Interest rates up? Listen to Bowie!

Winter is coming.  The clocks have changed, we’ve had the trick-or-treat nonsense and the fireworks have arrived. So, according to psychologists, it’s also now time to refresh our iPhone playlists and seek a little musical nostalgia!    Music has an effect on us, marketers have long known this.  Slow relaxing music in a store makes us linger longer and increases our average spend, while fast loud sounds keep the in-store congestion moving – very handy as the dreaded Christmas rapidly approaches.  But time of year also impacts on our musical preferences themselves.

Researchers have found seasonal differences in our musical tastes and they are all linked to the corresponding changes in the environment.  Specifically, analysis of Billboard charts reveals that as the harsh winter environment sets in, music-lovers begin to favour nostalgia tracks and the comforting feel of ballads, love songs and relaxing classics.  Dance music is out, at least until the spring!

Interestingly, it’s not just the weather that causes us to revise our playlists.  The social and economic environment has an equally powerful effect on our music preferences – a downturn, austerity measures and an interest rate hike can all skew our playlists in a winter-like manner.   Mmmmnnn…. posting this on a day when the Bank of England did the latter, I predict this is a very good night for Bowie downloads.

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