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Top 5 Music Trends of 2020

Posted by George Kingsland on Jul 8, 2020 1:20:01 PM

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen huge changes in the way the average person consumes music. As we have sheltered in place, creative adaptation has been key for musicians and listeners alike. In this article, we’ll explore the Top 5 Music Trends of 2020 so far. Even with live music essentially cancelled, music has continued to play a central role in our socially distanced society while becoming a vital part of the fight for racial justice.

Virtual Concerts

With live performances on hold and concert venues closed, many artists have proven adept at new ways of sharing their music. With record numbers of YouTube videos posted from home studios and bedrooms, and suddenly-commonplace livestreamed performances on Twitch and Instagram Live, artists are reaching their fans in a variety of novel ways.

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Topics: Feed.fm Blog, Music Business, Music streaming, year in review, Music for wellness

Was Daft Punk Right? Is Music Being Overtaken by Robots?

Posted by Lauren Pufpaf & Eric Stensvaag on Jul 1, 2020 11:56:10 AM

Super Abbreviated History of Music Listening

In the 1980s, mixtapes were recorded, painstakingly, one song at a time. Then we had Now That’s What I Call Music! compilations in the 90s, Napster mp3’s burned onto CD’s at the turn of the century, and iPod shuffles in the mid-aughts. The unifying thread amongst all these methods of playlist construction is that they were human created. It wasn’t until Pandora, Spotify and iTunes Radio hit the mainstream that AI-driven music curation played a significant role in the discovery process for music fans.

Now however, AI curation has become the norm, with BBC reporting that “an algorithm...will decide what you hear–and critically, what you’ll hear next.” People still create customized playlists for special events, and DJs–though they have been forced online recently–still play an important role in music listening and discovery. But in general, how often are we or another human choosing the next song, as opposed to an algorithm?

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Topics: Music Business, Music streaming, streaming services, Music as a Service

How 3 Months of Lockdown Changed Our Approach to Working Out

Posted by Lauren Pufpaf on Jun 16, 2020 4:32:14 PM

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen a number of changes in peoples’ fitness regimens, including some unexpected ones. In order to get first hand accounts of how people are pivoting, we conducted our own survey on a group of 400 men and women in the US, ages 18-54, that have exercised at home or outside in the last 30 days. Despite the media telling you otherwise, it seems as though, from the results of our survey, people have actually improved their fitness throughout this stressful time.

“Quarantine 15”

We’ve heard a lot about people building unhealthy habits during quarantine, but this may not be the case.

-70% of survey respondents said that they are working out more now than ever before.

People are actually using this time to form healthier habits and participate in forms of outdoor exercise. People across all walks of life are walking more, particularly since it was the only safe outlet for outdoor time for many weeks. At Feed.fm, we saw massive usage spikes for all of our at-home fitness app customers throughout April and May. Not only were people working out more frequently, but also working out for longer periods of time.

Gym Versus Home

Obviously, people haven’t had access to gyms and fitness classes as they used to, thus have had to get creative. But people still seem to be enjoying their workouts at home–– maybe even more than they expected. There is the convenience factor to consider, and the time savings realized by walking to the other room vs. driving across town. But, one thing many didn’t consider at the outset - it’s likely you have other people in the room while you’re getting your heart rate up. 43% of exercisers said they are typically in the living room, which is the highest traffic room in the house for many.

-71% of people say that, whether they like it or not, there are others present in the room while they work out.

-18% of those people find it embarrassing to work out in the presence of others.

Contrast this experience with gym workouts, which usually includes others exercising anonymously in the same room. Almost 1/5th of respondents would like that anonymity, but that’s just not happening with kids, spouses or roommates on top of each other in the house!

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Songs for Change Mixtape (1989-Present)

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Jun 4, 2020 6:40:04 PM

We at Feed.fm stand with Black communities across the country, and with all those who are demanding change in the U.S. and abroad right now.

As we contemplate art’s role in affecting change, we’ve compiled a 3-hour Songs for Change Mixtape from the past 30 years. While most of these songs focus on racial equality, we’ve also included others calling for peace, gun control, women’s rights, and LGBTQ rights.

We know that music plays an essential role in motivating and bringing different people together. It’s also a powerful yet peaceful outlet for emotional expression, including the raw anger and grief that have been stirred up by the pandemic and protests.

