Home Case Study – Memphis Zoo

Case Study – Memphis Zoo

Digigram PYKO Audio-Over- IP Solution Enhances Visitor Experience and Increases Staff Productivity


Consistently ranked by visitors as one of the top ten zoos in the United States, Memphis Zoo maintains its market leadership through ongoing investment. Over 3,500 animals representing more than 500 different species draw over one-hundred thousand visitors every year. To increase visitor numbers and cost effectiveness, Memphis Zoo strives to embrace innovation to further enhance the visitor experience.

THE challenge

Piped music plays an important part of the entertainment experience by surrounding events, exhibits―and visitors―with a special ambiance that makes every visit more compelling. But while many of the zoo’s exhibits were fitted with localised amps and speakers for music playout, the system did not offer the consistency, efficiency, or ease of use desired by park management. A manual music-playout model relied on locally installed iPod® devices. Each device contained music playlists which had to be administered and maintained by zoo staff.

Scattered across the park’s 70 acres, the old solution did not provide the consistency or efficiency management required to meet future needs.

Memphis Zoo recognized that they required an innovative centralised solution that would further enhance the visitor experience through the use of state-of- the-art AoIP technologies. Furthermore, they wanted a system that was significantly less cumbersome than the older localised model; that could deliver synchronous playout throughout the park but that also provided the flexibility to accommodate special events and displays; that was also efficient to manage and would minimise any original investment as well as ongoing operating costs. Finally, they required a networked solution that incorporated priority levels for emergency or timed broadcasts.


To resolve its challenges, Memphis Zoo deployed Digigram PYKO AoIP solutions. For localised support and music content, the Zoo also chose Digigram US Master Distributor Point Source Audio and its Playtime™ background music softwaresolution. Today, PYKO-in and PYKO-out IP audio devices drive a simple, seamless networked streaming solution, delivering background music to multiple sites throughout the zoo.

A single PYKO-in system is installed at a centralised location at the Zoo. PYKO-out units have been placed at strategic locations across the park: at the front gate, the Expo Building (home to the Zoo’s Petting Farm); the Grizzly Bear enclosure; the Underwater Sea Lion Exhibit, and the Holiday Display near the Zoo Store. The solution provides general themed music to enhance visitors’ experiences. PYKO also enables staff and management to tailor content. For instance, Zoo staff can quickly stream added enticement to visitors. The solution also incorporates priority levels for emergency or timed broadcasts.

“We needed a straightforward way to play the same music at various locations throughout the Zoo and I realized that a networked solution was the only logical choice that would enable us to bring audio to each of the Zoo’s areas,” explains Terry Buckler, Network Administrator, Memphis Zoo.“
In my research, I discovered several devices that would stream audio across a network. But only one ―PYKO from Digigram―had priority levels.

“In my research, I discovered several devices that would stream audio across a network. But only one―PYKO from Digigram―had priority levels. This feature made PYKO the obvious choice.”

Terry Buckler Network Administrator, Memphis Zoo

Centralised Management for Increased Efficiency

While PYKO has enhanced the customer experience throughout the park, Memphis Zoo has also benefited from significant increases in efficiency and productivity. Staff no longer has to manage multiple iPod devices. Instead, they administer a single, easy-to- use centralized Digigram PYKO solution. In the event of any issues, Zoo staff simply contacts Point Source Audio who work with Digigram technical teams for quick issue resolution.

Increased staff productivity means that personnel can focus on what is most important: the animals under their care and the visitors who come to experience the wonders to be found at Memphis Zoo.


Industry: Zoo / Entertainment

– Localised piped music entertainment model was difficult to manage and did not provide consistency
– Inefficient to manage―loss of staff productivity due to lack of centralization
– Lack of flexibility―old system could not be quickly reconfigured to meet new requirements

– Digigram PYKO-in and PYKO-out
– Point Source Audio Playtime background music software solution


– Fully centralized solution – drives seamless music entertainment throughout the Zoo for a more compelling visit
– Flexible and easy to use
– Cost efficient, increases staff productivity
– Priority levels―for emergency or timed broadcasts
– Low Total Cost of Ownership
– Fully supported by Digigram and Point Source Audio (Digigram Master Distributor, US)