Should You Have Auto-Play Music on Your Website

It’s been awhile since we’ve posted a blog update.  Our office has been buzzing and we’ve been diligently working hard to turn out awesome work for our clients.

As you may know, we like to blog on topics that come up while talking to our clients, since we know if one person asks it, there are thousands more that are wondering the same thing.

This weeks post is on whether websites should have auto-play music.  What do you think?

Twice in the last few weeks we’ve been asked by two clients (different businesses) to add auto-play music to the websites we’re creating for them.  To each client we answered with a resounding “please, no”.  Of course we didn’t leave it there, we provided reasons why adding auto-play music to your site.

Here are a few of the reasons:

  • For those of you that have worked in an open area in an office, you can appreciate this one.  Maybe you were taking a quick break and wanted to check out a local business, you click on the website and all of the sudden music starts blaring.  Everyone stops what they’re doing to figure out where the noise is coming from.  You quickly close the browser or reach to turn down the speakers, hoping no one figured out where it was coming from.  No one wants to get caught by their boss or co-workers browsing the internet on non-work searches.
  • Internet browsing for the most part is a quiet activity, unless you’re intentionally watching a video or listening to music.  Maybe you have a TV on in the background or you’re just relaxing, landing on a website with music playing can really be annoying.  Maybe to the point of you closing the browser because you can’t figure out how to turn it off.
  • Have you ever received one of those emails that has you turn up your speaker really loud to hear something, then all of the sudden there is a really loud scary scream?  Ok, maybe we’re the only ones that have friends with sick senses of humor…but it has happened to us and we liken this next example to that.  There are a high number of users that listen to podcasts or music while browsing the internet.  There are even some that do so with headphones on.  Nothing gets the blood pumping like a song coming on 10 levels louder than what you’re listening to.

If the above reasons/examples aren’t enough to discourage the auto-playing of music – there has also been research showing a 10-15% increase in bounce rate for websites that auto-play music.  Your bounce rate is % of customers that visit a page on your site and leave immediately.  A 10-15% increase in this rate is HUGE.

So long story short, please don’t add auto-play music to your website.  If you’re looking to add some pizazz to your website, maybe it’s time for a re-design – we can help you with that!  If you’re dead-set on adding music, don’t auto-play it.  Allow the user to turn it on if they choose, but don’t make that decision for them.


About the author

Rick is a technology and business-savvy, results-oriented leader with 12 years of experience with proven success in managing $1.5M Marketing budget in a challenging, fast paced direct response environment. He founded Risen Creative in 2008 with the goal of helping small to medium businesses grow their businesses.

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