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Topics: Feed.fm Blog

Don't Sleep on Wearables...a Primer for Digital Fitness

Posted by Lauren Pufpaf on May 14, 2020 1:17:42 PM

As discussed in our recent whitepaper, Content, Community and Technology: Digital ecosystems for fitness brands, we've found that there are five essential pillars of a unified digital fitness experience. This article follows the first in a series -- Time to Focus on Your App -- to spotlight the second pillar of digital fitness: Your wearables.

Wearables are here to stay

Even before COVID-19, fitness and digital had been on a path of convergence. As remote fitness takes root more deeply, wearables are quickly transforming from basic data capture tools to sophisticated feedback devices that responsively support a broad population...encompassing people with medical conditions to professional athletes and everyone in between.

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Topics: Customer Engagment, Fitness

Bored with Billboard? Time for Classical: 30 Pieces Every Music Lover Should Hear

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on May 5, 2020 5:38:27 PM

Music industry leader Chartmetric recently published a data-driven analysis of COVID-19’s effects on listening habits. Their primary finding? Classical and ambient are “the big quarantine winners.”

As we all struggle to find healthy outlets for combatting stay-at-home stress, classical music is a winningly creative option. The physiological benefits of music listening are well documented, and in the words of respected neuroscientist Dr. Daniel Levitin, “[music] doesn't have the unwanted side effects that many pharmaceutical products do.” Pandemic considerations aside, we’ve chosen 30 classical pieces every music lover should hear...both classical fans and those needing an introduction.

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Topics: Feed.fm Blog, Music for wellness

Fitness Will Never be the Same - Time to Focus on Your App

Posted by Lauren Pufpaf on Apr 14, 2020 6:16:58 PM

The last decade saw major transformations to the fitness industry, with an explosion of new digital fitness companies spurring the old guard to adopt digital engagement strategies. Yet even the most farsighted would likely concede that the future has arrived much quicker than expected. COVID-19 is already seen as a tipping point in the merging of fitness and digital. As discussed in our recent whitepaper, Content, Community and Technology: Digital ecosystems for fitness brands, fitness customers increasingly expect that all brands provide convenient, high-tech options for exercising remotely.

There has never been a more pressing need to get your content online. Our recommendations seek to balance this expediency against the considerations that can deliver long-term ROI to your business. At Feed.fm, we've found that there are five essential pillars of a unified digital fitness experience.

  1. Custom-built mobile apps
  2. Integration with wearable health-tracking devices
  3. Professional-quality video content and hosting
  4. Training content
  5. Music integration

This article focuses on the first pillar of digital fitness: Your mobile app.

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Topics: Apps, Customer Engagment, Fitness

Sweat Equity: Building Fitness Communities that Last

Posted by Lauren Pufpaf on Apr 10, 2020 1:58:40 PM

As discussed in our recent whitepaper, Content, Community and Technology: Digital ecosystems for fitness brands, the community aspect of digital fitness is key to building a sustainable fitness business. Factors including technological advances, more varied living arrangements, and decreasing participation in organized religion (especially for millennials), are driving people to create community in different ways than in the past.

For many, their fitness community plays an increasingly important role, helping to create connections, purpose, and accountability. Even when your customers aren’t in the same building, they should feel connected to your brand and part of something bigger than themselves. It’s not just about driving a stickier user experience, but building community that can foster deep relationships and help people reach their full potential.

At Feed.fm we work with fitness brands across the consumer landscape and we’ve seen a wide range of community-building strategies employed. To help get the gears turning on how you can implement features of your own, we’ve gathered 4 innovative and proven examples from companies that excel at promoting community.

1)  Strava - Though created primarily for cyclers as a way to document their biking miles, Strava has expanded their scope to “be the center of [exercisers’] active life. The popular app (more than 8 million activities are uploaded per day) has expanded from its commonly-known cycling & running footprint to court Peloton subscribers, rowers and other athletes, and former CEO James Quarles sees it more as a social network for fitness: “We think Strava plays a role for people not just when they’re recording an activity but before and after, right?” he says. “You can find routes, you can find groups to join, people to go with. Then, once you post the activity, you can talk about it, post photos, tag friends, and memorialize and relive the event.” Members say that being connected to cyclists of similar interests and abilities allows them to discover new routes, which helps keep them invigorated in their training routines.

