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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

"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

Was Daft Punk Right? Is Music Being Overtaken by Robots?

Posted by Lauren Pufpaf & Eric Stensvaag on Jul 1, 2020 11:56:10 AM

Super Abbreviated History of Music Listening

In the 1980s, mixtapes were recorded, painstakingly, one song at a time. Then we had Now That’s What I Call Music! compilations in the 90s, Napster mp3’s burned onto CD’s at the turn of the century, and iPod shuffles in the mid-aughts. The unifying thread amongst all these methods of playlist construction is that they were human created. It wasn’t until Pandora, Spotify and iTunes Radio hit the mainstream that AI-driven music curation played a significant role in the discovery process for music fans.

Now however, AI curation has become the norm, with BBC reporting that “an algorithm...will decide what you hear–and critically, what you’ll hear next.” People still create customized playlists for special events, and DJs–though they have been forced online recently–still play an important role in music listening and discovery. But in general, how often are we or another human choosing the next song, as opposed to an algorithm?

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Topics: Music Business, Music streaming, streaming services, Music as a Service

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

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