Music unites us.
Think of National anthems, sports team chants before a big game, and a chipper “Happy Birthday” sing-a-long before you (awkwardly) make a wish and blow out the candles. Music is embedded in our social lives, relationships, and routines. It’s an essential part of life, and an extremely enjoyable one as well. Right now, music is doing more than just brightening our days—it has become vital for our health, wellness, and happiness.
2009 saw the rise of many musical superstars — Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift — as well as the release of countless beloved songs (Single Ladies, anyone?) Pop stars charmed listeners with their upbeat, catchy, cheery tunes. People wanted to play happy music for a reprieve from the great disaster of 2008: The Great Recession. In moments of collective crisis, music can bring people together, and help them cope with feelings of stress and anxiety.
In the 1960s, there was a movement in regards to counterculture, advancing civil rights, and protesting the US’s intervention in the Vietnam War. Woodstock was created as a beacon of hope, a musical event to unite people both young and old around a common cause. It has gone down in history as an iconic occasion centered around music, and in 2004, Rolling Stone magazine listed it as number 19 on the 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll.
Communities around the world have turned to music as a source of comfort in this crisis. Italian residents joined together in choruses of beloved songs, and citizens in Wuhan chanted support from their homes. In Barcelona, a man even took to his balcony to play piano for his neighbors — and was soon joined by a sax player. These displays of compassion and common humanity have touched us all.
Artists are also playing sets from home, performing pieces for fans everywhere. And while we can’t be together in person just yet, music creates a sense of harmony in the meantime. Sound is a way to show support from afar; around the world, clapping, shouting, and singing in appreciation for healthcare workers.
Right now, it’s not just listeners loving music. Creators are also taking advantage of the time, and producing more music. In March, our partners at SoundCloud saw a +50% surge in creators uploading content. Artists have been staying active in creative ways — live streaming concerts, testing new tracks, and staying engaged with their audiences. Almost a third of SoundCloud creators say they’re messaging or interacting with fans, collaborators, and fellow artists. Clearly, in times of crisis, music is a channel for keeping connected.
So why do we gravitate towards music? Well, there are some scientific explanations. Music profoundly influences our emotions and can help us feel calmer and more relaxed. When you listen to music, it has significant physiological impacts, like lowering heart rate, blood pressure, and decreasing stress hormones.
Our Pandora listeners have certainly felt the effects. In a recent 1st party study, 77% of listeners said music relieves stress and anxiety. Music also captures our attention, so it can be a positive relief from digital fatigue. 62% of our listeners agree that it provides a welcome distraction.
In addition to bringing our stress down, it can also bring our joy up. 82% of our listeners shared that music improves their mood. When you need a midday pick me up, or a burst of motivation on your run, who do you turn to? Beyonce, obviously. Music gets the job done. Now, as people look to increase their happiness and feel hopeful, streaming is skyrocketing.
Though we’re all apart, now is a crucial time for brands to maintain communication with their consumers. 50% of consumers want to see ads that are uplifting, which proves that in moments of difficulty, we appreciate messages of positivity and inspiration. What relationship are you creating with them now, to lead to their support in the future?
For more insights and advice on speaking to your audience, visit SoundCheck to start investing in your long-term brand identity.