2)  Studio - Billed as a “boutique fitness studio in your pocket”, the Studio app offers treadmill, outdoor running, strength training, and stretch workouts led by top trainers. Head instructor Lisa Niren had this to say about the prioritization of community: “Our members are the lifeblood of our company and community is central and integral to everything we do. I like to say that our fanatical member base is a mix of a little bit of luck and also a LOT of nurturing from the entire team. It is non-stop 24/7, but the most rewarding part of the job.” While it may seem obvious, the number one recommendation is being present and getting to truly know your members, which is a massive time commitment. Niren puts it succinctly: “I make it my personal goal, and the goal of everyone on my team, to be deeply rooted in our community and members. Caring, getting to know them, being present on social media & in Tribes is the key to our success and really making members feel at home when they are with us. Especially now, during a trying time, they come to us not just for physical fitness but also mental and emotional fitness, support and time away from everything else going on.

3)  Pharos Athletic Club in Los Angeles has achieved renown in a fitness-obsessed city for the strength of their community (the owners of other gyms regularly work out at the 20,000 square foot facility.) Three times a year, Pharos hosts a “Limitless Challenge,” in which members are grouped into teams coached by Pharos’ full-time Personal Trainers, take multiple group fitness classes together, receive one-on-one consults throughout the challenge and have their vital health stats (weight, lean body mass, body fat percentage, etc.) tracked on a weekly basis. Combining teams in a competition format creates a balanced environment that pushes participants while maintaining camaraderie, and all participants (there were more than 50 in the latest Limitless Challenge) celebrate with a group outing following the five-week competition. The latest Challenge, which ended in early March, resulted in 122 pounds of muscle gained and 331 pounds of fat lost. More recently, as Pharos (along with most gyms in Los Angeles) has temporarily shuttered in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, its trainers have begun conducting multiple free classes daily via Instagram Live. In the words of Pieter Vodden, one of the club’s owners, Pharos was “started by community and it will survive by community.”

4)  Mirror - Described as a “Nearly
Invisible Interactive Home Gym,” Mirror is a unique piece of fitness hardware - it’s a mirror that hangs on the wall, but doubles as a wireless video screen through which you can participate in workouts remotely, both live and on demand, with top fitness trainers from across the country. The fast-growing startup has received a ton of buzz for its adoption amongst celebrities, and the community aspect of their workout is played up in every press mention - “everyone in the class can see the names and locations of the other people in the class, displayed as bubbles that pop up on the screen when they join.” Participants can also share injuries or questions with the instructors - who can’t see participants - anonymously, maintaining privacy while still allowing for a community feel. Instructors also have access to heart-rate data to ensure sufficient motivation and impact for each workout. Much of the community-building takes place on Instagram, and instructor Gerren Liles has even created his own sub community, Team 100, which is all about giving 100% of your effort every time you show up. Mirror engages with the community on social platforms to get to know them, then references users during live workouts, which brings the studio feel to a digital environment.

Whether you’re looking to build a community from scratch or make your member’s bonds stronger, there’s a lot of great inspiration available right now. To summarize, successful brands (physical and digital) recommend:

  • Offering ways to memorialize exercisers’ efforts and easy ways for them to connect post-activity;
  • Taking the time to get to know your community and be present for them on social media;
  • Bringing people together with common goals, celebrating the wins together; and
  • Referencing personal facts and user names during live digital classes to bring the studio feel to life.
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Topics: Apps, Customer Engagment, Fitness

Fitness Streaming : Music + Video

Posted by Admin on Mar 26, 2020 11:15:58 AM

At Feed.fm, our mission has always been to help our customers engage with their members through music. We make it super simple to add music to your app, site, smart device, or connected equipment, and we provide legal solutions for playing music in studio. 

With the global pandemic and shelter in place orders rocking everyone’s world, many in the community have been struggling to find a way to create digital content, host it, and legally stream music. In answer to this call, we’ve been working day and night to bring a quick, easy solution to the market. 

Today we’re announcing Fitness Streaming: Music + Video

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Exercising During a Pandemic

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Mar 20, 2020 4:31:45 PM

As curator and writer for a Music as a Service company specializing in the fitness technology sector, I spend most of my working hours soundtracking a variety of exercise programs. Thanks to innovations in fit tech, people have more workout options than ever before, both in terms of exercise modalities and settings (encompassing gyms, home workout and outdoor activities).

In the days since President Trump’s Oval Office coronavirus speech, we’ve seen just how timely these transformations are for the fitness landscape. Even as people comply with new social distancing, lockdown, and/or “shelter in place” mandates, overall usage for our 50+ fitness brand partners has increased by more than 30%, both domestically and--to an even greater extent--internationally. This inspiring statistic shows that at least some of us, at least some of the time, are managing our stress more constructively than just binge watching or succumbing to the Quarantine 15.

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Topics: Fitness, Music for wellness