CVS Music Has Hold on Customers

The Wall Street Journal: “One of the most polarizing pieces of music in America isn’t being performed at any of the nation’s concert halls. Anyone can hear it by calling CVS … The composition is a keyboard song that flows through gentle valleys and builds to dramatic peaks, and has been played by thousands of CVS stores for almost two decades.”

“The CVS song has become a prescription for annoyance among some frequent callers, many of whom are irritated by poor sound quality … A petition, which has about 30 supporters, suggests ‘Scandinavian thrash metal or nature sounds of whales mating’ as an alternative … On-hold experts recommend switching up phone music periodically to avoid irritating customers, but CVS isn’t the only company playing the long game.”

“Cisco Systems Inc. has sold systems with an ethereal, electronic hold tune—called “Opus No. 1”—since 2001. The company, which estimates millions of people hear the song every day, has never considered changing it, a spokeswoman said.”


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