The kings of elevator music, Muzak, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today in Wilmington, Delaware. The South Carolina based company cited less than $50,000 in assets but over $500,000,000 in debt as part of the reason for the protection from the creditors.
Muzak, while known for generic Lawrence Welk style piped-in music, has evolved its business model in recent years to be more focused on creating relevant playlists for retail and restaurants as well as the installation of sound systems to play their rights managed music soundtracks.
The company says it will operate as-is until they emerge from bankruptcy protection. Considering their assets versus debt ration - perhaps "as is" isn't good enough.
Personally, I will never forget when I fell in love with Muzak. While in an Elvis moment as a teenager sitting on the John in the clubhouse of Gainey Ranch is Scottsdale and focusing on the business at hand, I was serenaded by the most unbelievable horn-lead rendition of Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" that was nothing short of mind-blowing.