Spotify Running was a pretty impressive addition to the Spotify family when the streaming music service unveiled it in May — start walking or jogging and Spotify will automatically surface beats that match your steps. There have been similar running apps in the past, but when an innovative company gets in the game, it’s usually a better experience. Starting today, the idea is being leveraged (with Spotify’s help) by a company so massive it virtually owns the trademark on running: Nike.
Nike+ Running, Nike’s new fitness app for iOS, is adding a new feature called Pace Stations, which are musical playlists that aim to enhance your workout.
The Pace Stations, which draw from Spotify’s 30 million-strong library of songs, put their own spin on the running app paradigm. Rather than reflect your current pace, as Spotify Running does, Pace Stations work to motivate you toward a goal: put in your desired pace and musical preference and the Nike+ Running will calculate a BPM (beats per minute), which it’ll use to create a 100-song playlist “designed to push [your] pace.” You’ll get a cue when you’re stepping in-beat.
Regardless of its predecessors (Spotify Running, and RockMyRun, to name a couple) Nike is lauding its new feature as a “first-of-its-kind instructive experience” with the power to “reduce a runner’s perception of exertion and fatigue” as well as increasing enjoyment of the experience throughout the course of a fitness session.
“Since our launch as the original running app in 2006, music has always been core to the Nike+ Running experience,” said Adam Roth, Nike’s Vice President of Global Brand Marketing. “Our partnership with Spotify takes that experience to a new level, leveraging personalized music as a motivation fuel every run, for every runner.”
Nike’s Pace Stations aren’t without caveats: they’re an iOS-only affair for now, and you need a Spotify Premium subscription to use them. Spotify’s addressing that latter requirement by giving all Nike+ Running users a free week’s trial (and a two-month extension if you hand over your credit card number). Users of Nike+ Running on Android, though, have no recourse — Spotify and Nike were mum on when the integration might extend to other platforms.
Spotify’s partnership with Nike is just the latest effort by the streaming service to get in on your workout. In January of last year, the streaming service worked with audiologists from Brunel University to develop the “ultimate workout playlist.” That compilation heavily featured Pitbull, Ke$ha, and Katy Perry. Luckily, for some of us anyway, Pace Stations let you choose your own musical preferences.