Sound United: Music and Mental Health During the COVID


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  • Listening to music ranked #1 as most important to improving happiness, ahead of exercise and watching television.
  • Nearly 8 in 10 say listening to music has become more important amidst the stresses of the last year.
  • 69% would give up their favorite social media account for one year over giving up listening to music.
  • 72% of remote-working Americans have created a pump-up playlist to improve overall energy levels.

CARLSBAD, Calif. (Mar. 2021) During an otherwise bleak 2020, many Americans report that listening to music helped reduce stress and depression, while boosting work productivity, according to a new study. Per the study, music was more important to improving happiness over watching Netflix or even exercising. Additionally, nine out of ten respondents reported listening to more music in the last year than prior to March 2020.

This survey of 2,000 American adults was commissioned by global audio company Sound United LLC, parent company to high-end audio brands like Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, Classé Audio, and Bowers & Wilkins. The survey explored the importance of music on overall wellbeing and healing, particularly during the Covid pandemic. Given the strong market growth in the audio and video sectors last year, Sound United sought to better understand how music was impacting people and learn more about how people were listening given the many drastic changes in our collective lives.

Overall, respondents say that listening to music improves their mental health by helping them stay sane (85%), boosting productivity (85%) and greatly decreasing loneliness (79%). Specific to the pandemic, respondents report that music has become more important amidst the stresses of 2020 (79%), and that listening to a musician or song has been key to battling the Covid blues (74%).

Looking toward the future, many view music as critical, with 58% reporting that music improves their ability to work, encourages exercise (42%), makes them a better employee (32%) and makes them a better parent (25%). In fact, if forced to choose between giving up social media or listening to music, 69% would give up their favorite social account.

Americans Working Remote Rely on Music to Sustain Energy
Among American adults working from home, nearly a quarter report listening to music for 5+ hours per workday. Employers and employees alike will be interested to learn that music improves energy, mood and creativity along with productivity. More than 70 percent of respondents indicated they’ve created a “pump-up” playlist to improve overall energy levels for the workday ahead, and while classical music may seem like the obvious go-to for productivity, it’s actually pop (76%), rock (70%) and alternative music (69%) that top the list. More than a third of respondents appreciated not needing to hide their musical preferences while working from home, unlike in an office setting.

“It’s clearer now than ever before that for many Americans, music is more than just a hobby; it’s a lifeline,” said Kevin Duffy, CEO of Sound United. “We think it’s remarkable that three out of every four people have improved their mental health this year through the power of music, and so many are carrying that habit forward, no matter what the future brings. Music is universal and accessible to all, something any of us can turn to when other comforts are gone. For anyone struggling to get through the day—whether you are an overwhelmed parent, or someone looking for a job, or a grandparent missing faraway family—I encourage you to reach for the music that makes you feel good and reminds you that better days are ahead. Even just a few minutes with your favorite song or artist can make a tremendous difference.”

Methodology
This survey was conducted February 10-11, 2021, by Sound United in collaboration with the online sampling service, Pollfish. The sample included 2,000 U.S. adults (18+), The survey margin of error is 3% at a 95% confidence level.

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About Sound United
Sound United
was founded in 2012 with a simple mission – to bring joy to the world through sound. Today, we’re one of the world’s largest portfolio audio companies and home to several legendary audio brands—Bowers & Wilkins™, Denon®, Marantz®, Polk Audio, Classé Audio, Definitive Technology, HEOS, and Boston Acoustics®. Each brand boasts its own philosophy and unique approach to bringing home entertainment to life.

With centuries of collective experience, Sound United oversees the design and manufacture of a diverse array of premium audio products, including loudspeakers, sound bars, AV receivers, wireless speakers, amplifiers, turntables, and headphones. We create distinct and memorable listening experiences for a wide range of consumers in more than 130 countries. For more information on Sound United and our mission, please visit www.soundunited.com.