Music for relaxation has quietly (well, it wouldn’t be loudly…) become one of the big playlist genres on music-streaming services. Now Universal Music Group is hoping to capitalise by launching a playlist called Peaceful Music.
For now, it’s only available on one streaming service: Apple Music. Universal says that the 51-track playlist has been “co-created” with Apple’s team, as well as its own artists. Composer Max Richter is in the curator’s seat for the playlist as it launches today.
The playlist will blend ambient, chillout, electronic and other contemporary music, with UMG targeting “the commute to work, studying for an exam or even for a yoga class” as suitable listening contexts.
Richter has form in this area. In 2015 he released an album called ‘Sleep’, which he described as “an eight-hour lullaby” designed to be listened to at night. A number of his own tracks are on the new Peaceful Music playlist, alongside material from the likes of Brian Eno, Sigur Rós and Philip Glass.
“The Peaceful Music playlist ranges widely but all the track selections share a common fingerprint – they don’t flood your consciousness and leave enough space for you to think,” said Richter today. “It’s like a landscape that enables the listener to find a place to rest and reflect.”
For now, this rest and reflection is for Apple Music listeners only. It seems likely that Apple will put some promotional welly behind it.
Will the playlist cross to Spotify? Given the power of that service’s own playlist brands – Peaceful Piano has nearly 4.6 million followers, while Sleep has 2.8 million – Universal may prefer to focus its energy on Apple Music for now.