, the more that will become available to you close to home.

  15. You'll help the environment
  16. Locally grown and raised food and goods don’t have to travel as far to make it to the consumer. Which means fewer emissions from shipping and a smaller impact on the environment.

  17. You'll feel good about it
  18. What's not to feel good about? You’re supporting your community, helping the environment and saving money

  19. You'll get to know your neighbors
  20. There's a reason Cheers was such a popular television show; there's nothing like walking into a shop or pub where everybody knows your name.
Spread the Word
You can help encourage members of your community to shop local by downloading our FREE sharable graphic and posting to your social media sites.

controlPLAY salutes the local businesses that make our communities vibrant. Support your neighborhood and shop small on Saturday, November 26.
To learn more about how controlPLAY can help you boost your bar or restaurant’s bottom line by $1000/month, visit or drop us a line at

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Ten Thankful Songs: The Power of Thanksgiving Music for Bars and Restaurants

Thanksgiving is a holiday like no other; it’s the time to appreciate the things we sometimes take for granted as we go about our everyday lives.

Taking a moment to pause and reflect on the good in our lives helps to relieve stress, reconnect with loved ones and just be better people. As many of us sit down to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast with our family and friends, there is likely to be one important—yet understated—element that sets the tone and encourages connection like nothing else: music.

Music is a universal language that connects people from all walks of life. No matter who you are or what your story, there is a song out there that will stir up your emotions or bring back memories.

Music unites us.

So what easier way to celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving in your bar or restaurant than through your playlist? Playing music that connects your clientele with the sentiments of the season helps to extend the warmth of Thanksgiving to your establishment—enhancing your customers’ experience and stirring positive emotions that build loyalty to your brand.

Creating a Thanksgiving playlist doesn’t mean your music has to be sappy or that you have to sacrifice your brand identity. The best thing about music is the diversity in communicating an emotion and sending a message; there are options in every genre that achieve a Thanksgiving feel.

To inspire some ideas, check out our list of 10 Thankful Songs to add to your background music this Thanksgiving:

At controlPLAY, we have so many incredible things to be grateful for: our outstanding staff who bring their A-game to the table every day to innovate, invent and deliver the best products and services. Their enthusiasm and creativity inspire us and we’re thankful for our amazing team.

We’re thankful for our customers. We love sharing music with others and helping bars and restaurants enhance their businesses; we’re grateful that we get to do what we love every day, and meet some great people while we do it.

On behalf of everyone at controlPLAY, have a happy and heartfelt Thanksgiving!

For free and easy tips on how music can boost your brand and help increase your revenue, visit

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

A Halloween Theme Night Hack that BOOsts your Bar or Restaurant’s Bottom Line


It’s almost here, my pretties. It’s the scariest night of the year; the night when all of the Mummies and Deaddies rise from the grave to consume perilous potions, terrifying treats and deadly desserts. It’s almost HALLOWEEN.

Halloween isn’t just for little ghouls and ghosts, it’s also a great time for bars and restaurants to BOOst their revenue.

HOW? By hosting a Halloween theme night.  

Now don’t be afraid. Halloween doesn’t have to mean menacing monsters, crazy crowds or wild witches; it can be anything from a simple splash of spook to a full-on fright-fest. When customized to fit your bar or restaurant’s vibe, a Halloween theme night can help you attract new customers, engage with your regulars and increase your revenue.

How do you get started?
Check out our step-by-step guide to planning a Halloween theme night (if you dare!):