How to Find the Best Live Stream Platform for Your Fitness Business
By Meredith Simmons
Selecting a streaming platform to live stream your fitness classes or host your pre-recorded content is one of the most critical decisions your fitness studio is going to make this year. The fitness industry is changing—and your business model needs to incorporate live streaming and recorded video to stay relevant now and plan to create a long-term hybrid business model that balances video and the in-studio experience. Because live streamed classes are new to most businesses, we've compiled a list of things to consider as you search for a provider—and how Mindbody's platform measures up.
Secure links and videos
Your programming, whether it’s classes or personal instruction, is your livelihood. The last thing you want to happen is for an uninvited third party to get access to a class or take it over. To keep your workouts secure, look for a platform that doesn't grant control of the screen to someone outside of your staff. The only thing getting your heart rate up should be cardio—not worries about having your stream hacked or Zoombombed.
Live streaming through Mindbody's video platform means your clients use the same account login to access your classes and videos that they do to book and pay for your services. Login security works for your instructors, too. Mindbody automatically assigns host permissions to the instructor set in your software, meaning that you don't have to worry about setting up any passwords or permissions.
Integration into your scheduling software
You've got enough on your plate and managing another software platform like Zoom and Instagram or Facebook Live to stream live workouts or host on-demand classes shouldn't be another thing on the to-do list. Look for a solution that integrates right into where you already work. It's easier to add-on to something you already use than jump to another platform mid-workflow.
That's why we designed our video solutions to integrate right into your Mindbody software. Your members can use their existing memberships and class packs to book live streamed fitness sessions, and if you offer on-demand content, a login to your site is the key to your workouts.
Charge for access—seamlessly
Let's be honest: your business needs revenue to survive, and giving your workouts for free may work as a sort of free trial, but long term, you need a way to gate and monetize your classes. Streaming on your Facebook page or Instagram Live may work for now, but you need a paywall to keep your sales process flowing even while people are doing work-ins with at-home workouts. Plus, once you set up a paywall, you need a way to process credit cards for drop-in classes and memberships.
If the thought of managing all of that has you feeling like you just did a high-intensity class, don't worry: Mindbody does it all, right within one software. There’s no new learning curve for you—or your customers when they book and buy a class.
Automatic link creation and distribution
No one wants to get up extra early to send out links to live streams, and your live stream platform should be able to automate creating and sending links to your registered students for every one of your barre, Pilates, bootcamp, HIIT, or yoga classes.
Mindbody's virtual wellness platform does the heavy lifting for you. Once you create a class in your software, you just have to click start the live stream, and we'll take care of the rest. Your students will get an email 30 minutes before class, and if they book after the 30-minute window, they'll get the link in real-time.
Built with wellness in mind
When coronavirus first hit, fitness studios everywhere flocked to Zoom to stream live classes. And while it works, for now, it's not an ideal long-term solution because it wasn't built with the wellness industry in mind. This means that they won't be changing or updating their product as the industry—and your needs—change.
Mindbody's built its video solutions for fitness businesses like you, so we're continually testing and evolving our platform as feedback comes in. We're dedicated to building a best-in-class solution for you, whether you teach kickboxing classes or yoga Nidra.
The future is uncertain due to the coronavirus outbreak and COVID-19 pandemic, and the last thing you should worry about is your live stream platform—let Mindbody help you with that.