It’s the most wonderful time of the year…to be a music lover. Sure, we may find our ears shutting down from the barrage of holiday music, and we can quibble about which version of “White Christmas” is the best (it’s still Bing Crosby’s). But in terms of gift giving and receiving? December brings a chance to catch up on all the latest music swag. Our 12 Great Music Gifts list represents a cross section of price points, eras, and genres.
“Music is an important part of our physical and emotional well-being, ever since we were babies in our mother’s womb listening to her heartbeat and breathing rhythms.” -- Franz Wendtner, Clinical Psychologist, University (General) Hospital Salzburg
It’s an intuitive, increasingly acknowledged fact that music is a powerful motivational tool. Perhaps you play music in the morning to help you wake up, enlist the radio when driving to help stay focused and alert, or listen to music during your workouts. Over the past half-century, countless studies have shown the positive correlation between music and activities as diverse as exercise and shopping. Music’s ability to help us perform better and “stick it out” is a behavioral result.
What’s lesser known: music can also deliver long-term physiological results, re-wiring our brains in a process known as neuroplasticity. Neuroscientists offer the following shorthand for this re-wiring phenomenon: “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” Research has shown music’s ability to increase neuroplasticity, and there are many innovative, music-powered solutions to age-old medical problems that affect all of us.
We’re thrilled to introduce Tiffany Sirikulvadhana as the newest member of our team. A customer success veteran with six years experience, and a former plaintiff’s attorney, Tiffany is uniquely qualified to serve as our Head of Customer Success. Tiffany describes Feed.fm as her “dream company…I get to work with exciting customers using music to drive stronger results. And as an attorney, I understand the intricacies of music licensing and know Feed.fm is providing an essential service to our partner companies.”
After graduating from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, Tiffany spent the first four years of her career practicing law, with an emphasis on disability rights. Her skillful client advocacy prompted a friend to lure her into the tech world, as customer point-person for a mobile startup. As someone who’s always been interested in tech and consumer trends, Tiffany developed a strong track record working at a number of SaaS companies.
Every day we come across new evidence-based reasons to integrate music into our lives. At Feed.fm we’ve spent much of this year working closely with fitness companies to help them improve workouts with music. There is a great body (pun intended!) of work that illustrates the many ways music positively impacts physical exertion, a few key points here. Much of this work is focused on athletes and healthy adults, but what about music’s impact on healing? Musical interventions can play a huge role in health care, from operation rooms to rehab centers to in-home recovery scenarios.
There is so much incredible science emerging around the positive impact of music on ailments and healing, so we decided to narrow it down to our top 5 favorites for now.1) Music is better than drugs in reducing anxiety before surgery
In over 15 studies, researchers were able to prove a drop in cortisol (stress hormone) after listening to relaxing music. One study even compared patients who listened to music directly with patients who took a Valium. Believe it or not, music wins!
There are thousands of fitness apps to choose from depending upon your interests and physical needs. Moreover, with the increase of body-weight exercises, there’s no need to hit the gym to fit in a great (and quick) workout. Finally, with the improvements in the Wearables and other tracking devices, it’s now super easy to track progress, or lack thereof, by having real-time monitoring of heart rate and movement. There’s really no excuse to just sit on the couch, so get out there and find your ideal workout app!
We are seeing many of hardware partners begin to explore recurring revenue models. Many hardware partners have begun to experiment or even launching their own content strategy around fitness workouts that can be done in conjunction with the hardware device. Hardware companies face the fundamental challenge that once they sell a device or piece of equipment, it’s often years before the consumer or gym buys another piece of hardware. By creating their own content, hardware companies can provide updated fitness exercises and, of course music, that users can subscribe to on a monthly or yearly basis.
I typically use my workouts to discover new music. I’ve been working on writing a funk album, so I’ve been exploring new and old albums from great funk bands like the New Mastersounds, Greyboy, and Soulive. In addition, my kids have started to play in bands so I need to keep current with the songs that their bands are playing. Jamming is a blast no matter what the genre or age group with whom you are playing, but playing is about listening first to get ideas and better understand the craft.
