When it comes to Virtual Reality fitness experiences, exercise mechanics are crucial to getting your body moving, but just as important and maybe the most is the music you exercise to. Supernatural has been doing a fantastic job of sourcing music and mapping daily workouts. They have an extensive music library, but things are about to get bigger and better.
Last month Billboard announced that fitness service Supernatural, which offers meditation, stretching, and epic, coach-lead cardio workouts, had finalized a deal with Universal Music Group (UMG) that would unlock hundreds of thousands of songs (yes, you heard that right—hundreds of thousands) from artists around the globe, putting a VR service toe-toe and entirely on par with even the most well-known premium in-home fitness brands.
For many of the Supernatural members, music is the thing that keeps them coming back day after day, so we wanted to know more about this deal. How will this impact the daily workouts and playlists? What does it mean for their members? And how, exactly, do they plan to use that much music?
In short, it is major! It means giving users an even wider variety of music to connect with. Every movement of every workout is hand-mapped to the beat and lyrics of every song. It’s an experience that gets your entire body connected to music in such a fun and profound way. We know that our members are constantly discovering new music and new genres of music that they never imagined they could be into—from people that only listen to EDM discovering 70’s punk rock, to old school classic rockers discovering The Weeknd—now we can give them even more. Partnerships like this take a ton of work, but they’re important because we want to be at this for a really long time, creating new content every single day and maintaining the most expansive catalog that we possibly can.
So can now go really broad with our curation, testing new music genres that others might not experiment with. We can place deep-cut discovery playlists alongside pop culture’s biggest hits. They’ll be able to go deeper with curated playlists and can dabble in artist-specific playlists, which is also very exciting.
There have been lots of fun and unique playlists over the last year but it sounds like this will unlock even more “themes.” We have a few workouts that are upcoming centered around specific musical artists, but overall, we’re pleased with how we’ve been able to present a broad catalog of music from a range of cultures from all corners of the globe. I also love that we’ve been able to use music and music history to paint a broad picture of representation in music.
Music play into the “ethos” of Supernatural. Music is incredibly important to Supernatural. We’ve always felt that we had to have incredible music. Music brings joy and emotion, it can be healing, cathartic and, of course, it makes your body move. Supernatural’s co-founders, Aaron Koblin and Chris Milk, both have expansive backgrounds creating meaningful human experiences anchored to music. One of their earliest collaborative projects with an interactive music video for Arcade Fire called the Wilderness Downtown. I think it’s fair to say music is in our DNA.
We all know that Supernatural is a fitness service, but we’ve also heard it described as a music discovery platform. We have everything from TV on the Radio and Echo and the Bunnyman to Lady GaGa and Lizzo. We’ve got Classical, Country, Afrobeats, Jazz, the whole shebang. If you like pop music we’ve got you covered for sure, but we like the deep cuts too.
Yes! We’ve found that it’s not just Rock, Pop, Hip-Hop and EDM that make for a good workout. We explore diverse music styles daily as well as storytelling. If the “discover” part of Supernatural is exciting to you, we’ve recently debuted Fresh Finds, which allows us to highlight fresh voices, lesser-known music genres, and rare cuts.
Some of the artists on Supernatural are most excited about are impossible to choose. But with the UMG expansion, we also have access to some of the most iconic names in music history, from Bob Marley to The Beach Boys, Iron Maiden, and James Brown. Some of my personal favorites are more experimental indie and electronic artists like Elderbrook, Disclosure, and Gorgon City.
Over 800 songs are live and counting!
The song selection process that relates to the rhythm mapping and overall production is a story. Each episode underneath a broader theme also explores a specific period of time, a subgenre, a feeling of intensity that keeps it unique and fresh.
For Prom Night, each episode focuses on a specific range of. Graduation years tapping into nostalgic periods of music history that trigger real-life memories.
The music curation story is essential to the maps. Our choreographers research each song taking. Inspiration from the dance moves in the music video and even aligning the movements to elements of the lyrics.
From the coaching to the song, the maps, the environment selection, and even the. Thumbnails it all starts from the story. That’s why it can feel like every day the workout. Is like opening a present on Christmas day — the intention, research, and execution behind each one goes extremely deep.
Making people’s lives better. 100%. They have a company-wide objective that we call. MLB, which is “Make Life Better,” and it’s all about making their members’ lives better outside of VR. They read stories on Facebook from members talking about. How they went on their first hike in years or had an easier time doing yard. Work or that Supernatural has helped them keep up with their children, and in a lot of cases, their grandchildren. They see people posting about how they’re coming off their medication or getting great results on their bloodwork. That’s what is exciting about.