Over the past decade, many people have begun to wonder where the music that filled the silence of an elevator journey went and why we have resorted to awkwardly silent interactions with strangers in cabs. After all, elevator Muzak was an incredibly common addition in many publicly used lifts and it was impossible to use a cab during the early 20th century without encountering it. Read on as the team here at Elevators Ltd reveal everything there is to know about its disappearance…
What is Muzak?
Many people are unaware that Muzak is actually a brand of background musical that was frequently used in shopping centres, elevators and other public buildings. It was purchased by Westinghouse in 1981 and passed around for many years until it was sold to Mood Media in 2011 for a $345 million deal. Interestingly, the word Muzak has been trademarked since 1954, however the phrase is commonly used, particularly with a lowercase spelling, as an umbrella term for all types of background music.
The Rise of Mainstream Music
Although elevator Muzak was popular during the majority of the 20th century due to its ability to fill awkward silences, the popularity of mainstream pop music started to affect the publics ability to endure traditional elevator Muzak. In the 90’s, many companies started to create playlists that were composed of popular songs and shopping centres started to play radio stations in order to create a more relaxed ambiance which led to the downfall of Muzak as an industry.
The Future of Elevator Ambiance
Although it was sold for a hefty fee in 2011, the company Muzak that is credited with the development and trademarking of elevator Muzak filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Mood Media changed the name after purchasing which meant that the Muzak trademark would forever be consigned to history. In fact, the majority of elevators now travel in silence, particularly in the UK.
It is safe to say that elevator Muzak was overshadowed by the rise of radio stations and their ability to play music to a mainstream audience without the needing for branding. After all, Muzak is a brand in its own right and many people are unaware of this. Here at Elevators Ltd, our lifts may not be fitted with cheery tunes to easy the awkwardness of sharing a cab with a stranger but they are manufactured with style and safety in mind. To find out more information, get in contact with the best lift company on the market today!