Music is a huge part of Australian culture particularly in restaurants and pubs – background music or live music on a stage, your customers are left with an impression of your venue in an instant.

  • Playlisting should be deliberate
  • Volume needs to be curated
  • Being a music citizen does wonders

One study (1) found that pubs with music playing made 48.2 per cent more sales over the weekend than a pub with no music. With the high-season over and 2024 in motion, now is a good time to reevaluate what you’re doing with music in-house and how to maximise impact.
Operating since 2007, Australian brewery Brewdog are avid music lovers and pride themselves on a great customer experience through well thought-out playlists. Music licence provider, OneMusic, sat down with Head of Operations, Calvin McDonald, to get the lowdown on how music helps their venues thrive and how they make the most of a music licence.


Brewdog loves having variety in the music they play. “Music allows us to completely shift the atmosphere in our bars,” says McDonald. “From a vibrant Friday night to a chilled Monday afternoon, getting the playlist right is essential to the overall experience in the venues.”  A study (2) found that 76 per cent of restaurants that play music matching their menu seem more authentic than those that don’t, so choose wisely!

Hairyman Brewery in NSW, simplifies how they source their playlists, saying: “We generally put together some Streaming service playlists. They are a playlist that fits many demographics. Our customers age from 18–98 years of age and we want everyone to feel comfortable.”


Choosing the right volume is imperative to whether your guests stick around or leave.  A study (3) by the U.S National Institute of Health, showed cranking the volume can increase an average purchase of 2.6 drinks to 3.4 drinks per customer.

Being a music industry ally

As a thriving venue built on a passionate team, Brewdog understands the effort that goes behind creating something. “We’re passionate about making sure that the creative talent that we can showcase in our venues are rightfully rewarded for their amazing musical output,” continues McDonald.

It was one of the reasons Brewdog didn’t hesitate to secure their OneMusic licence.

Shiny Brew from Kingscliff NSW are proud music allies saying: “we pay for our licence and I proudly show my stickers so that people know we are licensed to play music. We also, play a huge variety of music not just café mixes, we like to support Australian artists in particular and we also like to try and gauge customer reaction to some of the music we play and change it accordingly.”

Playing music and need a OneMusic licence? Visit


1. Stim and SAMI (2017) and Dzhandzhugazova, E.A., Blinova, E.A., Orlova, L.N., and Romanova M.M. (2016). The value of music in pubs. Innovations in Hospitality Industry. Summary of PRS for Music research conducted by CGA. (2011).

2. Mandila, M., and Gerogiannis, V. (2012). The Effects of Music on Customer Behaviour and Satisfaction in the Region of Larissa – The Cases of Two Coffee Bars.

3.Guéguen N., Jacob, C., Le Guellec H., Morineau T. & Lourel, M. (2008). Sound Level of Environmental Music and Drinking Behavior: A Field Experiment With Beer Drinkers. Alcoholism Clinic and Experimental Research Volume 32, Issue 10.