HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer, and enterprise markets, has conducted a study in collaboration with OnePoll that takes a closer look at how music has contributed to pop culture and left a lasting impression on listeners everywhere. The study was organised in connection with Make Music Day, the annual global summer celebration of music’s power to connect and uplift and aligns with the 75th anniversary of HARMAN’s world-renowned audio brand JBL. The remarkable trajectory of JBL has intersected with musical history so often that it has helped define musical pop culture, and in so doing has influenced generations of music lovers.
Music transports listeners to other times and places
With a legacy of powering many of the world’s most epic events, including Tomorrowland, Coachella, Woodstock, and the Grateful Dead’s Wall of Sound, the JBL brand epitomises music’s immersive power. Participants in the study agreed overwhelmingly that music has the ability to sweep them away to a specific moment: 74% of UK respondents said they felt that music is a time machine able to instantly transport them to a specific time.
Music’s ability to take the listener to another time and place was underscored this past year, as millions of people around the world turned to music as a means of lifting their spirits and finding solace during the Covid-19 health crisis. Survey respondents agreed that music offers them a means of escape when facing difficult situations, with 43% of UK respondents listening to more music than ever before in the past year, which echoes a previous OnePoll/HARMAN study in which 81.5% of respondents said that music had helped them cope with self-isolation during the pandemic. Music also has the ability to immerse listeners in an entirely different culture—an attribute that was particularly appreciated during the months of lockdown. Survey respondents largely agreed that music helps broaden their horizons: 57% said that international music can act as a stepping-stone towards appreciating other cultures.
Musical tastes evolve over time
Few people, if any, never change their minds about music; while nearly half of UK respondents discovered their first favourite musical artist between the ages of 5 and 17, 55% said that their musical taste had significantly changed over the years, partly due to outside influences such as their friends (31%), pop culture (29%), and their parents (22%).
Live concerts still define the immersive experience
There is no experience to match the emotion and thrill of a live concert, and over its history JBL has become synonymous with live music amplification. JBL products have powered countless concerts and collaborated with major artists over the past several decades, including most recently Martin Garrix and Bebe Rexha. The memories related to concerts, especially one’s first concert, are especially strong: 39% of UK respondents attended their first concert between the ages of 11 and 17, and the emotional aspect was especially strong during that first concert; with 42% of UK respondents feeling happy, while 42% said they felt energized and 22% said they felt emotional.
Sound quality drives the musical experience
If listeners are to reap the full rewards of music, quality is essential. In the UK, 70% of respondents said that sound quality is an important factor in their enjoyment of music, reflecting one of the key trends to emerge during the pandemic, which is the growing demand for high-quality audio equipment. The need to work, study, and exercise from home, combined with the desire to enjoy live concerts and other musical content via streaming have all boosted demand. So too has the growing interest in online gaming, which greatly benefits from quality audio equipment such as JBL’s Quantum range of headsets made specifically for gaming.
“With 75 years of rich musical heritage to its name, JBL offers listeners of all ages and musical tastes a vast array of high-quality audio equipment designed to help them get the most out of every minute they spend listening,” said Dave Rogers, President of the Lifestyle Division. “Whether it’s true wireless headphones to hear and be heard during conference calls, portable Bluetooth speakers to share music with friends, gaming headsets that create a whole new level of immersive action, in-car audio systems that bring road trips to life, or sound bars that transform the living room into a home cinema, JBL is there, accompanying listeners wherever they are and wherever they go.”
HARMAN (harman.com) designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and services supporting the Internet of Things. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 50 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. Our software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 30,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. In March 2017, HARMAN became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.