2020: The Music Evolution

December 9, 2020
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From unexpected inspiration to pure pet pop and tracks that you can ‘touch’; Samsung reveals how 2020 has revolutionised the future of music:

• Over half of millennials rate music as their number one feel good source in 2020
• Compared to 2019, almost a quarter are listening to over five hours more of music a day
• By 2030, fans will ‘touch’ their favourite tracks, have their dogs singing along and create chart-worthy albums straight from their smartphones
• Samm Henshaw’s uplifting new track ‘All Good’ is inspired solely by a smartphone picture



LONDON, UK – 9th December, 2020 – With 54% of Brits now using music as their number one feel good source, Samsung reveals the impact of this year on millennial music habits and how technology will shape the next decade of trends.


Compared to 2019, almost a quarter are listening to over five hours more of music a day and over a third (34%) admit to their favourite playlists keeping them enthused through a tough 2020, highlighting how many are relying on music more than ever before.


Playlist preferences are changing with half (50%) saying that their music tastes are different this year, including 40% craving songs that tell a story and 43% only pressing play on tracks with a unique sound or story.  What’s more, 84% have discovered seven new artists this year.


The research[1] coincides with the Samsung’s unique collaboration with UK-based soul and R&B singer, Samm Henshaw, to launch his eagerly-awaited new track ‘All Good’ (available to stream on Spotify now). Packed with feel-good lyrics and up-beat melodies, he was challenged to create new music as part of Samsung’s Inspired by a True Photo platform. This entailed him composing and recording it based solely on a photo, which was taken by a Samsung Galaxy customer and uploaded to Instagram. The chosen #withGalaxy image – which is also the single’s artwork cover – shows a grinning Indie-Pomeranian crossbreed, snapped by his owner, Ayush Luther (@black_hawk_x7), at home.


With over a third (36%) of millennial listeners wanting to hear from artists that are creative with their muses, Samm’s track is a great example of how artists are switching up their material to be in sync with the new cultural surroundings and seeking fresh inspiration as a result.


Music is at the heart of everything I do, so it’s great to see how it’s been keeping a whole nation inspired, despite the craziness of this year. It’s also been a time for many of us to reflect and discover new interests, and I love that it’s resulted in people listening to new material and giving time to different artists. It’s this inspiration that I had when it came to composing ‘All Good’, I knew I had to bring the same happy energy to this song that I felt when I first looked at that photo. To think this could be a future trend for the music industry is so exciting – The simplicity of one photo, captured on a phone, opened my mind to new ways of songwriting and definitely something I would explore with future material” said Samm Henshaw.


Showing the acceleration of the music scene in 2020, Samsung worked with The Future Laboratory[2] to explore the innovative ways in which tech will define the next decade of millennial music:


Open-source Song – They say you should never meet your heroes, but what about working with them?

  • A growing number of musicians are viewing fans and consumers as partners, opening the creative process and inviting them to collaborate.
  • This is already happening, with artists such as Samm Henshaw using a Samsung customer’s smartphone image to inspire a whole new song. This is a mindset shift away from music consumption, towards a focus on community.


The XR Factor – Speedy 5G is reinventing music videos for the better

  • Thanks to the incredible speed and expert capacity of 5G, a new visual revolution is on the horizon and will end the conventional music video.
  • Advances in extended reality (XR) – advanced augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) – combined with new levels of connectivity, are ushering in an era of hyper-experiential, immersive music videos that transport audiences to different worlds.


Pet Pop From Now! to Miaow!

  • Eight in 10 people believe their pets like music, and almost half (46%) feel it’s a stress reliever for their furry friends – setting the scene for a new era of pet-focused music
  • Spotify use an algorithm to generate playlists that pets and their owners can enjoy together, though these will soon include tracks created solely for animals, designed to elicit a response from the listening pets.


Feel the MusicWant to really feel the music? Well, you’re in luck.

  • By 2030, advances in haptic technology – which simulates the sensation of touch through vibrations, motions and forces – will enable audiences listening at home to feel sound echo through their bodies, adding a new tangible dimension to music.
  • At the end of the decade, listeners may even be able to ‘touch’ a song through their smartphone screens via software which uses vibrations and friction between fingertips and screen to create realistic textures on the device.


The Smartphone Studio Making music… can anyone do it?

  • By 2030 the answer will be yes, as new platforms turn teens into teen idols by empowering them to create music straight from smartphones.
  • New tools such as the music collaboration app Bounce are paving the way, streamlining the music creation process for amateurs and making it truly accessible. Users for tools such as this grew exponentially in lockdown, reaching 18m users across 180 countries.


Don’t bore us – get to the chorus – Swift music tracks to match our shrinking attention spans.

  • Our attention spans have dropped from 12 seconds to eight since 2000 and our song skipping culture has emerged in response, meaning it’s more vital for artists to hook listeners in early, load choruses up front and keep the overall track swift.
  • In fact, at the end of the decade it’s predicted that the average song will be a maximum of 2 minutes, putting the old three-minute pop song cliché to rest.


TikTok ’n RollForget the charts – it’s all about going viral.

  • Musicians have long-used social media to boost fan engagement. Now, artists are embarking on a new era, creating content that’s tailored to go viral and designed explicitly with social media in mind, instead of the top 10.
  • Moving forwards, this optimised-for-Instagram approach when creating music will become the norm.


Medicinal Music – A song a day keeps the doctor away.

  • Anxiety, stress and burnout are on the rise, with music set to redefine the way we approach wellness. Whether we want to wind down or find focus, more of us are turning to music to guide our behaviour, modify our moods and enable us to solve everyday problems.
  • To meet this new demand, playlists for ‘horizontal listening’ will become common from a range of artists. This is a perfect blend of music and meditation audio, designed to be heard as soon as your head hits the pillow.


Let’s Get PersonalListening experiences are getting personal.

  • Advances in biometric technology are facilitating a future of personalised music that responds to your heart rate or even your facial expressions.
  • Music and vocals by the artist will be processed by the technology to generate а soundscape that adapts in real time to the listener, as if the artist had created the track just for them.


“Samm’s latest track is both a revolution of the nation’s millennial music habits, and a reflection of how technology can inspire creativity in fresh and exciting ways. Whilst smartphones are at the heart of communication, they’re also modes of self-expression and discovery, and our Inspired by a True Photo platform enables artists like Samm to unlock new ways of creativity within both future music and the wider arts” said Sharon Hegarty, Marketing Director, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland.


Alongside the track, the official ‘All Good’ music video will launch on 9th December, which is a fun and futuristic mini film that sees Samm explore a restriction free, alternate reality. Inspired by the vibrant shades of the recently launch Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, the video brings an explosion of mayhem to screens in a playful take on how a drab office setting can transform into a daydreamer’s paradise with the power of music. To hear Samm’s latest track, please visit: https://sammhenshaw.ffm.to/allgood-single.opr


For more information on Samm Henshaw, please visit: Instagram Twitter Facebook.


[1] Research was fielded online among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults living in the UK. Fieldwork was carried out in partnership with Opinium and was in field from 25/11/2020-30/11/2020

[2] Research conducted by The Future Laboratory and commissioned by Samsung

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