June 13, 2013
We’ve been asked this question a few times recently! The answer is that we add a carefully determined percentage of new music every week to each channel. And exactly what and how much is driven by neuroscience.
Focus@will is a background music stream that engages your subconscious mind just enough to allow your conscious mind to focus on the task at hand. If there are too many new tracks added to a music channel that you have been using for a while, then your subconscious mind (which is always looking out for “novelty”) will start to feed signals to your conscious mind that this is a new stimulus you should pay attention to. And now the music stream will become distracting to your focus state.
But equally if there is too much repetition of existing material over time, then your subconscious brain will start getting used to (“habituating to”) individual tracks and the focusing effect will also stop being effective.The secret sauce is that we’ve figured out exactly how much new material works for most people. Note that this is the exact opposite of usual entertainment based music listening, where you only like music that actively moves you in some way, *and* you’re always looking for new exciting music!
Remember, the idea here is not to be entertained, not to “enjoy” the music. Use this service as a background tool to get work or study done as efficiently as possible.