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SoulCycle to Launch Station on SiriusXM, Bring Playlists to Pandora (EXCLUSIVE)

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Courtesy of SoulCycle / Maria Bentley

SoulCycle devotees will soon be able to listen to their favorite spinning soundtrack all day: SiriusXM is getting a dedicated SoulCycle Radio station this summer, and the two companies will also bring playlists from select SoulCycle instructors to Pandora.

SoulCycle Radio is said to feature music curated by SoulCycle instructors, as well as inspirational messages around mindfulness and healthy living from said instructors. “With SoulCycle Radio on SiriusXM, we can reach our riders wherever they are in their day-to-day lives, as well as reach people who may not have yet experienced the motivational magic that is SoulCycle,” said SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan.

“Wherever you live, this new channel will allow SoulCycle riders to extend their experience throughout the day, and for those who are uninitiated, to get a taste of what it’s like to be part of this high-energy, inspired community,” added SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein.

SoulCycle’s partnership with SiriusXM and its Pandora streaming service is part of the company’s increased focus on the media business, which began with the formation of a media division a year ago, explained SoulCycle chief commercial officer Gregory Gittrich in an interview with Variety. “It’s a huge priority for us,” he said. Gittrich joined the company in May of 2018 from Mashable, where he was chief content officer.

The company’s media division, now 20 employees strong, is also organizing its concert series, dubbed Sound by SoulCycle. Past Sound by SoulCycle events included gigs from The Chainsmokers, Ciara and Louis the Child and Elley Duhé. Each event features people actually spinning on their bikes during the gig, as well as a familiar music formula, explained Gittrich: “The arc of a performance fits with a SoulCycle class.”

SoulCycle’s next concert, which is being held in August in New York, will feature Mark Ronson; it will be broadcast live on SoulCycle Radio, and some of the recordings will be made available on Pandora as well. The company plans to hold 4 such concerts per year going forward.

SoulCycle is not the only fitness company to expand into media. Competitor Peloton has been positioning itself as a kind of Netflix for fitness for some time, with executives frequently stating that it was really a media company. However, Peloton’s media ambitions took a hit earlier this year when it got sued by music publishers for allegedly failing to obtain synch licenses for some of its playlists.

Gittrich said that for its part, SoulCycle sees media as a way to expand its brand, as well as a potential revenue opportunity down the line. At the moment, SoulCycle generates its revenue with both its exercise classes and its retail business, which sells apparel and more to fans of the brand. Over time, its media arm could be more closely tied to the latter, suggested Gittrich.

In the near future, SoulCycle wants to build on its partnership with SiriusXM to launch a series of smaller events featuring artists that also happen to be SoulCycle members. Said Gittrich: “SoulCycle has very deep connections to the music industry.”