FEATURE12 December 2018

Brainwaves and soundwaves

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Music can be a powerful emotional driver, but a recent study wanted to go a step further and prove the positive impact of live music on our brains.


Personalised playlists, access to millions of tracks at the touch of a button and album launches announced on Instagram. Music has changed immeasurably in recent years, but one thing that hasn’t disappeared is our love of a good concert. Live music is flourishing; a 2017 study from professional services firm PwC suggests live music will be worth $29bn by 2021.

Yet how can the concert experience be quantified when survey research relies on self-reported behaviour and feelings? A recent experiment by entertainment company Live Nation and creative technology firm TBD Labs sought to understand what is so compelling about live music, using biometrics to measure fans’ reactions and brainwaves during a concert.

Live Nation had already conducted qualitative research in the US and a global survey in 11 countries, and found there was an appetite for an antidote to information overload created by technology. Amanda Fraga, vice-president of strategy and insights for ...