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Eric Stensvaag

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Holiday Gift Guide: 12 Great Music Gifts for 2018

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Dec 7, 2018 12:20:52 PM

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.

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Topics: year in review, Retail

Music is Changing Behaviors & Re-Wiring Brains

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Oct 18, 2018 3:08:27 PM

“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 shoppingMusic’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.

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Topics: Music therapy, Music for wellness, Fitness

Introducing Tiffany Sirikulvadhana, Head of Customer Success

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Oct 4, 2018 2:51:06 PM

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.

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Topics: Feed.fm Blog, Customer Engagment

30 Best Nine Inch Nails Songs -- Nine Inch Nails at 30 Years

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Jul 31, 2018 12:51:44 PM

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…

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Topics: Feed.fm Blog

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, Music as content, Customer Engagment, Music as a Service, streaming services

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

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

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