Can Music Make VR Workouts Even More Immersive

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VirZOOM partners up with Feed.fm to provide personalized music tracks to help you pedal through those virtual miles.

VR Fitness is quickly becoming a big deal. We’ve already tried a range of apps available on VR headsets today that can make working out fun. But when you also pair the right hardware with your virtual workouts, you can take your immersive fitness another level.

One such equipment device is the fitness bike experience provided by VirZOOM, which grabbed headlines with amazing results like helping this guy lose 50 pounds. Since then, VirZOOM struck a partnership with Life Fitness to bring its VR Fitness Solution to commercial health clubs including YMCA wellness centers in the United States and Pure Fitness in Asia, with many more expected to come in 2018.

“VirZOOM workouts utilize virtual reality to motivate the user to move… and it’s fun! Everyone can relate to watching 30 minutes slowly countdown on their boring cardio workout… Unlike other methods to distract you, the immersive quality of VR brings the user to a different setting where they are motivated to pedal in VirZOOM games. VirZOOM content gets you moving and keeps you moving,” said Spencer Honeyman, VP of Strategic Partnerships at VirZOOM.

Indeed, VirZOOM boasts pretty impressive user engagement stats. Average session times clock in at 38.5 minutes and active users play over three times per week. But they’re not resting on their laurels, instead the company is trying to figure out ways to make pedalling through virtual worlds even more addictive.

This is where VirZOOM’s partnership with Music-as-a-Service platform Feed.fm comes in, having launched personalized music tracks that you can now enjoy during virtual workouts.

“There is a long history of research around music and how it impacts motivation during a workout,” said Jeff Yasuda, CEO and co-founder of Feed.fm. “We find that including tracks people know and love really upgrades the whole experience.”

The idea is that music expertly curated and DJ’d can significantly improve and optimize the overall fitness experience. It makes sense that music helps us work out better by distracting us from fatigue and pumping us up, but with activities such as cycling, having the right music can also help towards improving pedal rhythm, for example. And Feed.fm argues that they are better placed to provide personalized and curated tracks that help users get that just right.

“Providing anyone who wants a killer workout with an experience that is actually fun and motivating – that’s brilliant,” says Yasuda. His San Francisco-based company is already working with brands like Fitbit Coach, MoveWith, ClassPass, ASICS, DailyBurn and the LA Marathon to integrate popular music in their workout experiences. And that Yasuda said, is one of the factors that give them the edge against services like Spotify or Pandora.

“Those services provide background music for physical experiences, whereas Feed.fm is focused on music wherever consumers consume it digitally. Whether it’s in a mobile app, via connected speakers in home, or working out via VR exercise games,” Yasuda explained. He also adds that their in-house curation team compiles mixes based on the consumer insights from their partners, and a combination of direct label and blanket deals from Internet radio. This all allows Feed.fm to offer partners like VirZOOM a massive catalogue at a lower rate than if they were to go to labels directly.

At the end of the day, anything that helps to keep those New Year’s resolutions going past February has to be a good thing.

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