Our 12 year sonic journey to global leadership in helping brands sound right
In 2008, we set up SoundOut to help record companies and radio groups test the appeal of new songs. Since then, we have become the undisputed world leader in new music testing. We now have a comparative database of over 500,000 tracks that have been reviewed and rated by consumers. We continue to use our unique 3.5 million strong consumer panel and predictive analytics products to test over 1,000 tracks a month for all the world’s largest record labels, radio stations and independent artists. Today, this gives us an unrivalled understanding of how consumers react to music.
We used artificial intelligence to deliver unrivalled, automated and trustworthy insight
To give record labels the certainty they wanted about the appeal of a new song, we knew we needed to get rapid, accurate feedback they could completely trust. This meant targeting exactly the right demographic and ensuring that responses were from real people and not bots or fraudulent reviewers. So, we built our own trusted consumer feedback panel placing quality control at its heart, that delivers results in a fraction of the time required by traditional routes.
To deliver the performance, accuracy, speed, scalability and predictive capability we needed, we invested in artificial intelligence (AI) early on. We trained our AI tool, called Peter, with the help of millions of human-checked reviews. Because of Peter’s unmatched performance, we were soon asked to deliver this predictive insight for new product introductions beyond the music industry. This sonic testing included iconic retail brands and FMCG businesses who wanted to be certain that the choices they made about new products would align with their brand archetypes and be well received by consumers. Our fully automated consumer panel of over 3.5 million people is now growing at over 25,000 consumers a month
We worked with behavioural scientists to understand the subconscious impact of music
Despite our success in providing trusted insight beyond the music industry, sound remained our heartland. We realised that liking a music track is not only the result of rational, explicit decision-making but also includes more emotional, implicit choices. So, we began to work with behavioural scientists like Professor Daniel Müllensiefen to strengthen our data science with equally rigorous neuroscience.
Daniel is a Reader in Psychology at Goldsmiths College, London University, where he is Co-Director of the MSc in Music, Mind, and Brain. Daniel’s main themes of research relate to the study of the psychometrics of music, computational and statistical models of music perception, cognitive biases in musical judgement and the behavioural economics of music. He is a world leader in understanding both the conscious and subconscious impact of music on the brain. With his help we explored the science of music as it relates to Daniel Kahneman’s system1/system 2 model of cognitive psychology revealing that about 90% of purchase decisions and association are carried out by the subconscious emotional part of the brain with only 10% carried out by the rational objective part of the brain.
The sheer scale of the difference in importance between implicit and explicit decision-making encouraged us to develop a similar approach to our testing regime which provides both implicit and explicit testing solutions.
We mapped how music impacts human emotions so we can match brand attributes to music
Just like we used data science and machine learning to capture consumer feedback in a new and more effective way, we have invested in a breakthrough data science project, to catalogue and map how music affects the way people feel. Over 5,000,000 data points later, we are the only organisation in the world that can benchmark any music to over 200 emotions.
This unique capability enables us to deliver value at every step in the sound branding process with our SoundScape suite of solutions. These tools help brands and their agencies to add subjectivity to, and remove significant pain points from, the sonic brand lifecycle.
Today we are the world leaders in helping organisations match brand personality and attributes to music. We also help marketing teams select music that not only triggers the right consumer response to a marketing campaign, but also stays true to the brand identity and supports the brand DNA.
Grace Hammond, Co-founder
“We enable our clients to transform the value of brand relationships by harnessing the subconscious triggers and emotional power of music and voice.”
We continue to innovate, and this year will run an even more ambitious project fusing academia, the sonic branding community and a million consumers to map and benchmark the implicit impact of music and how it can be deployed most effectively across the branding and marketing worlds.
For more information on our breakthrough tools like Attribute Mapper and BrandMatch go to our solutions page.
We will give brands a sonic edge in a post-pandemic world
As the world recovers from the pandemic and the proliferation of voice activated devices continues to rise exponentially, people will increasingly be making a sonic emotional connection with the brands they use. We recognise that the intelligent use of music and voice could be the difference between success and failure in the race for brand loyalty and the profitable business performance that goes with it. The automated, scalable nature of the platform and tools we have created brings the power and performance of sonic branding and sonic marketing within the reach of every organisation.
If you want to accelerate the certainty and speed of a return on a sonic brand investment, contact us today.