David Harris, Managing Director, Shed Creative Agency, Universal Music Canada spoke about the power of music as “The Ultimate Emotional Connector.”
The one constant in most people’s lives is the music that they love. “If you think of the biggest emotional times in your life, there is a song that is connected to this memory that is visceral, and can be triggered time and time again. This is the power of music,” said Harris.
He then explained the evolution and innovation journey of the music industry and how technology is enabling them to engage with music fans wherever they seek to engage with artists. It is important to remember that 1999 was the peak of the sound recording business at $25 billion, but after the internet allowed people to share music illegally, the industry had to redefine itself.
Technology also brought new tools for the industry. Streaming music allowed companies to view people’s listening habits. And in doing so, the industry was able to curate playlists for people that went far beyond genres. “Having an unlimited source of music in your pocket is like having an on-demand remote control to your emotional life.”
In other words, new playlists are labeled Happy and Sad, and listening to them can bring about those emotions.
“Talking about the power of music is like talking about the power of breathing… What we are doing these days is we having a money ball moment. WE have from empirical sense when music is being consumed, what music, and what and how is music sound tracking your life. And that is how you feel. That is also how you want to feel,” said Harris.
“With the power of streaming, not only thinking about music genres, those emotional touch points and mood and the different styles of music. We never thought about before of a Coffee House playlist, and now it’s one of the top playlists. Sleep isn’t a normal genre but it is always in our top 10 playlists. But of course, all our customers need to sleep, and we need to be able to serve you when you’re in that emotional state,” he added.
Harris’ presentation ended with singer Billy Raffoul performing his song “1975.” The audience’s reaction demonstrated the power of music.