Album release day is about to get sweatier. Luxury fitness brand Equinox has signed up artists including Lorde, Calvin Harris, Jonas Brothers and the Supremes for “Equinox+ Features:,” a new series of artist-themed workouts promoting album drops, tour kickoffs, anniversaries and other milestones that parent company Equinox Media announced Monday (Aug 2).
The series stems from Equinox+, a digital platform for at-home workouts that the company debuted amid the pandemic in March 2020 which powers an app of the same title as well as the SoulCycle at-home bike. The themed workouts — which spotlight music from the featured artist’s catalog — will be available primarily through both in-person and at-home SoulCycle classes, although there are some offerings with partner brands like treadmill class Precision Run. They also include live rides, where an in-person SoulCycle class is livestreamed for members on the Equinox+ app.
“We believe the future of music is artists engaging with fans through unique and compelling content channels that provide a richer experience,” Equinox Media president Simon Belsham tells Billboard, “and we are excited to deliver that through Equinox+.”
The series is an evolution of Equinox’s ongoing focus on music integrations. In October, Gryffin DJ’d a live, one-night-only SoulCycle class in Santa Monica, California, which sold out within 60 seconds and had a 140-person waitlist. In May, Equinox celebrated the 10th anniversary of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way album with a full day of Gaga-themed classes. And last month, Joe Jonas and Christina Aguilera showed up to surprise riders who were taking their themed SoulCycle classes in Atlanta and West Hollywood, California, respectively. The company has also piloted SoulCycle classes to celebrate recent album releases by Olivia Rodrigo and, just over the weekend, Billie Eilish.
Belsham adds that themed workouts give artists the opportunity to engage fans at a time when there are no distractions like Instagram, TikTok or compulsive email-checking. “When consumers are working out may just be the best and only time to ensure they are truly immersed in the content they are viewing,” he explains. So far he says that some of the company’s most popular artist experiences have been taken four times as often a typical class.
Of course, this all comes with a considerable cost: The SoulCycle at-home bike is $2,500, not including an extra $40 per month for access to the Equinox+ platform for anyone who doesn’t already have an Equinox membership (which varies in price depending on location, but costs several hundred dollars per month on average).
The music industry continues to seek out new revenue streams by bringing music to fans where they already are — like playing a video game or watching a TV show — instead of the other way around, and fitness appears to be the latest iteration of that trend. At-home exercise bike company Peloton has emerged from last year’s music licensing lawsuit with its own artist-themed workout series and partnerships with the likes of Verzuz and Beyoncé; Apple’s new Fitness+ app includes similar artist-themed classes and a “Time to Walk” series narrated by stars like Alicia Keys and Nick Jonas; and Pitbull recently partnered with at-home exercise equipment brand Echelon to create themed rides, exclusive merchandise and an original song for the brand.
As the fitness space heats up, Belsham says that Equinox’s multi-channel offering helps differentiate it from competitors, as does its focus on highlighting artists across genres and eras.
“When Equinox+ launched, music labels were most interested in our omni-channel proposition, as it presented multiple digital and physical touchpoints to engage with consumers,” he says. “As the world continues to open up, this will become an even larger differentiator for us.”
In the future, he says that Equinox members can expect classes focused on rising artists, artists’ birthdays, album anniversaries and more. Check out a schedule of upcoming workout drops below.
“Equinox+ Features:” Lineup
Aug. 2: Calvin Harris Video On-Demand (VOD)
Aug. 9: Supremes VOD
Aug. 16: Temptations VOD
Aug. 20: Jonas Brothers Live SoulCycle Ride
Aug. 30: Glass Animals Live SouCycle Ride
Sept. 1: Lorde Live SoulCycle Ride
soul, classic soul, motown,