Listen up, all you longtime fans and first-time callers! At long last, the winning track from our hold music contest is here. Perhaps you thought we were holding out on you. When we asked you to hold your horses back in December, you might have said to yourself, “Now hold on just a minute. I’m excited to hear this hold music and add it to my phone system now. Why is Zendesk placing this caller on death hold?”
It’s a sad song for sure, and we apologize for keeping you in a holding pattern. But these things take time. Crafting a song is serious business, even if the song has no voice and is designed for a caller, not Carnegie Hall. The music had to be mixed, mastered, and tested on various phone systems. And then our resident music nerds had to nerd out about how to get the best sound quality on a platform that was not designed with sound quality in mind. Is it possible we obsessed over it a bit too much? Maybe. But hear us out: Sometimes it’s hard to hold yourself back.
There’s a lot more to hold music than puns, though. The idea emerged through a mistake, not a music-related goal or even a music experiment… An inventor named Alfred Levy, who owned a factory, noticed that a loose wire was brushing up against some metal there. It turned his factory into a giant receiver, and he figured out that music from the neighboring radio station could thus play when calls were on hold. Incredibly random, hold music is of course a staple of customer support now. Studies have shown that customers needing help would rather be listeners than silent parties in an invisible queue on a phone line.
But we all know that some hold music is better than other hold music. Thus, our contest.
Through it all, we managed to hold onto the idea that this was a thing worth doing. We worked, iterated, revised, listened, and remixed—and, in the end, we got it done. (Please hold… your applause.) It is with great pleasure that we present to you results of the great Zendesk Hold Music Contest of 2015: Four, as in X.