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Eric Stensvaag

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Music Curation's Secret Sauce? Culture & Context

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on May 21, 2021 7:23:41 PM

At Feed Media Group, our team of highly-skilled curators manages hundreds of bespoke music stations for our business partners. This curation is at the core of what we offer as a B2B music integration platform. While technology and analytics play a critical role throughout the curation process, it’s the expertise, inquisitiveness, and ability of our curators to put the world around us into perspective that make our music stations so effective.

We’ve discovered that curating music, much like cooking, is a fine art that requires finesse to impart the best flavors. Whether from education and/or experience, curators must have a rock-solid background in music and a passion for its more technical aspects versus a more casual interest. When we listen to new songs, it’s essential to have a POV on whether we think they are successful or not, and an impulse to know more about those that are. We also need the stylistic knowledge and confidence to trust our instincts.

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

Keep Your 2021 Fitness Resolutions - Music Can Help!

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Mar 19, 2021 4:24:05 PM

We know how it is: you WANTED to keep your 2021 fitness goals...but this year feels an AWFUL LOT like 2020 so far...and you’re having trouble motivating for that run, bike ride, yoga class, etc. (Yes, we ARE still talking about our New Year’s Resolutions, even in March.)

Music can help! In a 2019 consumer survey of 1,000 people conducted by Feed Media Group (FMG)a B2B music streaming company supporting MIRROR, FightCamp, Tonal, and dozens of other fitness brands2/3 of respondents said that they’d skip a workout altogether if they couldn’t listen to music. And a detailed study by the Sports Medicine – Open journal found that people work out 28% longer per week when they have the right music.

So what’s the right music? Fortunately, FMG has data on millions of workout sessions with music. Here are some of the BEST exercise songs you can put to use in keeping your fitness resolution for 2021. And when in doubt, play Dua Lipa’s already-classic Future Nostalgia album.

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Topics: Feed.fm Blog, Fitness, Music for wellness

How Can I Live Stream Fitness Classes with Music?

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Nov 17, 2020 2:51:08 PM

Fitness has permanently changed. Since COVID-19’s arrival there’s been an explosion of online content, with brick-and-mortar gyms pivoting swiftly into digital programs their members can access at home, and digital fitness brands driving record growth. As coronavirus spikes across the country, the fitness industry continues transforming...even as gyms and studios consider safety precautions that will eventually allow users to return in greater numbers.

Over the past few months, we’ve often heard variations on the same question: “How can I legally live stream fitness classes with hit music?”

First, let’s get an ugly fact out of the way. Music licensing is famously complicated, with downloadable content, live streaming, public performances, and video sync all requiring different licenses from multiple rights holders. Our Music Licensing 101 webpage may be a helpful starting point for understanding these different use cases.

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Topics: Music streaming, Music as a Service, legal music, Customer Engagment, Fitness, Music Licensing

Top 25 Halloween Songs of All Time Playlist

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Oct 22, 2020 6:46:21 PM

Check out our scare-tastic selections for a Top 25 Halloween Songs of All Time Playlist...

Listen to the full YouTube playlist here.

True Zombies (no-brainers)

Ghostbusters by Ray Parker, Jr.

Theme from “Stranger Things” by Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein

Boris the Spider by The Who

Bury a Friend by Billie Eilish

Theme from "Halloween" by John Carpenter

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Topics: Feed.fm Blog

How Music can help with Dementia

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Sep 16, 2020 5:22:42 PM

“[Music] brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can.”  Neurologist & Musicophilia author Oliver Sacks

For many of us, COVID-19 has complicated the already-challenging process of caring for aging parents and other loved ones. Shelter in place and physical distancing recommendations have introduced new obstacles, even as the current reality has accelerated infirmity amongst the elderly. While we’re not qualified to address the vast scope of these issues, a recent conversation with fellow music professional Kevin King reminded us of the scientifically proven healing qualities of music. Four years ago, his mother was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia (the same type Robin Williams had) and music is “the one thing that has kept them connected.”

We know that Kevin’s experience is not unique. For those who are also grappling with how to support loved ones with dementia or related health challenges, we’re sharing resources for tapping into music’s therapeutic benefits. First, it’s helpful to understand some of the major health-related findings about music and the brain:

  • A 2008 University of Helsinki study demonstrated that music enhances alertness and directly stimulates damaged areas of the brain after a stroke. Verbal memory and focused attention recovered significantly better in patients that listened to music, and they also had a more positive mood.
  • According to a 40-year retrospective of related research, music can deliver long-term physiological results, rewiring our brains in a process known as neuroplasticity. Neuroscientists offer the following shorthand for this re-wiring phenomenon: “Neurons that fire together, wire together.”
  • Alzheimers.net described that by pairing music with everyday activities, Alzheimer’s patients can develop a rhythm which helps them recall the memory of that activity, improving cognitive ability over time.
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Topics: Music therapy, Music for wellness

15 Songs for Labor Day - Take Credit for your Hard Work!

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Sep 2, 2020 8:16:34 PM

Isn’t 2020 over yet?? Nope. But we are, finally, nearing the 4th quarter. With the arrival of Labor Day and fall, it might be helpful to take a moment to step back and TAKE CREDIT for how hard we’ve all been working this year. That’s the point of Labor Day right? It’s hard to recall a time when reflecting on one’s work--medical professionals, essential workers, loyal telecommuters, working parents, brave protesters for racial justice, politicians (those actually working to keep us safe and solvent), those unexpectedly working to find a new job, etc.--was more important.

Here are 15 of the timeless songs that celebrate work...and yeah, we know some of these have to do with sex too, but mostly work:

Listen to the full YouTube playlist here.

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Topics: Feed.fm Blog

Venture Capital Tips for Fitness Startups

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Aug 25, 2020 6:51:20 PM

One of the essential qualifications for any successful entrepreneur? Perspective, preferably lots of it. Before pivoting into the music sector and co-founding music-as-a-service company Feed.fm, Jeff Yasuda spent the first decade of his career as an investment banker and VC. His experience on both sides of the fundraising table has made the challenging job of securing and structuring financing a little easier for our company.

Last year, we interviewed Jeff about Venture Capital in the fitness sector, based on Feed.fm’s work with dozens of fitness companies. In the wake of COVID-19 and the transformations happening in fitness, we asked for Jeff’s advice on navigating what he describes as “the challenging world of fitness investment.” He shares his unique perspective below.

What types of VCs should fitness companies be looking at for funding right now? Ones that specialize in fitness? Larger ones that already have fitness startups in their portfolios?

YASUDA: First, it’s important to understand the framework in which VC funding decisions are typically made. Most investors take a portfolio approach. Since they’re not exactly sure which investments are going to be winners, they’ll spread their bets with the hope that at least one of them (or a couple) will succeed.

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Topics: Music streaming, Music as a Service, Fitness

Modern Songs of Dissent: 10 Black Lives Matter Anthems

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Jul 31, 2020 2:09:43 PM

The past two months have seen a significant renewed interest in protest songs. Music streaming of these songs has increased, and countless musicians have recorded new ones in support of Black Lives Matter. As this movement continues to demand racial justice, we’ve been reflecting on protest songs from the last century, from the timeless “This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie (1944) continuing through such Civil Rights anthems as “The Times They Are a-Changin’” by Bob Dylan (1964), “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke (1964), and “Respect” by Aretha Franklin (1967).

America has a rich history of dissenting through music, which can be traced from these early songs to late-20th century classics like “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy (1989) and “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine (1992), to those of today. We’ve picked 10 Black Lives Matter songs that speak truth to power in profound ways.

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Topics: year in review

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

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