HARMAN listening survey reveals latest consumers' listening habits
09/05/2019

A new survey of listening habits has found that AI generated music and personalisation are key for UK listeners.

Online PR News – 05-September-2019 – UK – A new survey of listening habits of over 8,000 consumers globally has found that personalisation is key - with 75% of UK listeners interested in apps that personalise audio sound quality preferences and 64% in AI apps to personalise or manipulate music, such as changing a favourite ballad into a dance track on the go.

Other key findings in the survey by HARMAN International - a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets - identified that 75% feel personalised music curation is important, whether playlists are created by themselves or other sources.

More surprising is the perception that music is music, whoever or whatever composed it, with 37% of UK respondents seeing AI or computer-generated music to personalise or manipulate music as the future of listening.

The global survey of 8,000 consumers found that today's listening habits are being shaped by an on-the-go lifestyle, along with greater connectivity and portability - with listeners choosing exactly what they listen to and when. Other key findings included:
The future of listening is about quality and personalisation

In the future, consumers indicate that 3D/surround sound, voice-user interface, and smart audio devices will become more important, with consumers in most countries showing a growing appetite for these technologies. Ad-hoc comments from respondents were clear: the future of listening lies in personalised audio experiences that are immersive, intimate and fine-tuned by the user.

The right ambiance boosts music enjoyment
Almost seven in ten listeners find it appealing to have an audio device that can control their physical environment while listening to music in order to create the right ambiance, such as a listening app that can also control lighting or heating in the home or car. This is also relevant when it comes to live music: almost six in ten consumers would enjoy watching more concerts or live music events at home if they could recreate the same ambiance.

Personalised listening at concerts and events is largely welcomed by consumers
The concept of wearing headphones or individual devices to enable a customised listening experience (e.g. volume control or sound reproduction adjustment) at live music events is positively received by more than six in ten respondents overall.
Sound quality is key

Listeners agreed that high-quality sound is important for the listening experience: With the effects of music either heightened or hindered by sound quality. According to survey respondents, good sound quality triggers positive emotions such as a sense of the music coming to life (60%), feeling uplifted (49) or feeling relaxed (38%), while bad sound quality triggers negative emotions such as dissatisfaction (45%), annoyance (42%), or disappointment (34%).

Dave Rogers, President, Lifestyle Audio at HARMAN, said: "At HARMAN, we believe that music empowers people to improve their lives—that it enables them to tune in and actively enjoy the magic of the moment no matter where they are. As we look to the future of listening, HARMAN is more committed than ever to harnessing the power of new technologies combined with show-stopping design to deliver consistently immersive listening experiences. Above all, we remain devoted to our highest purpose: helping people get the most out of each and every moment they spend listening."

About the survey
The Harman Future of Listening Report was conducted by FutureSource Consulting Ltd in August 2019. A total of 8,143 interviews were carried out online in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and South Korea. The breakdown of interviews was as follows: 1,000 in the UK, 1,003 in France, 1,013 in Germany, 972 in the Netherlands, 2,059 in the USA, and 2,093 in South Korea. All questionnaires were localized to the country and conducted in the local language.