Two very different Sydney households have been part of a global experiment, coupled with a 41 question survey of 4,000 Australians — and 30,000 people worldwide — looking at how music in the home positively affects the way people spend time with each other. Sonos and Apple Music are behind the experiment, dubbed Music Makes it Home, which showed some interesting results.
The experiment and survey details have been released to coincide with the announcement of Apple Music's global streaming availability on Sonos speakers.
The Music Makes it Home Study was a two-part endeavour designed to better understand if playing music throughout a home can change the way we connect. In the first phase, Sonos asked 30,000 people across eight countries about music and their relationships at home. The second phase was a unique experiment that tracked what happens when people play music out loud in their homes. 30 households worldwide with 109 participants took part, including two Sydney homes.
"For years, Sonos owners have been telling us amazing stories about how music has transformed their houses into homes," said John MacFarlane, Sonos chief executive officer. "We’ve never been able to put that magic into words, but this research illustrates the real impact of listening to music out loud together—and that makes the Sonos effect easier to understand."
Households in the experiment ranged from roommates and married couples to multi-generational families, as well as couples living together for the first time. The households were equipped with Apple Music subscriptions, Sonos systems, Apple Watches, and iBeacons to record and assist with measuring the impact on their physical activity, relations, and emotions in the home.
"The truth is people may be sharing a home, but they aren’t sharing much else. Music may be able to change that by bringing everyone back together," said neuropsychologist Dr. Daniel J. Levitin, expert consultant on the Music Makes it Home Study and author of the international bestselling book This is Your Brain on Music. "This study takes an important step forward in showing how listening to music out loud can enhance relationships at home."
The results showed that cross all countries survey respondents listening to music out loud the most reported that they spent on average 3 hours and 13 minutes more together per week compared to the ones listening to music out loud the least.
People who say they listen to music out loud together have 60 per cent more sex and more than a third of music lovers would give up sex before music according to survey data. After music was introduced in the home, 43 per cent of participants reported feeling extremely loved, an 87 per cent increase from before there was music at home. In fact, 18 per cent of those surveyed have said "I love you" because of a song that came on.
83 per cent reported doing chores is easier when listening to music.
50 per cent enjoy cooking more while listening to music. This was underlined in the experiment, where there was a 20 per cent increase in time spent together in the kitchen
Nick Kelly, a participant in the experiment and occupant of a share house, says it was revealed to him music had a huge impact on how social the household was.
"For our house the biggest impact would be how much we missed music during the period we were not allowed to play music out loud", Kelly said. "Being a household of mates rather than a family, social interactions between ourselves and others almost always take place with music in the background. We had not realised how much until it was replaced with silence. When we listened to music out loud, it helped us all feel more connected."