With more and more people migrating from the gym to digital fitness programs, there’s an impressive quantity, quality, and variety of fitness classes available on demand. As the fit tech boom continues, we’re frequently asked to provide input on both the legal side of music integration and the technical aspect of audio recording. The diagram below simplifies the decision process and summarizes the advice our Head of Curation (and Sound Engineer) typically shares.
Perhaps it’s intuitive that audio quality and music are as important as the image, lighting, and visual elements of your finished product. If not, here’s some advice from professional sports photographer and videographer David Bracetty, who makes a living based on how things look: “…I can’t recall a single comment on video quality, [but] I do recall commenting on sound and being able to hear, so get a good mic."
“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.
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.
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.
It’s no secret that fitness apps have become a popular tool for anyone looking to stay in shape. For $5-10 a month, consumers can get personalized coaching, goal setting and the flexibility to work out anywhere. Compare this to the average $60 a month that U.S. consumers spend on a gym membership, and it’s clear that a high quality fitness app can provide significant value.
In 2017, the Health & Fitness app category jumped into the global Top 10 based on revenues (both for iOS and Android platform), according to App Annie. This category is highly dynamic, particularly as the global demand for wearables continues to explode. CCS Insight forecasts that 411 million smart wearables worth $34 billion will be sold in 2020. As entrepreneurs continue innovating in the Health & Fitness category, it makes sense to step back and evaluate the features that can make an app stand out in an increasingly crowded field.