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The Future of Fitness Business: On-demand and Live Streaming Content

  • Industry Insights

Working out at home has most often met with widespread scepticism. Moreover, any form of digital fitness regime or assistance has been considered nothing more than a gimmick. What’s like a good old sweaty workout at the local gym, right? However, the COVID-19 public health emergency has completely recalibrated the perspective of people across the world.

Currently, the idea of being able to log in and regulate your health right from your fingertips at your own convenience and from any location doesn’t seem that ridiculous anymore. Since most of the gyms have had to shut down, high-tech gym-quality digital content programs have sprung up to fill that void.

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“Old habits die hard”, but not so much. Especially if you run a successful gym business in the current times. Since the digital fitness landscape has fired up the online access to live-studio experience, an increasing number of gym brands are now adapting to this new approach.

Most fitness business owners are delivering new digital solutions to their members, including fitness applications, digital content that includes one-to-one virtual coaching, pre-recorded videos, digital fitness, on-demand fitness training, wearables, and live video streaming.

Interestingly, the on-demand and live streaming content came as a sort of cherry on the cake for gym aficionados. Though emerging somewhat late in adopting digitalization (since it has always focused on face-to-face physical interactions), the fitness industry could succeed in mobilizing fitness enthusiasts from clubs to getting into their regime from the convenience of their homes.

Though still many people are waiting for the regular gym sessions to resume after the pandemic subsides, a greater number of people are opting for on-demand fitness programs that are tailored according to their requirements and convenience. As a result, many content providers have sprung up in the market.

Peloton is one such business that streams fitness classes to fitness enthusiasts live and on-demand. The subscribers can access high-energy workout videos, yoga classes and get a seamless virtual class experience live. It also enables home cyclists to join virtual cycling classes, using live two-way videos on a monitor built into the bike’s handlebars. After the pandemic hit the world, there has been a massive 113% rise in subscribers’ number.

Plankk, an LA startup, offers extraordinary live and on-demand workout videos from some of the fitness industry’s biggest names. Unlike Peloton, it gives members exclusive access to interact with some of the best fitness trainers, ask them questions, share their progress reports and seek recommendations. This feature was earlier available only in local expensive gyms and fitness clubs only.

L1ve home fitness workout is slightly different from other streaming platforms. Unlike others, it is in the form of a box with a tablet pre-loaded that provides users the ability to work out anytime, anywhere even without a smart device.
Another breakthrough achievement in this space is by Zwift, multiplayer online cycling and running physical training program that follows the emerging trend of exergaming and makes indoor training fun for cyclists, runners and triathletes. It helps app users to interact, train and compete in a virtual world.

Some other fitness brands are offering some real good on-demand and live streaming content to users such as Fhitting room, BASE Bangkok, LadyStrong Fitness, 1Rebel, Obé, Beachbody, etc.

Technology companies offering fitness management software and live streaming tools are also high in demand among gym and fitness clubs. These companies are now scouring new ways to work with Zoom, YouTube Live and other famous video services and provide tailored offerings to fitness and gym studios.

What’s Driving this Insane Growth of On-demand and Live Fitness Programs?

It’s not by any accident. Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, on-demand and live fitness programs were gaining mainstream adoption and widespread popularity. So, let’s understand what’s driving this huge demand.

Technology: The advent of 5G technology implies that no longer fitness aficionados have to rely on home broadband speeds or connectivity. So, they can easily access fitness apps or digital classes anytime, anywhere right from their smartphones. People now have more smart devices to choose from – laptops, netbooks, tablets, smartphones, etc. to access and engage with on-demand fitness content.

Also, the online infrastructure of content delivery through native applications, proprietary video players have enabled fitness studios and trainers to leverage technology and create some great content – live or pre-recorded.

Widespread availability: A gold-rush mentality does exist in the on-demand fitness business. For gym-goers, it’s something great that they have a myriad of options to choose from and as per their preferred budget range. But a crowded on-demand fitness content marketplace can often paralyze the business space as a whole.

Traditional operators: Many traditional operators are now jumping into the game, and it might come as no surprise if most of the traditional key operators launch their platforms or on-demand fitness solutions with a clear intent to grab a share of the pie from those brands that lack in terms of physical premises and had been only relying on online revenue stream so far.

Regardless of what direction on-demand and live streaming content in the fitness business take, what’s clear is that this space is only going to grow from here on. The gym enthusiasts will have a great time getting to choose from a host of options and accessing them at their convenience.

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