Fitness apps are outpacing big box gyms.
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On-demand fitness programs are keeping new customers longer than gyms, according to a study by Cardlytics, which follows digital-spending habits by tracking more than 128 million bank accounts, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Now, more people could choose at-home workouts instead of the gym because of increased anxiety surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. A number of gyms across the country have sent out memos to members cautioning them to stay home if they feel sick. And in China, where the virus was first reported in the city of Wuhan, traditional gyms have been live-streaming their workouts to stay in business as more people avoid public places.
Cardlytics looked at people who started workout programs in January 2019 and found that around 50 percent of the on-demand fitness app subscribers were still paying for them after two months compared with 34 percent of gym members and 41 percent of boutique fitness studio goers, the data show.
Brick-and-mortar gyms retained just 24 percent of their new clients after nine months and fitness studio attendance down 23 percent. Fitness apps, however, retained nearly 50 percent of subscribers. Since the data only tracks consumer spending, it’s unclear how often users are actually exercising.
As fitness programs become more and more digitized, consumers seem to be prioritizing working out at home or outside with fitness trackers more often. Market research firm Euromonitor International surveyed 15,301 participants this year, asking them how they exercise. Thirty-six percent said they work out at home, while 12.75 percent surveyed said they do a group fitness class. Hiking and walking were the No. 1 exercise with 53 percent of participants saying it’s their preferred workout.
As a result, a number of fitness equipment retailers have launched apps that don’t require the purchase of a stationary bike or treadmill. Peloton, for example, has a fitness app membership that costs $13 a month. The app offers users classes like boot camp, high-intensity interval training options and yoga.
Other apps are more personalized and tailored to a person's health and wellness goals. Beachbody On Demand, for example, comprises a 21-Day Fix program that includes access to workouts for 3 months for $38.87, or $99 for a year. The app will create a fitness, meal and snack plan based on data provided by the subscriber.
And strength-training app Fitbod, which sells subscriptions fo $10 a month or $60 a year, requires minimal equipment like weights or a medicine ball and the algorithms create more than 400 strength training exercises for users.