How Subscription Online Video Courses Can Help Grow Your Business
When the 2020 pandemic temporarily shut down in-person gyms and other businesses, many gyms & fitness studios were forced to adapt quickly with new digital strategies. Online fitness instructors and personal trainers found countless creative ways to sustain their business, engage with their customers, and generate new revenue streams by using video and live streaming technology.
The rapid rise in online video consumption in 2020 has only helped fitness instructors and business owners as they’ve found ways to grow their audiences online. And as gyms & studios open up for in-person classes again, many are finding that their digital presence is just as important as before, if not more so. With an active, online presence, personal trainers and fitness instructors have found continued success with video courses and live streaming.
Whether it’s a live stream yoga session, how-to videos for at-home workouts, or virtual training sessions, fitness companies have lots of reasons to be excited about online video. Setting up a video course doesn’t have to be difficult, and provides plenty of benefits for independent business owners. By hosting private live streams and offering digital video content online for subscribers, fitness instructors can increase their revenue and reach.
With the pandemic affecting nearly every business, JW Player has enabled hundreds of new learning instructors with the ability to reach both new and existing audiences through online courses—everything from fitness instruction, yoga sessions, personal training, online workouts, pilates, HIIT, dance, and more. Even as more of the world begins to open back up, there are still plenty of reasons why to plan a digital strategy for your online fitness course.
Benefits of Running a Fitness Online Video Course
1. Reach a larger, global audience
The technology JW Player uses allows for TV-quality online streaming to be played at scale. By transitioning online with a course, it’s possible to reach more people than ever. JW Player’s multi-CDN approach with POPs in 130+ countries means reliable delivery to any region, with 99.99% global delivery uptime.
In 2020, US adults spent an average of 7 hours, 50 minutes (7:50) per day consuming digital media, a 15% increase from 2019. Of that time using digital devices, US adults consumed 2.2 hours per day of just digital video content (source). If you’re not making your fitness class available online, you’re missing out on a growing audience segment.
A chain of gyms and fitness studios in the UK, Fitness First, went fully digital during the pandemic. They were able to transform their content strategy quickly using existing and new fitness training videos. By offering digital content (everything from live streams to free video fitness classes) in addition to re-opening their in-person fitness studios, they’ve successfully managed to stay afloat during a tumultuous time.
2. Create a long-term model for profit
It’s important for any storefront to have a digital presence as much as a physical space, and with more consumers happy to work out from home and through apps or online courses, fitness instructors have a huge potential to increase their revenue. Digital fitness classes are relatively easy to set up and can go live in a matter of days. They can also be easily updated with new features and offers—everything from live stream sessions, 1-on-1 instruction, and 24-hour availability.
Flexibility is key when it comes to home fitness, and instructors can generate long-term revenue through video subscriptions.
3. Get set up quickly, easily with low-overhead
Buffer-free, consistent playback across any screen your students choose. Robust and user-friendly customization tools for you to manage instructional content with ease behind-the-scenes. Adjust color, speed, thumbnails and more to deliver premium online courses everywhere.
4. Use easy-to-set-up live streams to increase engagement
Providing your fitness students with both live and on-demand videos improves long-term engagement and keeps your brand top-of-mind. With JW Player’s award-winning Live Player, it’s easy to integrate a livestream player solution into existing workflows via a user-friendly dashboard for non-technical users, or developer-focused API access for more customization, giving you more opportunities to offer unique and engaging content—what every gym-goer craves!
Fitness First launched live stream classes to engage with their audience beyond the gym. With JW Player’s Live Channels feature, Fitness First successfully enabled their personal trainers to broadcast live from wherever they are (which was especially important during the lockdowns and gym closures).
Live streams can be launched instantly in less than 30 seconds with replays available in under a minute to provide the best experience for all viewers. Multiple latency settings are available to make your course content even more accessible for students.
5. Make your content accessible 24-7
With comprehensive APIs, you can plug JW Player’s powerful capabilities into your existing workflows to create and customize immersive workouts at scale. High-quality on demand and live streaming options enable your members to tune in to workout classes at their own pace—whenever, wherever they can.
Lightning-fast, seamless playback works across any screen or device for your viewers. It’ll feel like the instructors are in the room with them. You’re also able to design, customize, and manage fitness programs with ease in our one-stop-shop Dashboard: adjust color, speed, thumbnails and more to deliver on-brand workouts to members everywhere.
6. Go beyond the gym by making your content accessible on Apple TV, Roku, or other OTT streaming platforms
With a digital video strategy, you can use new content types to engage with fans in more meaningful and exciting ways. Live and on-demand videos are easy to upload and with more engaging content such as exclusive web-only interviews, behind-the-scenes storytelling, or live streaming of special virtual events, you can reach more people in more engaging ways. Scalable content protection measures, including DRM, ensure maximum security with minimal fuss for your fitness videos.
7. Make your fitness videos accessible via mobile (where your customers already are)
Video creation and consumption by users was already on the rise before the pandemic, but in 2020 the trend accelerated quickly for many content verticals. Cisco reports that in 2021, 82% of all created content would be video (source). And much of that content is mobile-first, especially considering the additional rise in mobile use per day. While US adults spent close to 8 hours per day consuming digital content, over 4.5 of those hours were spent exclusively on mobile devices (source).
JW Player makes it easy to provide video content in a mobile-friendly format. Whether it’s buffer-free playback for your website viewers or the functionality to create your own native Android and iOS applications with our SDKs, making your online fitness course content mobile-friendly is built into JW Player.
8. Access more in-depth reporting, analytics, and valuable insight
Dive into unparalleled real-time insights to better understand community engagement and content adoption. Leverage analytics to build better classes and to motivate viewers at drop-off points.
Being able to access real-time analytics across desktop, mobile web, and even mobile & OTT apps, it’s possible for fitness class creators to adapt according to usage. With custom reports including views by player ID and playlist ID, you can access unique insights on students and courses you won't get from third party video analytics providers.
More than 12,000+ brands, web publishers and broadcasters use JW Player technology to stream, play, engage and monetize video on their sites, powering over 10 billion monthly plays. It doesn’t matter how big or small your gym is, when you’ve got an actively engaged audience, you might as well offer what they’re looking for. Today, consumers spend more time with online video content than ever before, and we’re happy to pay for subscriptions for the services and information we want. Fitness live streams and subscription video content is the quick and easy solution for class instructors to reach more people with ease.
With JW Player you can deliver your content to your fans broadcast-quality with little effort. Start an online fitness course today and get set up within a week. Contact JW Player for enterprise pricing and other fitness video solutions.
Originally published May 18, 2021. Updated on January 5, 2022.