Differentiating in digital fitness with music and technology
How CITYROW’s workout music strategy and technology partnerships have evolved to bolster a growing product line and successful omnichannel fitness solution.
The team at CITYROW takes an uncompromising approach to how they program workouts, ensuring that they are safe, effective, and fun. They put a strong emphasis on the experience and the connection, and music is a big piece of that. Their goal is that when you finish a CITYROW workout, you can’t wait to do it again.
Music Licensing is Complicated
Keith recognized early on that they did not have the infrastructure to handle music licensing or integration to get music into their digital app. They were looking for a solution to allow them to do what they do best—create the experience, create the workouts, create the community, and connect with their clients—without having to worry about music streaming and compliance.
Ashley Davis Keith
COO, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer at CITYROW
A Trusted Partner
“The way that we use Feed.fm has evolved over time,” says Lauren Burbank, Senior Manager of Production at CITYROW. “At first it was just one station with every class. Since then we’ve started using instructor-curated music, themed stations, and class-specific stations. The Feed.fm-curated stations are a real time-saver for our team. It’s wonderful to have them updated all the time. In a startup environment you have to be scrappy and really smart about where you put your time.”
“One of the features that people love the most is the ability to adjust the music volume and instructor volume. There’s a lot of variety in what people want; some people really want to hear the music, some people want it to be in the background. It’s a very meaningful feature for people and it gives them an element of control,” offers Keith.
CITYROW’s intentional approach and uncompromising commitment to programming is apparent in their music strategy. Together with Feed.fm’s Customer Experience and Curation teams, they are finding ways to create unique musical experiences for people.
A trusted partner and a feature-rich music offering.
Feed.fm curated stations proved to be huge time-savers for the CITYROW team. With consistent updating, the CITYROW team had a turnkey solution that allowed them to focus their efforts where needed.
Together with Feed.fm’s Customer Experience and Curation teams, CITYROW found ways to create customized musical experiences for people.
Cooperation is the key to success
If you’re looking to launch integrated music, Ashley recommends that you “Find a partner. Music licensing and building the tech around music is incredibly complex. It is also important to have a strong sense of how you want your brand to be represented musically.” Understanding and defining your musical brand includes how it shows up (voice and implementation) and what works best with your content. Tune in to your community by setting up mechanisms to solicit customer feedback, and pair app metrics with music analytics, like the ones built into Feed.fm’s music API and dashboard, to help inform your ongoing music strategy.
Ashley concludes, “You can have the best musical sensibility in the world, but if you don’t have a way to deploy it, and manage it, then you’re back at square one. So for us, that was always a powerful motivation for having a turnkey partner like Feed.fm, a partner that we felt would continue to innovate and evolve along with us.”
Leveling up tech with the CITYROW Max Rower
Sweatworks ultimately became their technology partner, working with them on all aspects of tech, including the launch of their live class offering in the fall of 2021. This development aligned with an expanded music strategy offering more personalized workout music options for their growing class schedule. The upgraded hardware, revamped music approach, and redesigned experience were all intentional investments in building a sustainable future for the company and their customers.