Atmosphere is a two-sided platform that connects retail/hospitality businesses with ‘curators’. The business model allows for joint profitability, as it enables businesses and curators to interact to create value together and maximize their payoffs. A study conducted by the Stockholm School of Economics found that background music that matches brand identity can increase store sales by at least 30% (Johansson & Moradi, 2015), which presents a measurable potential financial output for businesses. The curators suggested by the platform are picked by a particular company on the basis of the quality of their playlists and close fit with the brand, which incentivizes them in terms of effort to deliver the most suitable music sets and thus get rewarded in return. To facilitate this, Atmosphere invests in algorithms and models to create accurate brand profiles.
The Problem Situation
Do you ever pay attention to the music you hear in your favorite store? Many shops and hospitality businesses in the Netherlands still make use of outdated mix-CDs and standard playlists. Considering it has become increasingly important for retail businesses to provide a dynamic brand experience, how can background music be used to optimize the customer journey?
Atmosphere and its business model
Amsterdam-based Rockstart-startup ‘’ addresses this situation with its new B2B music service, ‘Atmosphere’. Its key resource is its pool of musicians, DJs and producers, called ‘curators’. New clients undergo an extensive intake-procedure that allows Atmosphere to create a ‘music identity’ that reflects the company’s brand identity, target audience and desired customer experience. Consisting of a collection of moods, sounds and emotions, this allows the platform to match brands with the most suitable curators for them. Atmosphere allows curators to use the music on its platform to continuously assemble new playlists on a monthly basis. A streaming app is then used to play the music on-location. (Atmosphere, 2017)
Atmosphere’s value proposition is a better customer experience for brands and a new earning model for artists and music experts. It also incorporates feedback to create better playlists every month and learn from each brand profile to improve its services. Businesses pay Atmosphere on a monthly basis for using the platform, and the curators on the platform decide the price of their service.
Furthermore, internal institutional arrangements are present in the form of ‘rules of the game’. Multiple curators are suggested to the client, who can make the final choice based on music samples. To stay ‘matched’ with a company, the chosen curator must continuously produce high quality work; otherwise, the company will switch to another curator. In terms of institutional environment factors, the legal environment of the business model poses the most significant threat, as songs are often copyrighted. Atmosphere has addressed this issue by acquiring the license rights for all the music that is available on its platform. This allows it to be used for commercial purposes. However, this is a continuous process; if Atmosphere wishes to attract and keep customers on its platform, it needs to constantly update its music offering.
Source: Consumer Value Creation