The Co-op staff complain as supermarket switches to only playing music by unsigned artists

Tracks played in stores described as 'diabolical' by angry employees

The Co-op staff complain as supermarket switches to only playing music by unsigned artists

Photo: Press

Employees for supermarket chain The Co-op have begun protesting about the retailer's decision to only play unsigned artists in branches around the UK.

The supermarket's decision to move away from commercially successful pop music and instead support new and unsigned artists has seen staff launch a campaign against what they are describing as the "terrible" music they have to listen to all day.

Trade magazine The Grocer reports that staff are demanding an instant return to recognisable names and songs, while others have suggested that the move was only made to save money.

"The new cooperative radio unsigned artists initiative is absolutely diabolical," one employee posted to The Co-Op Employees' page. "More so for staff than customers. People want familiarity and songs they know, not to mention the staff who are subjected to these songs on a loop on a daily basis."

Another commenter noted that "even hipsters" would not listen to the "rubbish" music being played in their branch.




The change in music policy came after The Co-op signed a deal with licensing agency Emerge, which supplies music from unsigned artists to businesses including Argos and Sports Direct. The deal is estimated to be cost half as much as playing music by artists with a record deal.

"Shops normally have to pay a public performance licence to play well-known music, but the artists we represent are emerging artists and we create a direct licence between the business and the artist," Gideon Chain of Emerge told The Telegraph.

"We then supply their music to the businesses, which is about 50 per cent cheaper than if they wanted to pay mainstream artists," added Chain.

However, not everyone is against the music, with employee Chris Owen stating: "Looks like I'll be the first to say this, but I think you've done something good for local unsigned artists out there, allowing them to be heard across the country. I know some people really aren't happy with it, but they could just be a bit more open-minded."

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