Fitness, like music, is extremely personal. With the myriad of fitness apps out there, sometimes it is difficult to find the right one for you. As a result, fitness companies are working hard to differentiate themselves and provide a unique experience. Sometimes, it’s the workout style. Sometimes, it’s the objective of the exercise. Sometimes, it’s the music. Some companies use hardware and others use a combination of software and workout equipment. There are thousands of choices and more fitness companies appear everyday. So, for these companies, getting the user experience just right for their target audience is of critical importance.
Topics: Music Business
In November 1988, Trent Reznor recorded a 9-track demo of songs that formed the basis of Nine Inch Nail’s first album Pretty Hate Machine. As fans of the band know–and this album bluntly states–“Nine Inch Nails is Trent Reznor.” During the 1990s, Reznor established himself as one of the most admired musicians of his generation, a reputation he’s upheld even while developing an impressive side-career as a film and television composer.
With the arrival of Nine Inch Nails’ acclaimed Bad Witch last month, it’s an ideal time to celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary. Below is my list of the 30 best Nine Inch Nails (NIN) songs. But first, a little background on Reznor and NIN…
Topics: Feed.fm Blog
Wowza! In my 3rd year assessing the music festival scene on behalf of Feed.fm, I feel confident stating that there’s never been a better time for live music omnivores. While creating the following roundup of summer and fall music festivals—28 in total—I was somewhat dumbfounded by the quantity and variety of high-quality offerings across the country.
A few high-level observations before diving into the chronological list below:
- While the traditional “summer” music festival continues to explode its seasonal confines, promoters still steer clear of winter. So die-hard fans will get a short breather come January…before the Ultra Music Festival (Miami) jumps the gun again in early spring.
- Music festivals are popping up and disappearing with surprising frequency, perhaps indicating the market is becoming saturated. Examples include the failure-to-launch Fyre Festival (Bahamas); the one-time-only Desert Trip (Palm Desert, CA); and FYF Fest (Los Angeles) which unexpectedly canceled its 15th annual event.
- Which artists lay claim to the most headliner slots this year? Of the festivals we’ve surveyed, The Weeknd is the clear winner with 6 appearances. Janet Jackson, Arctic Monkeys, Erykah Badu, and Florence + The Machines have 3 appearances apiece.
We’re announcing our latest product today - Fitness.fm - and I couldn’t be more excited about where we’ve landed. From day one our mission has been to connect businesses to their customers in a meaningful way. We continue to drive those connections for businesses of all shapes and sizes (AI to Retail to NBA Champs) and are excited about all the music innovation happening there. But, as we continue to add incredible fitness companies to our roster, we’ve found that there is a really specific set of needs that we can help meet. A lot of love (and sweat - ha!) has gone in to the Fitness.fm product.
How do you decide what music to listen to? Since streaming is now America’s dominant form of music consumption, we’re guessing Spotify or Apple Music are helping make this choice.
Both these companies and their competitors rely on algorithms to manage an increasingly large variety of music playlists. So…a robot is picking your music? Well, yes and no. Even a tech titan like Apple recognizes that machine learning has its limitations: most streaming companies employ music experts who fine-tune playlists combining computer data with essential context and personal taste.
What makes for a great Mother’s Day song? We’ve made lots of themed mixtapes but this presented a special challenge. While mothers are universally loved and have inspired plenty of great music, we needed to create a coherent mix that still pays tribute to these incredibly diverse individuals.
We focused our Mother’s Day playlist on R&B/pop songs from the past quarter-century that celebrate mothers from various angles. From classic tribute songs like 2Pac’s “Dear Mama” to expressions of maternal love like Beyonce’s “Blue” to memory capsules like Taylor Swift’s “The Best Day,” we hope we captured some of the heartfelt feelings inspired by mothers.