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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 Do I Get a License to Stream Music?

Posted by Lauren Pufpaf & Eric Stensvaag on Feb 12, 2021 12:40:07 PM

Many consumer-facing businessesfitness companies, retailers, conferences, etc.have migrated online or doubled-down on digital over the past year. Regardless of how the pandemic ends or when the “new normal” arrives, it’s certain that fierce competition for attention in the digital landscape will remain. One of the proven differentiators that can significantly increase customer “stickiness” is music, and the demand for legal music integration has never been greater.

As a B2B music-as-a-service company, Feed Media Group (FMG) knows that music is a sound investment (pun intended), provided that you’re strategic about the way it’s incorporated First, the bad news: music licensing is famously complex and expensive. Confusing copyrights and upfront advances are daunting, sometimes resulting in costly delays to market.

The good news is that the music industry understands the vital role digital innovations such as streaming play in a thriving, stable music ecosystem. As COVID-19 continues forcing the world to find new ways to connect, there’s also a recognition that music rights holders could end up making even more money as they ride the next wave of technological evolution.

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

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

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

Building Fitness Businesses in Times of Uncertainty

Posted by Lauren Pufpaf on Aug 14, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Whether you’re a personal trainer, studio franchisee, content creator, or gym owner (or anything in between), this year has been turbulent to say the least. At Feed.fm, we’ve been rapidly iterating on products to serve more segments of the market and helping businesses with digital strategy every day. We work with partners on all sides of the industry that are 100% focused on driving successful digital businesses. And, we’re excited to learn from our latest collaborator - KK Hart, Certified Business Coach and Consultant. 

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Topics: Fitness, Music Licensing

"If I can't build my playlist, I think I'll die"

Posted by Rob Kenkel on Aug 7, 2020 5:45:53 PM

The process and tools used to create workout soundtracks have evolved over the years right alongside the way we consume music in general. Early VHS tapes had background music recorded in studio, workout compilation CDs blasted from speakers in aerobics room, and most recently, streaming from personal Spotify/Apple Music accounts has taken over.

In the last 5 years, we’ve seen a huge uptick in both specialized boutique fitness studios and at-home fitness apps. When the pandemic hit the US in March, there was suddenly a massive need to find a way to combine the boutique experience with the convenience of working out at home. I've spoken with over 100 different fitness brands in 3 months and they are all passionate about what they do and the impact they can have on the health and wellness of people like me that are suddenly stuck at home.

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

Don't Sleep on Wearables...a Primer for Digital Fitness

Posted by Lauren Pufpaf on May 14, 2020 1:17:42 PM

As discussed in our recent whitepaper, Content, Community and Technology: Digital ecosystems for fitness brands, we've found that there are five essential pillars of a unified digital fitness experience. This article follows the first in a series -- Time to Focus on Your App -- to spotlight the second pillar of digital fitness: Your wearables.

Wearables are here to stay

Even before COVID-19, fitness and digital had been on a path of convergence. As remote fitness takes root more deeply, wearables are quickly transforming from basic data capture tools to sophisticated feedback devices that responsively support a broad population...encompassing people with medical conditions to professional athletes and everyone in between.

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Topics: Customer Engagment, Fitness

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

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