To music or not to music on your IVR/On Hold message


We do a LOT of IVR messages, on hold, voicemail, marketing messages, you name it. A lot of times people will ask us if we recommend music on their phone messages. We have kind of come up with a formula of which messages 1) Should definitely have music, 2) which ones are okay either way and 3) which messages do not need/shouldn’t have music. If you are creating a huge phone tree or just a small cell phone voicemail, this may help you decide which messages you want music on.

When it comes to personal cell phone messages, music can either sound great, or like bad wind. Luckily over the last few years, cell phone providers have improved their ‘compression quality’ of their messages, so that most of the time the music sounds pretty good. 10 years ago if you had a low cost provider like TMobile, the music would sound majorly distorted and like garbage. Nowadays it’s more up to personal preference. If you want to make a longer message that includes business info, hours, website, etc, music may be a nice touch. If it’s a simple ‘we’re not here, please leave a message’ type voicemail, then music isn’t usually needed. As always, if you opt to purchase music for your message, we also send the phone message without music. We have a phone patch which is a hard wired box between our mixer board and the phone line, so if you need us to record a pro message on your cell phone, we can do that. Just ask about the phone patch option.

For company IVR messages that include options like press 1 for sales, 2 for etc, music normally adds a nice touch. I’d say about 65% of IVR messages that have menu options we do include music. It’s a nice touch.

Normally music is NOT needed on company voicemail messages (‘You’ve reached Joe’s voicemail, please leave a message, etc). Those are short and to the point and don’t really need music to carry you through the message.

On hold messages, definitely. You have people on hold for a few minutes of their day. Music makes it not seem so long. If you have breaks between paragraphs without music, it’s more obvious to the listener that they are sitting there losing minutes of their day. We have a lot of nice songs that make their on hold experience less sucky.

Other messages like transfer messages normally have music. That way the listener knows they are still connected while being transferred and hasn’t been lost in IVR space.

If you have any questions about music for your IVR, voicemail or on hold messages, please reach out to use for an immediate response!

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