Music to the ears of Middlesbrough’s shoppers

New technology, tested over six months at Middlesbrough’s historic Dundas Indoor Market, could soon be installed in businesses all over Teesside.

The first Music Monitor device will go live in the Market  on 30 November following the success of the pilot, but the man behind the business is confident that’s just the first step.

Chief Executive Nicky Hargreaves hopes to create the world’s largest network of Music Recognition Technology devices which would be run from a major new data business in the Tees Valley.

Hubs in Middlesbrough and Stockton would service global customers, create jobs, and support local musicians.

Nicky – who divides his time between Teesside and London, has worked in advertising and the media and was a pirate radio MC – said his technology is so precise that up-and-coming singers and bands, as well as superstars, will receive the royalties they deserve: music to the ears of performers with a strong local following.

During testing Music Monitor accurately tracked more than 25,000 pieces of music by 800 artists played at the Market between December 2021 and June 2022.

In addition to logging songs, Music Monitor can be used to provide an insight into customers’ favourite music as well as promoting local artists.

And their support could grow with Music Monitor planning a string of town centre gigs to support exciting live acts whilst providing shoppers with a spring in their step.

Even though on Teesside there are more than 5,000 shops, shopping centres and businesses playing music, Nicky made the Dundas Indoor Market his top choice to test his technology.

“It’s important because it’s independently owned and represents local independent community businesses – and I’m all about promoting local as well,” he said.

“My company focuses on the venue and its relationship with its neighbours.  I want to use the magic of music to encourage people to visit the shopping centre which services their community.”

David Harris, the Manager of Dundas Indoor Market, said: “It’s been interesting hearing Nicky’s vision on how we can do our bit to support the local music scene. The device itself was very clever and discreet, required no attention at all and provided some very interesting data.”

Making the experience of shoppers memorable 

He added: “We’re working all the time to make the experience of our customers as memorable as possible. That can be hearing your favourite song, enjoying our new branding or benefiting from the investment in our car park.”

“Above all we’re providing shoppers with a choice of products which, in many cases, you can’t find anywhere else.  Crucially – and particularly at this time of year – we offer great value for money.”

Teessiders heading to and from the market will soon be able to buy artisan bread from the Brickyard Bakery which is opening in the Dundas Shopping Centre.

It is run by Ed Hamilton-Trewhitt who started selling bread in the Dundas Indoor Market eight years ago and whose first Brickyard Bakery in Guisborough made headlines around the world for the support it provides its local community.

He has similar plans for the new bakery, training six young people who struggled at school to become bakers.