Blog

Venture Capital in the Fitness Space: A Candid Chat with CEO & Founder Jeff Yasuda

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Oct 15, 2019 12:28:19 PM
Jeff Yasuda founded Feed.fm alongside Eric Lambrecht and Lauren Pufpaf, with the belief that music integration and licensing should be easy for any business, whether digital or brick-and-mortar. Early adopters like American Eagle Outfitters, Anheuser-Busch, and other consumer marketing companies found a legal and efficient way for customers to stream music within their online environments.

In 2017, Feed.fm began delivering music for Fitbit’s in-app fitness programs. Nearly three years later, we wanted to get Jeff’s perspective on venture capital in the fitness space, which has grown to dominate our music as a service business.

Feed.fm has worked with many of the top fitness companies, so you’re in a unique position to connect the dots. Tell me about some overall trends you’re seeing in fitness.

Fitness is an incredibly hot space right now. Consider 1) the amount of financing that has taken place and 2) the recent Peloton IPO. VCs like seeing a market where companies can exit, either via acquisition or offering shares on a public exchange. When there’s acquisition and companies going public, it’s indicative that the business segment—in this case fitness—is healthy, and investors want to participate in the upside.
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Topics: Music streaming, Music as a Service, Fitness

The 2 Yoga Music Mixes You Should Know About

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Apr 23, 2019 2:35:08 PM
According to the National Institutes of Health’s 2017 NHIS, the popularity of yoga is growing dramatically, with 14.3 percent of U.S. adults practicing yoga in 2017 compared to 9.5 percent in 2012. Some of this growth can surely be attributed to the stressful political climate. Another contributing factor is the increased accessibility of yoga: practitioners can choose from a great variety of online/in-app classes in addition to those offered at yoga and fitness studios.
 
With more people making yoga part of their daily lives, it’s no longer a given that classes will be practiced in silence. There are plenty of silent yoga options for those who would choose only John Cage’s “4’33” for their mix, but many students find that music enhances their practice. A Google search for “yoga music” yields countless results, and tons of recommendations are also available on Spotify or your streaming service of choice.
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Topics: Music streaming, Music as a Service, legal music, Customer Engagment, Music as content, Fitness, Music for wellness

Music Licensing for Fitness

Posted by Lauren Pufpaf & Eric Stensvaag on Mar 21, 2019 1:03:21 PM
Feed.fm seamlessly integrates music into consumer experiences for a variety of fitness companies and brands. One of the most common questions we hear is, “What kind of licensing does my business need to legally use music?” In order to successfully answer this question, we need to get more specific about the different ways in which music is used to create fitness experiences.
 
1. Group Fitness Classes at a Physical Location
 
An example of this use case is a spin class at your local cycling studio. In order to legally play music in a physical location, the studio needs public performance licenses from four organizations: ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and GMR. Additionally, the instructor should not be playing music directly from their personal music accounts.
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Topics: Music streaming, Music as a Service, legal music, retail music, Customer Engagment, Music as content, Fitness

Tips for Recording Crisp Workout Audio

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Jan 25, 2019 1:42:15 PM

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."

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Topics: Music as a Service, legal music, Fitness, Music for wellness

Music Streaming & Curation, Circa 2018

Posted by Dario Slavazza & Eric Stensvaag on May 22, 2018 2:31:58 PM

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.

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

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