Data-driven music curation

At, we spend a lot of time thinking about data-driven curation. We’re passionate about this work that’s at the heart of our Unified Music System. Over the past decade, we’ve streamed more than 1 billion song plays for business partners such as Tonal, Barry’s X, the Mayo Clinic, and American Eagle Outfitters.

Our team of music experts craft personalized music stations that boost business metrics and cater to our clients' unique needs. This team leverages our substantial B2B playback analytics to ensure that every song engages your audience in just the right way.
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Getting started with a music strategy

After pinpointing your target market and establishing precise business objectives for how music can benefit both you and your clientele, the next step is to embark on the journey of choosing the optimal music for your business needs. Forget about your personal preferences - focus on choosing music that will connect with your customers in the digital world you're building for them.


Who is listening?

Remember, it’s not about what music you like, it’s about what music will resonate with your customers in the digital environment you are creating for them. 

What type of music?

Depending on your digital experience, it may be possible to find both royalty-free and popular commercial music that could fit the bill. The art is in putting the available options together in a way that meets your audience’s needs and your brand’s budget. 

Recognizable vs music discovery?

When your preferred experience calls for major-label music, will your audience be best served by hearing today’s hits, throwback favorites, the freshest up-and-coming chart climbers, or a combination of these?

Your brand's personal DJ

In many respects, music curation is akin to DJing. The best DJs have:

  • An instinctual feel for the songs and artists they play
  • An ever-evolving awareness of what’s hot and what’s not
  • The technical skill to blend a larger set into something with distinctive flow and vibe.

When it comes to personal taste, a great DJ has the confidence to introduce fresh new songs plus the wisdom to give people what they want most of the time. No one wants to play for an empty dance floor! music curators
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Dialing it in: music strategy and your brand voice

Armed with your brand specifics, applies market-validated best practices to create differentiated music experiences that keep your users engaged with your product. 

In as little as one month, we progress from user research and brand strategy through to regularly recurring optimizations that keep our partners’ music stations fresh and relevant.

Optimization: Music curation is not a one time action

Music curation is not a one-time event—it’s a continual process. With optimization as the goal, our curators assess music stations regularly, removing tracks that are stale or that users are skipping while adding new ones to increase customer satisfaction, usage times, and retention. Your customers may be loving Dua Lipa's current hit, but six months from now, aren't they going to want her newest chart topper? Culture is ever-evolving, and even the most carefully selected jams may have a limited shelf life.

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Music rating systems & managing explicitness

When it comes to music explicitness, it’s a bit of the wild west. There’s no universally accepted list of words or themes deemed to be explicit or profane, and this metadata is supplied voluntarily and inconsistently by record labels. Absent a clearly defined explicitness framework within the music industry,’s curation team designed an MPAA-style rating system to consistently classify and stream songs for our business partners.

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Sonic branding & artist controversies

Unfortunately, sometimes musicians make headlines for the wrong reasons. Our curators stay highly attuned to the broader culture in which music exists, so they can provide timely guidance to our business partners. For example, we’ve worked closely and with sensitivity to remove R. Kelly from many of our music stations, while also promptly responding to requests for removal of Kanye West’s songs. In all instances, we let our partners make the decisions that are best for their brands.

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Why does it work?

Most people know intuitively that music is a motivator. And, there is an increasing body of research that shows music is performance-enhancing when paired with fitness. Music distracts from fatigue sensations, and athletes need less oxygen to do the same work. Pairing music and workouts delivers even stronger results when movements are synchronized to the music’s tempo.

And, not just any music will do . . . 

Talk to a music specialist about getting custom music stations

Book a free music strategy consultation today!

Musical Detectives: Solving music problems with the curation team 

Our curation team has deep reservoirs of musical knowledge and stays plugged into today’s pop landscape and trends. The listener insights gained through combining business demographics and playback data such as skip rates are used to develop music stations with precision. This adaptability to meet the unique music preferences of consumers within various contexts (fitness, wellness, sports, retail, etc.) is the greatest strength of our data-driven curation.


Eric “Stens” Stensvaag

Our Director of Curation, Eric “Stens” Stensvaag, juxtaposes his classical background with gigs as a turntables-and-vinyl-wielding hip-hop DJ. His omnivorous love of all music styles has allowed him to curate up to 50 genre/BPM-precisioned stations for our largest fitness partners, speak on Capitol Hill for a Hip-Hop at 50 summit, and write about post-genre popclassical pieces every music lover should hear, Nine Inch Nails, Wu-Tang Clan, Kendrick Lamar, and Prince. Stens has been quoted in ForbesAthletech News, and the National Retail Federation, and is co-inventor for a U.S. Design patented computer display panel. He is dedicated to the ongoing development of his team as the music industry’s foremost B2B curators.


Matt DiGiovanna

Music Curator, Product Management Matt DiGiovanna is responsible for curation and production of’s fitness instructor-oriented music product. As such, he works closely with our biggest customers and internal teams including customer experience and engineering to ensure publication and licensing compliance for nearly 5,000 unique music stations annually. A jazz-trained saxophonist, Matt’s expertise includes 8 years as Director of Music, Production & DJs at 305 Fitness, which anchors his audience-centric approach and fitness music mastery. Matt’s highly adaptable, creative work ethic lies at the foundation of’s curation services.

Matt DiGiovanna

Juan Hernandez-Cruz

Senior Curator Juan Hernandez-Cruz moonlights as bassist for the intimidatingly intense metal band Black Sheep Wall. Colleagues and clients appreciate his friendly, supportive attitude and a readiness to tackle the thorniest curation challenges with enthusiasm. His insightful and culturally relevant think pieces include Reggaeton’s Origin Story, The Evolution of Fitness Music, and Hot Corridos Summer. His record industry background brings a DIY ethic that translates to highly creative brand partnerships and curation. During his tenure, Juan has also overseen the development and implementation of’s music rating system, and helped launch our new Replay product.


Claire McConnell

Senior Curator Claire McConnell helms the team’s content marketing contributions, as the author of exceptional artist profiles (Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves, P!nk, Beyonce), pop music trend pieces, and data-rich year in reviews; and the editor of our Inside Music Curation livestreams. A former YouTube Music and Rhapsody curator, she is responsible for launching’s largest customer to date. Claire’s boundless appetite for music plus commitment to greater representation for women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ artists infuse all her song selections.

Claire McConnell

Mike Savage

Artist Relations Lead / Senior Music Curator Mike Savage splits time between A&R for Feed Originals, our wholly owned, royalty-free music catalog; and curation for business partners. During his tenure, our Feed Originals artist roster has tripled, and the catalog has more than doubled in size and variety with tracks encompassing vocal-powered pop, dance, hip-hop, and latin. A radio and music industry vet, Mike’s relationship-driven, ear-to-the-ground approach to music commissioning and curation are hugely beneficial to customers and the projects he manages.

Mike Savage

Get custom music stations for your brand

With the expertise of’s music detectives-cum-curators, you can say goodbye to endless searches for the right music. Our highly specialized skills combine with personalization algorithms and data-driven selection to eliminate confusion in music selection…providing valuable data and insights to drive faster product growth. Talk to a music specialist today and fast-track your music integration with the Unified Music System.

Book a Consultation