Online fitness behaviours are changing: 5 things you need to know

Wexer Blog

13 September 2021

What fitness content do your members want for when they’re training independently?

The latest stats from the Wexer Web Player – covering all content usage during August 2021 – make for very interesting reading indeed. Here are a few key themes.

 

Members want your content

We’ve been talking about the importance of local rockstars for a while now: the instructors your members know and love from their own gym, who drive loyalty to your brand.

It should be a #1 priority to put these instructors in front of members as often as possible, digitally as well as in-person, and the Wexer Web Player allows you to do this, uploading your own-produced content.

And here – from our client Evolution Wellness (EW) – is evidence of the value this can bring when done well.

If, alongside Wexer’s global content library, we add to our analysis the content generated by Fitness First and Celebrity Fitness – two of EW’s club brands in south-east Asia – EW would have 13 classes in the top 50 most viewed classes aggregated across all our clients.

If you’re looking for a USP versus the big digital players, this – your team of local rockstars – is it. Own content production can be a huge usage driver.

 

They want fresh content

This is the first time we’re really seeing our newly updated product features notably affecting usage – specifically our Channels feature, whereby the channels with the most recently uploaded content appear on the home screen.

The idea: to ensure a steady stream of great new content to inspire and engage end users. And content partners Group HIIT and LA30 hit a real home run in this respect, launching new titles on the platform throughout August. This was well received by users, with the new content easy to find on the main page, and both providers performed superbly.

Group HIIT in particular, as a new provider, might have expected slower uptake while brand awareness built – but by consistently being the most active channel on the platform, it immediately landed five of its classes in the top 10 most popular for the month.

Being on the home page is, clearly, a key usage driver – only two classes that weren’t new made it into the top 10 last month – which is an important lesson for anyone producing their own content.

 

They like using their own music

No-music classes were a hit. Once again, we’re talking about Group HIIT, where all workouts are no music and no talk – purely cues and direction from on-screen text, countdowns and non-verbal cueing.

The advantage? Members can pop on their favourite tunes for maximum motivation and crank the volume as high as they like.

And for operators, of course, it offers a valuable lesson in avoiding music licensing headaches when creating your own content.

 

They’re less predictable than you might think

It seems the new user interface – dominated by fresh content in Channels – might be more instrumental in driving usage trends than people’s traditional genre preferences and old favourites.

For the first time ever – and perhaps surprisingly given growing interest in wellbeing and self-care – yoga disappeared from the top 50 altogether.

Meanwhile, dance made a huge leap forward, accounting for 20 per cent of all classes in August’s top 50. This is also surprising, as there were no significant additions or trends to drive this, but perhaps the late summer sun (in Europe, at least) put people in a party mood!

One thing stayed the same, though: strength remained very popular. In fact, interestingly, all of the top five classes revolve around core training.

 

They have quite specific workout slots

10–20 minutes? Not really. Workouts longer than 30 minutes? Even less so.

But workouts up to 10 minutes long are very popular, accounting for 30 per cent of all plays. In second place, with a 28 per cent share: classes of 20–30 minutes.

We’ll be doing more analysis here, to find out if there really is a split between preferring either really short workouts or a class that fits into a 30-minute time allocation, or if users are regularly ‘stacking’ short workouts – taking advantage of Wexer’s flexibility and choice to do three totally different classes all within a 30-minute workout slot.

 

We’re here with the latest stats to help you drive the highest engagement levels with your digital offering. Get in touch now: info@wexer.com

AuthorMorten Andersen