Warner Music Group (WMG) has entered a pioneering collaboration with British health tech startup MediMusic –– marking its debut in the field of music therapy. 

The venture aims to explore the therapeutic potential of music in mitigating pain, anxiety, and stress through personalized playlists, utilizing clinical trials. In a press release on December 13, WMG disclosed that this partnership aligns with the growing intersection of the music and health sectors.

MediMusic employs artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to create evidence-based playlists tailored to individual patient needs. By analyzing the ‘digital DNA’ of music, the startup generates a healthcare-specific fingerprint, curating 20-minute personalized tracks delivered through the MediBeat streaming device and headphones.

These playlists aim to reduce stress hormones, such as cortisol, and lower heart rates while promoting relaxation through the release of hormones like dopamine and oxytocin. Real-time physiological responses are monitored using a wrist heart rate monitor. In case a song doesn’t produce the desired effect, MediBeat’s ‘Digital Drip’ technology swaps out tracks using AI to ensure optimal relaxation. MediMusic also provides healthcare professionals with key performance indicators (KPIs) illustrating the service’s benefits and potential cost savings by reducing reliance on medication.

Medimusic UK Health Start-Up Music Therapy

Courtesy of MediMusic

MediMusic’s collaboration with WMG involves research testing in closed randomized controlled trials across the US and UK. The trials will include delivering curated playlists from WMG’s music catalog to diverse patient groups while closely monitoring real-time responses. The partnership, set to commence trials in Q1 2024, aims to expand into hospitals and care homes.

Early trials have shown promising results, with a 25% reduction in heart rate observed in UK National Health Service trials with dementia patients. Gary Jones, Co-Founder and CEO of MediMusic, emphasized the significance of the partnership in furthering their global mission to prescribe music as medicine.

WMG sees this collaboration as a natural progression, building on existing partnerships with fitness giants like Equinox, Peloton, and Apple Fitness+. Michael Baines, VP of Digital Strategy and Business Development at WMG, highlighted their focus on finding new ways for artists and music to be used for societal good.

However, it’s not just WMG that stands as the only record label navigating the intersection of music and health, as Universal Music Group (UMG) has also ventured into the healthcare and wellness sector. In 2020, UMG’s Australian unit partnered with AI music therapy startup Muru Music Health. Last year, UMG was named the exclusive launch partner for Vera, an AI-driven music app for people with dementia. UMG has continued to explore AI-powered wellness initiatives, including a music-centric wellness app called Sollos in partnership with Thrive Global.