Blog

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

Funk 101

Posted by Jeff Yasuda on Feb 28, 2020 2:39:52 PM

There are a number of reasons why I love funk, but to boil it down: funk is all about the groove - a highly rhythmic experience where each musician needs to think about their specific part and most importantly, how it fits within the broader context of the song. The guitarist may be doing something different from what the keyboardist and bassist is playing. The kick drum might be locked in with the bass while the overall rhythm is different from the guitar strumming. Each musician has a role - they need to find and stay in their lane or “pocket” - so that they properly fit with what the rest of the band is doing. Finally, adding a hooky melody and horn section over the rhythmic section requires a deep understanding of finding your place in a band.

Ironically, while the rhythmic interplay and the need to find the pocket make funk incredibly complex to play, funk is often just a one-chord song. The experience is about listening to what the other band members are doing as opposed to focusing on your own playing. In my early years playing in various rock bands, it seemed that the experience was often about increasingly playing louder and louder to make sure your part was “heard.” Eventually it just led to a cacophonous, head-banging, ear-splitting experience - which, can be awesome in its own right, but just different from what funk is about. When I started to focus on playing jazz, I learned the importance of actually listening instead of playing. Miles Davis always emphasized that music isn’t about the notes you play, it’s about the notes you don’t play. I was recently asked what exactly funk is and the origins of funk. Let’s turn back the clocks and learn a bit more where this great style of music began.

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Topics: Feed.fm Blog

Dispatches from the Field: A Music Curator in the Music City

Posted by Dario Slavazza on Feb 26, 2020 3:22:34 PM

I spent last week in Nashville, soaking up the sights and sounds of Music City while working remotely. As Feed.fm's Curation Lead, I was inspired to share some highlights that will hopefully help stoke your love of country music and discover a few new artists.

I had the pleasure of spending some time at Creative Workshop recording studio to hear some yet-to-be-released tracks from Lauren Morrow. She's got a song called "Hustle" that is an ode to Jay-Z and is amazing. I'm going to hear Lauren perform live in the Bay Area next month, and I encourage you to check out her other tour dates...or catch her in Nashville.

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Topics: Insider

Music As Therapy: From Apollo in Ancient Greece to Hospital Rooms Today

Posted by Lauren Pufpaf on Jan 7, 2020 6:35:07 PM

Anecdotal instances of music being “therapeutic” can be pointed to by most people. In one way or another, music has impacted our lives - almost everyone we know has had moments where the right song at the right time has improved a mood, helped repair a relationship, or even uncovered an insight that helped shape our personalities.

Beyond these meaningful but non-scientific personal anecdotes, there is an extensive history of real scientific literature on music’s effectiveness in improving the quality of life for a host of conditions and illnesses: autism, dementia, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression, and even amongst cancer-stricken or terminally ill patients.

The term for this is music therapy, and it isn’t a hidden idea: in the last 5 years alone, more than 20,000 scientific papers studying or reviewing music therapy as a mode of treatment have been published by academics at institutions such as Johns Hopkins, the National Institutes of Health, and Harvard University.

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Topics: Music therapy, Music for wellness

Looking Ahead: Music Trends for 2020

Posted by Admin on Dec 27, 2019 2:08:27 PM
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Topics: Music Business, Music streaming, year in review

Why Music Now? Top Reasons Your Fit Tech Company Cannot Afford to Wait

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Dec 11, 2019 6:24:40 PM

Feed.fm works with the world’s leading fitness companies to provide legal, curated music integration in their apps and digital settings. While each brand has unique considerations (development bandwidth, customer acquisition challenges, competitive pressures), we consistently hear from customers that "I wish we'd done this sooner."

From our vantage point of working across the fit tech sector, we can see there is a clear opportunity cost to waiting on music integration. So we tallied the Top Reasons for “Why Music Now?”

REASON #1 — Exerciser Impact

The world’s leading authority on fitness and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, has proven that music can improve running performance by 15%; it can be a sedative or a stimulant; a nerve calmer or focus inducer; a pre-workout entryway into flow state; a mood enhancer; and an agent that reduces perceived effort by up to 10%.

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Topics: Apps, Music streaming, Music as a Service, legal music, Customer Engagment, Fitness, Music for wellness

Holiday Gift Guide: 9 Great Music Gifts for 2019

Posted by Eric Stensvaag on Dec 4, 2019 1:50:58 PM

The holidays are a mixed bag for music fans. On one hand, you’ve got Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You”―great songs, but how many times must we endure?―and on the other, lesser-known gems like Bing Crosby’s “Jingle Bells” and Ella Fitzgerald’s “Frosty the Snowman.” (And, perhaps the most famous classic in all the world of music.) But December also brings a chance to catch up on the year’s best music swag. Our 9 Great Music Gifts list has a few choice options for the discriminating music lover in your life.

TURNTABLES, HEADPHONES & PORTABLE LISTENING
We’re big fans of live music, but most modern listening experiences begin and end with the push of a button. Here are some of the best cutting-edge playback options and devices on the market today.

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Topics: Retail, year in review