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."
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
Recently, the latest rage in the music world is that Spotify has confidentially filed “IPO” documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, unlike a typical IPO where an investment bank underwrites and allocates shares to institutional investors, Spotify will allow existing investors to sell shares directly on the public markets. Direct listings, which are highly unusual, have often been done by small-cap companies. This is the first time that a company with a multibillion dollar valuation, in Spotify’s case $20 billion, will offer shares in this manner. The direct listing will provide liquidity for existing shareholders and will allow new investors to participate in a pure-play, on-demand music streaming service. While at first glance, this may appear to be a bizarre strategy, as we discussed in a recent Bloomberg interview, this is an incredibly exciting moment for the music industry.