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Eric Stensvaag

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Music Festivals Roundup: Summer & Fall 2018

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Jun 15, 2018 1:10:26 AM

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.
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Topics: Feed.fm Blog, Music Business

Mother's Day Mixtape

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on May 7, 2018 2:09:04 PM

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.

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Topics: Feed.fm Blog, Music as a Service

7 Articles You Should Read about Smart Speakers

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Apr 25, 2018 8:09:28 PM

There’s been lots of buzz about smart speakers, voice activation, and AI assistants over the past couple years. It’s a great time to tune in if you haven’t been paying close attention. 20% of U.S. Wi-Fi households currently own smart speakers, and manufacturers are pushing for introduction in the workplace.

As voice activated experiences continue to proliferate, individual users and a vast array of businesses stand to benefit. Amazon and Google are currently investing heavily in smart speaker production and defining the user experience.

With even the terminology still in flux, the following 7 articles should get you up to speed quickly on smart speakers and voice activation.

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Topics: Feed.fm Blog, Music Business, Music streaming, streaming services, Music as a Service, Customer Engagment, Music as content

Customer Spotlight: How MoveWith is Reshaping Personal Fitness

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Apr 9, 2018 2:15:05 PM

In 2015, Holly Shelton left her career at Apple to start MoveWith, a digital fitness company that puts instructors front and center. A former ski racer, Shelton understands the motivational power of a great coach, and wanted to make it easier and cheaper for people to connect with the best fitness instructors working today. “For the MoveWith app to succeed, we knew it was essential to capture all the unique elements of our instructors’ classes, from verbal instructions to specific timing to custom music mixes,” says Shelton.

Feed.fm partnered with MoveWith to build out their music integration, handling all the licensing to ensure that Movers get the popular music they love and artists get paid. Our curation team worked closely with MoveWith and their instructors to create playlists that motivate across a wide variety of movement types—from treadmill to yoga.

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Topics: Apps, Feed.fm Blog, Music streaming, Music as a Service, legal music, Customer Engagment, Fitness

5 Licensing Questions on Playing Music for Your Business

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Mar 22, 2018 1:56:42 PM
 We get questions every day about how music licensing works and, to be honest, the waters are muddy. For anyone trying to research the nuances of licensing, the topic can be time consuming and quite confusing. Here are the most commonly asked questions we hear about playing music for business purposes.
 
1. What are the options for digital / streaming background music for workouts, online retail, or other uses? Put simply, there are 3 basic options for your business to consider: you can use royalty-free music, work directly with the record labels and publishers, or let a B2B company like Feed.fm do the work for you.
  • Royalty-free music is cost-effective but unfortunately provides your business with generic, anonymous tracks that none of your customers will recognize. It’s the equivalent of (most) on-hold music, and is unlikely to generate positive results for your business.
  • Working with the labels and publishers comes with significant hurdles and costs, requiring sync licenses that range from $5,000 to $500,000 per song. While some content can be licensed globally, generally each country requires separate negotiations.
  • Your business can hire a company that has experience powering music for users, to guarantee that everything is legal and above board.

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Topics: Music streaming, Music as a Service, legal music, retail music, Music for Retail, Customer Engagment, Music as content

Crazy in Love: Fitness & Portable Music

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Jan 22, 2018 1:31:37 PM

Happy 2018! Many of us have spent the first weeks of January focusing on our New Year’s resolutions. Fitness topped my list so I’m committed to exercising more regularly, which means keeping my bicycle oiled and pumped up, my portable Boombotix speaker charged, and my iPhone synced with a favorite cardio playlist.

I’m hardly alone in thinking about my exercise activity and the music that will keep me motivated. Fitness and music have a long and intertwined history, dating back to at least the ancient Olympic Games (8th Century BC). Fast-forward to the present, and lots of studies have demonstrated the positive correlation between exercise and music.

What’s notable for 2018 is that we’re in the midst of a health and wellness revolution. The wearables market is exploding, and many are taking advantage of the diverse fitness programs available through smartwatches and other portable devices.

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Topics: Feed.fm Blog, Music as a Service, Customer Engagment, Fitness

Music is Performance-Enhancing

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Jan 1, 2018 3:51:00 PM

Most people know intuitively that music can be a useful motivator. Perhaps you play music in the morning to help you wake up, listen to music during your workouts, or enlist the radio when driving to help stay focused and alert. Still, you may be surprised to learn that music has tested positively as performance-enhancing when paired with everyday activities.

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Topics: Music as a Service

Thanksgiving Dinner Party Mixtape, 2017 Edition

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Nov 20, 2017 8:44:47 PM

With Thanksgiving around the corner, most of us are focused on tying up loose ends at work, travel plans, and meal planning. We can’t help with any of that, but we can help set the right mood for your Thanksgiving dinner. Feed.fm has pulled from different eras and musical styles to create an ideal 3-hour mixtape to enjoy with your turkey or tofurky!

For our 2017 edition, we also wanted to honor some of the amazing musicians who've passed away this year. Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Gregg Allman, Tom Petty, Walter Becker (of Steely Dan), Phife Dawg (of A Tribe Called Quest), and Chris Cornell: we are thankful for the musical gifts you shared with the world...

Listen below or here

 

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Topics: Feed.fm Blog, Music as a Service

The Many Colors of Beck, our Favorite Musical Chameleon

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Oct 25, 2017 5:28:37 PM

Beck Albums Ranked on the Color Spectrum

Beck’s long-awaited 13th album has arrived. Entitled Colors, it continues an unpredictability streak established early in his career. The energetic, poppy Colors follows the “serious,” mostly downtempo Morning Phase.

Most artists have a well-defined, identifiable sound or one that evolves somewhat organically over time. A few examples include U2, Foo Fighters, and Nine Inch Nails. Beck’s output falls outside of this norm, often zigzagging between musical styles while still managing to retain his distinctive voice.

Over more than 20 years, Beck has proven himself to be a highly adaptable musical chameleon. In tribute to the stylistic diversity of Beck’s discography, I’ve chosen a specific color to represent each of his albums (except his out-of-print debut). It seems an appropriately quirky way to showcase the prismatic range of this singer-songwriter.

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Topics: Feed.fm Blog

Revolutionary Music for Fall Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Sep 11, 2017 10:47:45 PM

With leaves starting to turn, weather cooling, and days getting shorter, change is in the air. Perhaps you're starting a new school year, focusing on new work responsibilities, or trying to shake up your life in some other way. If you're anything like us, sometimes it's tough channeling the energy and inspiration needed to bring about change.

Being music lovers, we started thinking about artists that have approached change with a spirit of openness and adventure...and some of the great songs this has brought about. As a few examples: Run-DMC's groundbreaking fusion of hip-hop and rock in classics like "King of Rock;" John Coltrane's radical reworking of "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music; and the (perfectly named) heavy metal that Black Sabbath forged out of psychelia and hard rock in songs like "Paranoid." 

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Topics: Feed.fm Blog, Music as a Service