Fitness apps bring in independent artists amid unprecedented growth in smart exercise

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The smart exercise revolution – and its emphasis on music – looks set to continue even as fitness enthusiasts return to their normal routines. Photo credit: Jonathan Borba

As users traded their gym memberships for home workout solutions during the pandemic, the fitness industry has seen unprecedented growth and far-reaching changes. Perhaps most notable of these changes, however, has been the industry-wide adoption of music – and the associated career opportunities for creators.

The following was created in conjunction with Songtradr, as part of a larger partnership focused on the sync license space. Be sure to check out our ongoing coverage of this growing industry here.

Income of fitness clubs in the United States suffered a 58% year-over-year drop in 2020 due to widespread lockdowns and COVID-related restrictions, according to the IHRSA. At the same time, however, the home fitness equipment industry saw double-digit growth, and sources have planned that the market size of the sector will improve further from over $ 10 billion in 2020 to $ 14.74 billion in 2028.

As might be expected, the latter figure represents relatively modest growth (compared to 2020) for the home fitness equipment sphere, as gyms appear poised to reopen and regain their financial footing. But that doesn’t mean fitness apps – and the companies behind them – will disappear.

On the contrary, the pandemic’s push to ‘smart’ exercise equipment, cutting-edge applications and interactive health solutions appears to be having a lasting impact on workouts at the gym and at home – even if the scope changes slightly. as normal routines resume.

“We believe this space will continue to grow and increase physical activity,” Songtradr music platform partner Chris Strickland and senior vice president of platform sales told Digital Music News. – global form, Nick Woollard.

“After making the investment, we believe that many business owners recognize the importance of diverse sources of income and less geographically dependent customer relationships. As people start to leave their homes again, we anticipate a shift from live lessons to more video on demand, ”the sync professionals continued.

And for independent artists, the space will always encompass career-changing licensing opportunities, as music plays a key role in cutting-edge workouts and remains a major area of ​​interest for fitness application developers and exercise equipment companies.

Definitely expensive license issues in the rearview mirror, Peloton inked a series of direct offers in 2020 – including enrollment Chromeo, Big Boi and Dillon Francis to record Elvis remixes – and finalized a partnership of several years with Triller’s Verzuz end of March of this year.

Likewise, Endeavor’s Ultimate Fighting Championship launched a dedicated streaming platform last year, The ultimate UFC sound – built with the support of Overall settled, which has quietly provided application development services to a range of leading customers, while Arcade Fire created a 45-minute track in April 2021 for the Headspace meditation and exercise app.

In short, all kinds of fitness apps and home exercise equipment manufacturers continue to harness music to solidify their market positioning, attract new followers, and deliver the best possible workout experiences. As mentioned, that means creators – and freelance creators in particular – are more likely to get the paychecks and exposure that come with investing in today’s decidedly personalized fitness realm.

Granted, Songtradr has seen an approximate 500% increase in coaching-related projects over the past year, Strickland and Woollard told DMN, with a clear emphasis and preference for independent music.

“We definitely recognized a growing interest in independent music,” Strickland and Woollard said. “Many platforms use music to set themselves apart from the competition, and the flexibility and cost-effectiveness offered by independent catalogs and intermediaries like Songtradr are also major selling points. ”

On that front, to the benefit of artists and clients alike, Songtradr can quickly deliver carefully curated (and fully licensed) playlists for fitness apps. Needless to say, for professionals looking to add music as early as possible – while avoiding the legal headaches and expense associated with licensing shortcuts – the perk can prove to be quite appealing.

There is something to be said, Songtradr superiors continued, to operate in the space between expensive commercial music (which customers cannot adapt) and fully accessible (but decidedly less effective) stock music. The point helps clients as well as artists, who have a better chance of presenting their music to micro-communities very engaged in the world of fitness.

“A lot of clients work with us because they have to choose between expensive, rigid commercial music on the one hand and the limited creative choice of stock music catalogs on the other,” Strickland and Woollard explained.

“Songtradr exists in between these two points, and our fitness and wellness customers tell us they love the combination of authentic world music that resonates with their audience and the value and flexibility offered by our license terms,” said they concluded.

With continued opportunities available to creators – and new industry growth seemingly on the horizon – the future of the fitness industry looks bright. Especially given the complete changes that have been made in recent years, artists have everything to gain from following and capitalizing on the space that is moving forward.


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