Fitness brick-and-mortars were of the many hit hard during these unprecedented times. Government lockdowns forced them to close their doors and has ultimately pushed them to migrate from an in-studio experience to a digital experience. Over the past 2 months, we’ve seen substantial fitness streaming growth on our OTT platform.
The demand for digital workouts and live sessions are sky-high because consumers need an online solution in the new normal—even with lockdowns slowly lifting. Many fitness gyms and studios are preparing for this phase of COVID-19 by also providing a digital streaming channel for their members and—when they’re ready to open their doors back up—only allowing a certain capacity in their brick-and-mortar location(s) to ensure social distancing is possible.
Below, we illustrate digital adoption among consumers since COVID-19 began to spread with our comprehensive report on fitness streaming growth—compiled from our portfolio data.
Fitness Streaming Growth Report
Each of our clients has experienced a notable increase in their streaming business since COVID-19 has forced people to stay in quarantine as much as possible. The data below is an overview of digital streaming growth from our clients in the fitness, wellness and health space.
NOTE: The data collected is a calculated comparison between February 15-March 15, 2020 and March 16-April 16, 2020.
Fitness Streaming Website Traffic
Below we highlight the leading digital channels consumers are using to find fitness streaming subscriptions to purchase. Across the board, we’ve seen website traffic increase at least 4x since the COVID-19 outbreak began.
The organic channels raced alongside the paid or outbound marketing efforts highlighting the massive adoption in On Demand fitness content.
Pro Tip #1: Optimize your streaming website for each of the channels above to help increase traffic.
Fitness Streaming Website Conversion Rates
On top of website traffic, we also track conversion rates from each of the channels below. Throughout our portfolio, we’ve seen direct, social media and email traffic have the highest percent increase for conversion rate. It’s no surprise direct traffic is performing the best—many people were suddenly displaced from their gym which pushed them to access their gym’s digital website and see if online workouts were available to them.
Traffic coming to these channels is converting very well so take these numbers into consideration when you market your digital streaming service to your audience to help boost conversions.
Fitness Subscription Free Trials & Paid Memberships
Throughout our fitness and wellness clients, we’ve seen the amount of subscribers on a free trial increase by 264% and those on a paid membership up to 355%.
We predict free trial and paid membership conversion rates to keep increasing over the next 3-4 months as people continue to choose a digital experience over an in-studio experience.
Pro Tip #2: Offer a promo code for an extended free trial. During the pandemic, we’re seeing most digital streaming subscriptions typically offering an extended free trial—anywhere between 14 to 60 days long.
Monthly Subscriptions vs. Annual Subscriptions
Below, we’ve also broken down the percent increase of monthly and annual subscription purchases.
Most consumers are gravitating to a monthly subscription. We predict a significant chunk will eventually want to move to an annual membership to save some extra bucks or will want to bundle streaming workout access with their in-studio membership.
Content Production & Subscriber Engagement
In a matter of weeks, our platform usage has grown 8x. We show the bandwidth percent increase below—it’s one of the metrics we use to analyze how engaged a subscriber base is with each of our clients. We also note how much content uploaded to our platform has increased.
We are using almost 8.5x the amount of bandwidth before government shutdowns were enforced. On average, our clients’ subscribers were streaming 2-4 times a week before shutdowns and now subscribers are streaming between 5-7 days a week!
To keep up with this demand, our clients have increased their content upload by 167%. Some of our clients have even been producing videos remotely so they can continue to add to their libraries and keep their subscribers engaged with fresh content while in quarantine.
What We Expect to See in the Future
As government shutdowns are slowly getting lifted, we believe gyms, studios and clubs will open back up but only at a very limited capacity to ensure social distancing is possible. Also, members are not going to be swarming back in because many may not feel safe enough to enter a facility where people share a lot of the same equipment. This “new normal” is something the fitness industry must adapt to.
Here are a few items we expect to see over the next few months:
Premium All-Access Memberships
Fitness brick and mortars are going to need more time to ensure their facilities are safe and sanitized properly for their members. They’ll also need to limit classes to a certain amount for social distancing. This all will result in limited studio access for members. Members are going to need a digital experience too! We foresee many fitness brick and mortars offering premium memberships, including both in-studio and digital streaming access.
Streaming Websites First
Before shutdowns, many fitness brick and mortars only had their studio, gym or club as their source of revenue. COVID-19 forced these businesses to frantically look for a way to digitize their in-studio experience.
We expect many fitness businesses to first launch a streaming website to continue revenue and maintain engagement with their members. Propping up a streaming website can happen in a matter of days and that’s what many fitness businesses have done since this pandemic started to spread. Soon to follow, will come their app experience for iOS, Android, Roku and other streaming devices.
Increase in Audio and E-Book Engagement
These days, people have more time to focus on their wellness and health. That’s why we also expect to see more fitness businesses producing other specialized digital content to boost engagement with their members. Members will turn to podcasts for inspiration and motivation and they’ll turn to e-books for tips and tricks—all to help them focus on their well being during these uncertain times.
Need to launch a digital streaming solution for your business?
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any of your questions. We’re here to help you navigate the fitness streaming world! No one is sure on how long this is going to last so explore all your options to properly adapt to the “new normal”.