by Morton D. Rosenbaum | August 01, 2005
iPodThe advent of the iPod has created a job description and the newest must-have in event soundtracking: the MP3 playlist consultant. New York City’s Gray V has been fashioning playlists for forward-thinking planners and chic clientele such as Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for three years, rendering the firm a relative veteran in the fast-proliferating field.
    “We get to the core of our clients’ vision,” says Gray V’s founder, Lori Hon, “even when they don’t really know what they’re talking about.” Hon and company like to have in-depth conversations with the planner, but even a vaguely formulated request for “rootsy,” “Buddha Bar,” or “hotel pop” can give birth to a custom-tailored playlist 1,000 songs long. And with reps across the United States, Hon and company keep all fingers on the pulse of musical trends. “There was literally one day this year when clients across the country were asking for more disco,” muses Hon in amazement.
    Among the format’s numerous advantages: no surprises, easily wrought versatility and, best of all, affordability. Plus, a preset playlist can be used multiple times, each time avoiding the cost of a deejay. Gray V’s services also include on-call troubleshooting and guidance in paying royalties to licensing groups ASCAP, BMI and CESAC.
    Fees range from $30 per hour of music play for standard, ready-made playlists to more than $200 per hour for the customized treatment. And since Gray V is an authorized Apple dealer, for $199, clients can buy an iPod Shuffle already loaded with songs.