Bluesound Pro drives network music into Cazoo centres

posted on Sunday, 6th February 2022 by Steve May

Commercial  Network audio  Pro AV  Bluesound 

Bluesound Professional, supplier of distributed audio ecosystems for commercial spaces, has installed its B400S 4-zone network music player across Cazoo Customer Centres in the UK.

The leading online car retailer launched its first Customer Centre in 2020 and currently has 19 dotted around the UK. Each one provides Cazoo customers with the option to collect cars they purchase or drop off cars they sell online in addition to its home delivery and pick up service.

The challenge was to create an environment where sound would enhance the ambiance of every Customer Centre, with uniform controllability and compliance with the legal requirements of the PRS music licence. Oh, it also had to sound great too!

With a number of Cazoo Customer Centres to kit out, a robust, versatile audio solution was essential. London-based integrator Nucleus AV turned to Bluesound Professional for a scalable audio solution that ticked every box.

The installation team worked closely with Cazoo to create a bespoke system that was both practical (in some locations, Nucleus AV would be retrofitting existing loudspeakers and amplifiers) and future-proof.

Not only did Bluesound Professional offer both Cazoo and Nucleus AV the fully integrated solution they were looking for, it also ensured straightforward installation and post-installation support.

A Bluesound Professional network music ecosystem can be operated remotely via a VPN. It’s not prone to local variations in source; it’s also safe from well-meaning employees who might select their own playlists.

While consumer music streaming services are freely available, they aren’t free to use in a commercial environment, like a Customer Centre. PRS for Music, founded in the thirties to provide musicians with appropriate royalties, has the power to fine companies which flout copyright rules.

As it happens, there are four commercial streaming services built natively into BluOS that comply with all PRS requirements. Music to any commercial installer’s ears!

Bluesound B400S

Nucleus AV, working with Bluesound Professional sub-distributor OneAV, outfitted each Cazoo Customer Centre with a single Bluesound Professional B400S 4-zone network music player. This robust commercial grade network player, designed for rack-mounting, has native commercial music service support built-in, allowing all content curation and provision to be handled from the cloud.

SoundMachine, one of the quartet of music streaming services on the BluOS platform, was selected for the job.

A single B400S can send the same content to four zones, or be configured as four independent players. For this project, only a single zone was used, but the company was keen to future proof its system.

“Cazoo wanted players that were built for a commercial environment, and would fit with future expansion plans,” says Bluesound Professional Product Manager, Graeme Harrison.

Bluesound Network Player

They liked SoundMachine because it not only provides streams of commercially licenced content, but offers messaging capabilities with advanced scheduling, he adds.

“The B400S also offers the freedom to select a different commercial streaming service if that’s ever required. Users can simply log out of one and log on to another.”

“It was always Cazoo’s intention to control all of their branches from head office, meaning branches had no system control. They figured they'd have to write specific software, but we were able to help them with a utility that allows them to control devices across subnets,” explains Harrison.

“No need for proprietary software development was another huge plus for them.”

But while the original plan was to manage the network from a central location, sporadic network issues led the Nucleus team to trial a CP100 wall mount control (which required only an RJ45 connection with POE) at one location. With illuminated touch sensitive controls and intuitive interface, employees on the ground could alter overall volume and quickly reconnect to the SoundMachine stream if a connection was lost.

During the festive season, the CP-100 also gave staff the ability to select a Christmas-themed stream, perfect for the customer ambiance Cazoo was trying to create.

Cazoo liked the additional functionality so much, it quickly rolled-out CP100 wall mount control to all locations.

A bit about Bluesound Professional...

Bluesound Professional offer hardware and software networked audio solutions for retail shops, bars, restaurants, hotels, gyms, and other commercial applications. End users can connect and control nearly any audio source, including streaming services, internet radio, or networked hard drives, while installers can confidently specify rack-mounted hardware that integrates seamlessly with smart controllers

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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