Workout music 2023: Feed.fm year in review
The Feed.fm unified music system streams over 750 million song plays per year to millions of digital fitness app users. We compiled this annual report to showcase the top-streamed artists, songs, and genres, and to uncover top trends in workout music this year.
In 2023, streams picked up the pace, and some of the hottest workout music contained more dance-inspired elements while offering a good dose of nostalgia.
Read on for insights from our expert music curators, and then download the full report to dig into the charts and find inspiration for the best workout music playlists.
Pop is (still) top
Pop music continued to dominate as the most popular genre for workout music. 2023 fitness app users gravitated toward positive, upbeat, danceable pop, but also had a preference for workout music tracks that featured familiar throwback hits.
Workout music 2023: more dance pop
This year in fitness music, we saw pop become more influenced by electronic dance music (EDM) in comparison to 2022’s hip-hop–leaning pop music trends.
“As dance music genres like techno, trance, drum & bass, and acid experience strong comebacks in nightclubs post-pandemic, artist releases have become notably harder and faster. This vibe has permeated even more commercial-sounding dance releases in 2023, with everything seemingly about 5 BPM faster than last year!”
Mike Savage, Artist Relations Lead / Senior Music Curator, Feed Media Group
Listen to the top workout music playlist:
Collaborations for the win!
Collaborations reign supreme across trending music in pop (as well as EDM, Latin music, and hip-hop), bringing the fanbases of established artists together to launch their mega-hit songs.
The power of nostalgia
A nostalgia factor from chart-topping hits of previous decades also played an important role in workout songs climbing the charts. Reworking recognizable favorites and infectious beats into new songs can help deliver a motivating workout soundtrack.
What’s the biggest trend in music for fitness?
At Feed.fm, we follow the latest music trends throughout the year and have found that while featuring new music is important, a good workout music strategy also knows when to stick with the tried-and-true hits. Classic rock and throwback stations continue to deliver some of the best music for workouts as older songs find new audiences through social media and mature audiences find inspiration in old favorites.
Hip-Hop at 50
"Hip-hop has transported from the specific neighborhoods that birthed this music to the global stage, while communicating powerfully about the individual, often marginalized experiences of its creators…Run-DMC’s “Walk This Way” (1986) was the first of three power punches into the mainstream, followed by Dr. Dre’s The Chronic (1992). Puff Daddy landed the finishing blow with his album, No Way Out (1997).” Eric “Stens” Stensvaag, director of curation at Feed.fm as quoted in DiMA’s Streaming Hip-Hop Music Forward 2023 report.
Our team has worked throughout 2023 to celebrate 50 years of hip-hop as an important musical milestone with far-reaching cultural impact. From the best hip-hop workout music to big moments in hip-hop’s history and the vital contributions from the women in hip-hop today, the voices of hip-hop continue to weave a lifeline through this lifetime.
“Consumption of hip-hop and throwback programming will continue to grow as Millennials and Gen X outnumber the boomers. Hip-hop has produced some solid up-and-coming rappers that are collaborating with pop stars such as Mariah Carey and Taylor Swift. This new batch of MCs such as Ice Spice, Latto, and Coi Leray are building ground for huge careers.”
Juan Hernandez-Cruz, Sr. Curator at Feed.fm
See the top 10 hip-hop songs streamed across fitness apps when you download the full report:
Latin artists made a big impact on popular music in 2023 as well. Spanish-language music is showing up across multiple genres, and we saw a 3x increase in the number of Latin workout music stations being delivered via Feed.fm this year. From legendary collaborations to reggaeton-inspired beats being used by non-Latin artists, there’s no sign of slowing down as Spanish-speaking artists become household names across the US while delivering some of the best music for fitness.
This year we also saw Afrobeats artists solidify their spot in the music ecosystem and across Feed.fm channels. The percussive stylings of this genre have long influenced other artists and genres and now these songs are topping the charts and providing motivational workout music. 2023 brought "Calm Down" by Rema and Selena Gomez to the number one spot in the pop genre and the number two spot for overall streams across digital fitness apps.
Feed.fm offers seasonal flexibility with a rotating station designed to give listeners variety and highlight important cultural moments throughout the year. This year we saw increased engagement around June’s Pride month station celebrating LGBT+ artists and allies.
See the top 10 songs streamed across Pride stations when you download the full report:
Clean workout music
As a leading provider of music streaming for businesses and apps, we know first-hand the importance of being able to deliver clean workout music. Understanding your audience and providing age-appropriate music is a direct representation of your brand. When it comes to lyrics and context, we’ve found most businesses feel comfortable with a PG- or PG-13–style rating, while others offer special family-friendly options to accommodate the youngest fitness enthusiasts.
Read the full report: Workout music 2023
Check out all of the Feed.fm top 10 lists including hip-hop, rock, country, electronic and more, as well as the top artists, and most listened to back-catalog songs by decade.
Gain unique insights into streaming music for businesses in the fitness and wellness space, explore top trends in popular music from industry-leading experts, and find out the best workout songs.
View the full report now: