Universal introduces new ‘music-centric’ wellness app Sollos, strikes partnership with Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global

CEO of Thrive Global Arianna Huffington and CEO of Universal Music Group Sir Lucian Grainge pose before the Universal Music Group and Thrive Global's first Music + Health conference in association with Havas Health at the 1 Hotel West Hollywood on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, in West Hollywood.

Universal Music Group (UMG) is sharpening its focus in the health and wellness sector, introducing a new “music-centric” wellness app named Sollos. 

The app is described by the company as using “cognitive science and proprietary audio technology to support focus, relaxation and sleep”.

The company made the announcement at its first Music + Health conference in partnership with Thrive Global, a wellness firm founded by media veteran Arianna Huffington.

UMG submitted a trademark application for the “Sollos” brand on August 29 with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

The filing specified that the Sollos trademark registration would encompass “physical and digital sound and video recordings; mobile apps; video games; virtual reality content; cameras, cell phones, VR equipment, audio equipment, computers, and other (non-medical) electronic equipment and accessories,” among others.

UMG has yet to provide additional details regarding the Sollos app, but it may draw inspiration from its existing partnerships in the field. In 2021, UMG joined forces with Liteboxer, a startup merging boxing and gaming with beat-based music programming for a unique workout experience. This partnership established UMG as the exclusive music partner for Liteboxer.

The same year, UMG teamed up with MedRhythms, a digital therapeutics company, for a first-of-its-kind partnership that provides the latter firm with access to UMG’s catalog. The deal allowed MedRhythms to use UMG’s music in treating neurologic injuries.

Last year, Universal Music became the exclusive launch partner for an AI-driven music app called Vera that provided people with dementia with access to UMG’s music catalog.

Earlier this year, UMG entered into a “first-of-its-kind strategic relationship” with generative AI sound wellness startup Endel to create what they call “AI-powered, artist-driven functional music.”

Most recently, UMG teamed up with Ariana Huffington’s Thrive Global, becoming its exclusive music partner for the Thrive Reset stress management tool, which Thrive describes as a “60-second stress reduction product featuring music and breathing”.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Universal Music Group to put this into practice by licensing Universal Music for Thrive Reset, our 60-second stress-reducing product that uses music and breathing to help move users from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system in just one minute,” said Huffington.

“Universal’s catalog will make Thrive Resets more engaging, personalized and joyful to drive even greater behavior change through our platform, helping people reduce stress and connect each day with what they love about their lives.”

Ariana Huffington, Thrive Global

Huffington launched Thrive in 2016 to help individuals, companies, and communities improve their well-being and performance. Since its launch, Thrive says it has been working with leaders across all the scientific disciplines related to burnout. 

“Universal’s catalog will make Thrive Resets more engaging, personalized and joyful to drive even greater behavior change through our platform, helping people reduce stress and connect each day with what they love about their lives,” added Huffington.

“As we learned today from neuroscientists, historians, doctors and entrepreneurs, we’re just getting started with all of the ways we can leverage music, both for preventive health and to augment medical treatment, and I am looking forward to using today’s conference to accelerate this growing movement of music and health.”

The Music + Health conference also saw UMG announce a new partnership with digital therapeutic company soundBrilliance, providing the latter with selections from its catalog for use in closed clinical trials for music and health research.

The clinical trials will employ music, psychology and measurement techniques to create tools and exercises that UMG says will empower people to better self-manage their emotional balance, fitness, quality sleep and pain control.

“Throughout my life, I have experienced countless examples of how music can change people’s mood, comfort them in times of emotional crisis, or even help them physically,” said UMG Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge.

“At Universal, I wanted this powerful relationship between music and health to not simply be a series of anecdotal observations, I want it to be a key component of our strategy, so we can really put music to work in ways it has never been used before.”

“music is a powerful force for good, and now we have the science and technology—with AI and therapeutics and more— to help accelerate these developments.”

Sir Lucian Grainge, Universal Music Group

Grainge added: “As a company, we are fundamentally rooted in the belief that music is a powerful force for good, and now we have the science and technology – with AI and therapeutics and more – to help accelerate these developments. It really is one of the most interesting and exciting new frontiers for music.”

UMG’s foray into health and wellness aligns with the increasing convergence of the music industry and the health and wellness domain.

In July, Ticketmaster owner and live events promoter Live Nation launched a mindfulness app Dubbed Mindful Nation, which it claims to “seamlessly incorporates music into the practice of meditation.”

Last year, music streaming company Deezer unveiled its wellbeing app, called Zen by Deezer, which recently expanded to France with a catalog of more than 2,000 pieces of audio and video content, produced by more than 50 wellbeing experts in the country.

Music Business Worldwide

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