I'm still surprised when I come across a jewelry store website that has auto-playing music on their home page, and throughout their website. The popularity of websites with auto-playing music is certainly declining. One of my recent jewelry website reviews talked about home page music, and even some of my regular clients still request music on their home page.
Auto-playing music is a bad idea for any website. Here are a few reasons why:
1. When someone is surfing the net at work, instead of doing their actual work, they don't want to be caught because their boss heard unusual music playing.
2. Casual surfing of the internet is usually a quiet activity, unless someone is intentionally watching a video. Sudden music is startling.
3. Many people also use their computer to play music or listen to podcasts while they are surfing the internet. Sudden music is an interruption in their other activities. Those with headphones might also experience a little bit of pain if your music is very loud.
Of course, these are just my three opinions based on the last 20 years experience. But don't take my word for it; let's look at some supporting numbers.
As I said above, the popularity of auto-play music has long been declining, so I had to dig back through my racking data to find some reasonably measurable results to report on.
I found a 12 month period from 2012 to 2013 for many jewelry websites with similar size and features across which I could measure visitor response rates of auto-play music.
Here's what I found:
Average Bounce Rate:
Jewelry sites with music: 54.46%
Jewelry sites without music: 43.67%
That's about an 11% higher bounce rate for websites with music. Not good.
Average Percentage of Returning Visitors:
Jewelry sites with music: 7.4%
Jewelry sites without music: 14.6%
This shows that people are more inclined to revisit sites without music.
Average Pages per Visit:
Jewelry sites with music: 3.4
Jewelry sites without music: 4.2
That statistic shows that people are willing to look at more pages of your website.
Average Visit Duration:
Jewelry sites with music: 2 min 37 sec
Jewelry sites without music: 3 min 23 sec
And this last statistic shows that visitors are willing to stay longer.
All these numbers shine a bad light on auto-play music. If you're considering music on your new website, please reconsider. It will hurt you.