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Streaming Fitness Platforms in 2019: Worth the Worry?

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was written in October of 2019. Check out our blog post about virtual workout trends during the coronavirus pandemic here

News about digital fitness streaming services seems to be everywhere, from Goop to Aaptiv to Mirror. Some of the products and services, like Peloton, have gotten so popular that gym and boutique studio owners are starting to get antsy. Is at-home fitness where the market is going? Are the days of sweating it out at a brick-and-mortar gym over? 

A majority of people aren’t using any streaming apps or services to work out

A MINDBODY consumer survey in July 2019 took a look at digital trends. About 17% of respondents said they use pre-recorded video apps or services and 7% said they use audio training apps, but a majority (74%) don’t use any.*

Only about 33% of consumers use audio or video streaming as part of their workout routines

Graph depicting consumer use of audio and video streaming workouts

Peloton is the favorite at-home option

And what about the big at-home players? Eleven percent of these consumers said they owned at-home fitness equipment with streaming capability. Out of those, 31% own a Peloton product, 17% own a Mirror, 8% own NordicTrack, and 6% own Stairmaster. 

The Peloton bike is the most popular streaming equipment among consumers surveyed

Graph of video streaming equipment owned

Right now, the at-home fitness market still seems to be in the early adopter stage. So what’s all the buzz about Peloton? The company very recently debuted on the NASDAQ stock exchange, and the overall digital fitness market is expected to reach $27 billion by 2022. A July 2019 MINDBODY survey of Peloton users found that many own multiple Peloton products.** Fifty-one percent own both the bike and treadmill. Many even subscribe to the streaming service as well; 42% of women and 38% of men own the bike, treadmill, and subscribe to the digital streaming service. Satisfaction for the equipment is through the roof; in fact, 98% of respondents are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the bike, and 99% of respondents are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the treadmill.

Peloton users are still attending classes in person⁠—some are attending even more than before

While Peloton users seem to be ride-or-die fans, many of them are still supplementing their at-home workouts with workouts at the gym. In fact, 70% of respondents say they attend a wider variety of in-person classes now that they use Peloton. Community is an important part of working out⁠—even for Peloton purchasers. 

  • 79% of Peloton users want to feel connected to their community
  • 75% prefer to exercise with a friend
  • 72% like to participate in in-person group fitness 

It is difficult for technology like Peloton, Mirror, or Hydrow to replicate the community found in an in-person indoor cycling or yoga class. 

How will digital fitness impact your business?

Gym and fitness studio owners, while you don’t need to fear a technology takeover, you should still be looking into how you can integrate technology into your workout offerings. Tech offers an array of opportunities for your business to evolve and thrive. Keep up with the latest trends and take advantage of new technology to offer the best experience for customers.

Bring your fitness business into the digital age to enhance your brand and in-class experience:

  • 58% of consumers feel self-conscious when they try new fitness activities.* Videos can help people new to your fitness modality build confidence. Consider filming tutorial videos for beginners or even stream a version of your class online so new clients know what to expect and can give it a go on their own first. Technology helps them book their first class with confidence. 
  • Let your members work out with you—even when they’re out of town. Create an audio or video workout that can be done on vacation or when they can’t make it to class. Incorporate a suitcase or other substitutes for equipment your clients have readily available when they’re on-the-go. If you catch recording fever, consider offering more classes online. To learn more about what it takes, check out Sadie Nardini’s episode of The BOLD Show
  • Create an engaging in-studio experience with gamification that attracts and retains clients. With FitMetrix, your clients can track their performance results like heart rate and RPM in real-time and compete within your community.

*Mindbody. “App User Survey.” July 2019.

**Mindbody. “Peloton Consumer Survey.” July 2019.

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About the author:

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Staff Writer

Mindbody is powering the world's fitness and wellness businesses, connecting them with more consumers, more effectively, than anyone else.


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