Are you thinking about having music play automatically on your website? Unfortunately, that’s not a good idea. A better solution would be to include a flash music player which the listener can control.
Nothing makes folks hit the “back” button faster than music that plays automatically. Yep, you might have the coolest song in the world – but it doesn’t matter. It’s best to leave the choice to listen or not – and at what volume – to your visitors.
Research has consistently shown that a very large percentage of visitors will leave your site without visiting any further pages if they encounter automatically-playing music. These days, internet surfers assume that sites won’t have automatically-playing sounds. So, when they find a site that does, they may quickly hit the back button. And you may have lost them forever.
So, in order to avoid handicapping yourself, and to retain as many visitors as possible, you’ll want to deep-six the background music. Better to keep them on the site, where they can find out more about you, listen to your music when they choose to, and – hopefully – buy your CD!
You’ll also notice that most professionally-designed websites seldom have background music. Your site will represent you more professionally, and give you more credibility without the automatic sounds.
Still tempted to do it?
Consider your visitors:
- They may be visiting your site from work where noisy websites will either blow their cover or annoy others.
- They may be in a public place where music is not welcome (many folks use their laptops in public areas!).
- They may be surfing at night, while others are sleeping.
- They may be using a laptop in a public place.
- They (or others in the room) may be listening to something else already (music, tv, radio).
- They may be trying to hold a conversation.
- Download time may be long & it may slow their computer (not everyone has a high-bandwidth connection or fast machine).
- They may want to turn off – or turn down – the sound, but can’t figure out how or do it quickly enough. So they leave or shut the browser window instead.
- Or, they just may prefer to surf in silence.
Your visitors should be able to make their own decisions about what to view & what to listen to. It’s respectful to leave this decision in their hands.
But my favorite artist does it!
Most major recording artists don’t have automatically playing music on their sites. But yes, a few do.
But, think about it: how big is their fan base – millions of people? This artist isn’t heavily depending upon their website to get the word out about their music – everybody already knows. The people visiting their site are likely to already know lots about the artist and their music. If the artist turns off some of his fans by having music play automatically, they don’t lose as much as you might. Most of the people who leave their site will still probably still be fans and buy the artist’s music after leaving the site.
However, you’re likely in a different position than, say, Lady Gaga or Van Morrison. You’re trying to build your fan base, and your website is a big part of that. It won’t benefit you to turn folks away before they can even experience your site – and your music. You want to keep them there so they can discover your music and become loyal fans.
There are alternatives!
Music can be integrated into a website in much more effective ways than having it automatically play. Options include embedded players (which the listener controls), and direct downloads. Just email me for more information.