Gunning for Peloton.... How Startup FitCloudConnect is Working with Fitness Clubs Globally
Gunning for Peloton.... How Startup FitCloudConnect is Working with Fitness Clubs Globally to Compete in the Live Streaming and Analytics Phenomenon
David and Goliath would sound about right when describing Peloton versus FitCloudConnect but that "is a good thing for FitCloudConnect". The fitness world is evolving quickly as industry new entrant and soon to be giant Peloton received $325million in additional private equity earlier in 2017 based on astonishing revenue growth and end user acceptance for doing workouts at home with live streaming for indoor cycling.
For start-up FitCloudConnect ,who has been evangelising their message for 1 year now that the fitness lifestyle is changing and people want a more "connected experience" with their gym, the Peloton success was music to their ears. "This drove a stake into the ground for fitness live streaming to say it's here and it's only going to get more prevalent" says FitCloudConnect CEO, Brad Weber. “You don’t see private equity firms investing that kind of money unless the business model is sound.”
While the fundamentals of these two companies are quite different, in that Peloton has spent years developing a state-of-the-art indoor cycling bike with interactive tablet screen and inclusion in real-time leaderboards, the core concept of delivering streaming content to end users is the same. Live streaming has proven to provide a better consumer experience for engagement and has had tremendous success in many industries such as gaming, house of worship, concerts, sports broadcasts, and more. "It's been slow to come to the fitness industry because club operators still fear that users will stop coming to the club" says Weber. "The truth is that with companies like Peleton now planning to open physical locations, there is going to be massive new competition for consumer membership dollars and if someone offers virtual fitness and your club doesn't, you are at serious risk of losing that member. Who wouldn't want the flexibility of doing a class or workout at home, work, on vacation or wherever they happen to be? It's an inevitable evolution of the industry and we are fully prepared to provide any size fitness club with a fully branded, turnkey solution for turning on fitness streaming and on-demand within days. The best part is there is a full monetization model for clubs to add new revenue streams to their business, which is something that has been an issue as membership fees have been driven down by increased competition and low-cost budget clubs.”
"Perhaps one of the areas of biggest concerns for the fitness clubs with the continued success of Peloton is the data analytics they have access to" says Weber, " with a physical club, there is a limited engagement period from when a member walks in the door till when they leave and most of the time, operators don't have any chance of understanding preferences and behaviors. With streaming and virtual fitness you have data on your members to study and begin to customize and tailor offers and programs for each individual. This is will be a game changer for fitness industry success. It's all about the data!”
FitCloudConnect has used the latest in cloud computing and streaming to create a Platform-as-a-Service for anyone looking for an online streaming presence. “The infrastructure is in place and the technology is state-of-the-art and continually evolving based on the latest innovations and needs of the fitness industry.” For someone to want to develop this infrastructure themselves is certainly possible (for large fitness chains) but the question is if it’s worth it versus licensing a service. “There are no significant upfront costs to deploying our solution and you don’t have to wait a year or two for your internal development teams to figure it out and build it. We built a service to help fitness clubs succeed and compete with the new streaming entrants who are primarily technologists and understand the value of digital presence and analytics. The second big part of build any technology infrastructure that most people forget is that you have to maintain it and be continuously adding new features and improvements to keep pace with innovation. There is a reason why cloud-based services have become so successful across all industries.”
The simple fact of the matter is that fitness streaming will never replace the physical club because there are many aspects of the club that members need including: equipment, social, physical interaction with trainers, and much more. Fitness streaming is a natural evolution to an industry that has mostly lagged behind in streaming adoption. There is a big elephant called Peleton bringing fitness streaming hard, and they are competing for every consumer dollar. It’s time for club operators to open their eyes to this risk (and trend) and get started at fitness streaming. “For $99 a year anyone can get started and dip their toes into fitness streaming with FitCloudConnect Lite.
If it’s something you are not fully comfortable with, start with some test groups so you are ready for it when the storm hits. We all saw what happened with AirBNB and Uber hit their respective industries and experts dismissed them as a fad or not ever going to happen. I am personally happy to have a conversation with any club executives that want to discuss fitness streaming and how to introduce a low risk, targeted testing of fitness streaming” concludes Weber.
Things are heating up in the fitness streaming and virtual fitness markets so if it’s not on your radar for fiscal year 2018, you had better add it.
For more information on FitCloudConnect visit www.fitcloudconnect.com