Spotify will tap into phone's accelerometer to match tunes with runners' paces

By Jonah Comstock
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RunKeeper's current Spotify integration. RunKeeper's current Spotify integration.

Music streaming service Spotify made some unexpected health and fitness related announcements at its press event today, TechCrunch reports. The company's app will actually use the phone's accelerometer to detect the pace of a user's run and select music with a tempo to match. If the pace of the run changes, so will the song.

The second part of the announcement is even more ambitious: Spotify is working with artists to create music specifically for runners that can adapt and change with changes in the runner's pace. One participating musician is Dutch performer Tiesto. Spotify has created six of these compositions so far.

The company also announced partnerships with Nike and RunKeeper that will be rolled out later this year. RunKeeper CEO Jason Jacobs shared a little about RunKeeper's Spotify partnership earlier this year in a conversation with MobiHealthNews about Under Armour's acquisition spree. He said it came out of both companies' desire to add new, unexpected value to fitness experiences. 

"Our interest and our opportunity is to do that with leaders across many categories," he said. "I’m not just talking about fitness, but Spotify is a good example. I can think of other examples where we’re either in discussions or we’ll be rolling out partnerships next year that you won’t necessarily think of, but when we do you’ll say ‘oh, I guess that makes a ton of sense.’ ... This year [Spotify is] focused not just around personalized music, but on moments. So a fitness moment is different than a study moment is different than a sleeping moment. That is the kind of thing that is our opportunity, and that’s something we feel well positioned to do as an enduring, independent company."

Spotify already connects with RunKeeper to let users play music within the running app during a run.

As for Nike, that relationship goes back to at least 2012, when Spotify executives served as mentors for Nike's accelerator program. Spotify has also worked with Nike competitor Reebok to play workout music in Reebok's FitList app.