Friday 16 March is World Sleep Day apparently, although good luck with persuading your boss that you deserve a day in bed.
Actually, it’s worth a try if you work for Universal Music, since the label is preparing to release what it’s calling ‘the world’s first sleep album led by scientific research’ that day.
“To be played in the hour prior to going to bed, ‘Sleep Better’ is a series of soundscapes designed to ease the brain into switching off and preparing for sleep, appealing to its natural cycles and circadian rhythms,” explains the announcement.
The music comes from Tom Middleton, who besides being a producer and DJ, is also billed as a psychoacoustic researcher and sleep-science coach. The ‘Sleep Better’ album will be released as a CD, download and on streaming services, as well as through the ‘Sleep Better’ Android and iOS app.
The interesting thing here, of course, is the streaming angle. Sleep playlists are big on streaming services: Spotify’s main one (called simply ‘Sleep’) has 2.3 million followers, while another (‘Sleep Tight’) has more than 518,000.
It reminds us of a comment made by UMG’s then-CTO Ty Roberts in February 2017, suggesting that ‘sleep music’ was “around two per cent of all our streaming plays” as an industry.
Universal will be hoping that Middleton’s sleep tracks can snooze their way on to Spotify and other streaming services’ big sleep playlists – and in Spotify’s case, if that turfs any production-tracks sourced from companies like Epidemic Sound out of bed, we’d imagine that will be a bonus for the label.