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Sonos and Apple: Music Has Lost its Social Component

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Some years ago, when your sister wanted to listen to her favorite album, the entire house would usually have to join the experience, whether they liked it or not.

But listening to music today has become a more personal experience without a doubt: you just pop in your earpods and you can experience your favorite jams on your terms.

Sonos, a home audio company which sells speakers, has a theory about how music has lost its social component. It’s widely documented that music has beneficial effects on people’s mood and health, so Sonos wanted to investigate what happens when people listen to the same songs together. Out loud.

The study started with a global survey of 30,000 people that inquired about their connection between music and relationships. Next, researchers observed 31 families in an international two-week study.

First week, they listened to music together, while the next one was lived in relative silence for another. Finally, the research was wrapped up with a follow-up mood survey the families were asked to fill out.

Seeing that Apple was a partner in the study, the participants (above age 5) were equipped with an Apple Watch that measured their activity, heart rate, movement, and calories burned.

With the help of Apple iBeacons – which monitor the precise movements of the family’s smartphones – the participants were carefully tracked in their location. At the same, Sonos placed its speakers around the participants’ houses, which pumped out tunes from Apple Music.

Dr. Daniel Levitin, who authored the book “This Is Your Brain on Music” and a consultant on the research, said results showed that “people who listen to music out loud together report that their relationships are stronger.”

In addition to spending more time with their loved ones, they also hugged more and had twice as much sex. More precisely, the reports from the music-on week showed families spending 3h and 13m more time together, and the parents had 67 percent more sex.

But love and affection weren’t the only factors that improved; music also made families hang out in the kitchen 20 percent more, which led to 15 percent more meals eaten together. Overall, the families seemed happier when the speakers were spreading their favorite jams.

However, the study must be taken with a pinch of salt, seeing that it’s obviously self-serving to Sonos. At the same time, the experiment period was rather short, which means the test subjects could have been simply excited to have the great gadgets to play with.

Levitin, however, was sold on the idea, claiming that an emerging body of research shows that “music is medicine.”
Image Source: AYI

About Kate McEnroe

Kate is a well known optimist New Yorker and experienced in digital as well as analog gadgets, she is the senior manager as well as senior writer of TND Media, who loves to write about Microsoft technologies, Laptops & PCs. All posts by Kate

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