Stamford, CT – June 21, 2022 – HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, along with its audio brands, JBL and Harman Kardon, has conducted a survey in collaboration with YouGov* to explore the importance of music in people’s lives and its power to act as a social catalyst for positive change. Listeners in the US, the UK, France, Japan, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands participated in the survey, providing fascinating insights into their relationship to music and its influence on society.
Thank you for the music
Everybody knows that music can be a powerful emotional force. Who hasn’t danced with abandon to a favorite song, been moved by a beautiful piece of classical music, mourned alongside a melancholy ballad or found a tune so catchy it’s impossible to forget? Music helps people get in touch with their emotions, whether they’re happy, sad, scared, angry or anything in between. But music doesn’t just affect how we feel—it has the power to affect how we behave, too. As a natural component of human nature, music can bring people together, uniting them around a common cause. There is meaning in music that we are instinctively drawn to. Around 28% of survey respondents in the US said they listen to music for both entertainment and for deeper meaning. Music can foster a sense of belonging, inspire strong emotional responses, and motivate people to take action. That’s why some of the most successful social changes have been achieved with the help of music. Survey respondents agree: 60% said that music influences human emotions and behavior to motivate more people to fight for societal issues; this figure climbs to 70% among 18 to 25-year-olds.
Power to the people
Some of the most iconic examples of music as a vehicle for social change can be found in the 1960s, when the songs of artists like Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix and Joan Baez, and major music festivals like Woodstock, were the soundtrack of sexual liberation, civil rights, and the anti-war movement. That heritage was passed on to artists like Bruce Springsteen, Bono and Lady Gaga, whose lyrics and melodies have inspired millions of people not just to dance but to go out and participate in bringing positive change. Accordingly, 42% of Americans feel that certain songs inspire them to get involved in social movements, while 66% consider music to be a trigger for remembering important moments and events in society, such as 9/11 and Independence Day.
Get up, stand up
The 1960s may have come and gone, but the thirst for social change is as alive as ever—and music is still playing a powerful motivating and unifying role. Nearly half of the survey respondents said that they have already used music to share a message or raise awareness for a cause they care about. Musicians of recent years have also more freely used their influence to call for change or to draw attention to certain sensitive topics such as racial equality, LGBTQ+, social justice and more. Macklemore’s “White Privilege,” and Beyoncé’s “Freedom,” are two such examples. According to survey respondents, rock (30%) is the most effective music style for spreading social messages, followed by country or rap (27%) and hip hop or pop (26%). Some 44% feel that artists should engage publicly, and this number climbs to 50% when it comes to racial equity topics. For 45% of respondents, international or local music celebrations such as World Music Day on June 21 are good places for artists to take the mic about sensitive issues.
If you wanna make the world a better place
One of the areas crying out for social action is the environment, and survey respondents think so too: around 60% believe that music has the power to help the planet. When asked what specific aspect of the environment could most benefit from artists’ engagement, 32% cited global warming. As a company that is deeply committed to the future of the planet that we all share, HARMAN wholeheartedly agrees with the importance of awareness-raising and meaningful change. That’s why we are increasingly relying on recycled packaging, switching to more post-consumer-recycled plastics and striving to shrink our carbon footprint in a variety of other ways. Learn more here: https://www.harman.com/sustainability.
From racial inequality to women’s rights to criminal justice reform and more, music has always provided the rhythm for social change, motivating listeners of all ages to get involved in the causes they care about. In a world that is far from perfect, opportunities for positive change abound – and music is certain to contribute both the driving force and the soundtrack for that change.
*All the data featured are from YouGov, unless otherwise stated. The survey was conducted from the 3rd to the 7th of June 2022 on 1004 people representative of the US national population aged 18 and over, 2049 people representative of the German national population aged 18 and over, 1027 people representative of the Spanish national population aged 18 and over, 1016 people representative of the French national population aged 18 and over, 1026 people representative of the Dutch national population aged 18 and over, 2004 people representative of the British national population aged 18 and over, 1000 people representative of the Japanese national population aged 18 and over.
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.
For more information contact:
Sr. Director Communications
Lifestyle Audio and HARMAN Europe
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