So you want to start a fitness subscription network

Fitness is one of the most popular genres of subscription networks. Fitness channels are great for consumers thanks to the convenience of being able to work out on their schedule and the relative cost savings when compared to a traditional gym membership. If you’re an instructor with a large following on social media, a subscription offering also allows those customers who geographically can’t drop by your studio to enjoy the benefit of having you as their teacher.

How Do You Know if Launching a Network is Right for You? 

Qi Gong for Vitality

You don’t need to have millions of followers or a large brand presence to launch a fitness network. What you do need is video content that you’re ready to upload. We’ve found that launching with 60 or more videos can help you attract subscribers. Having a backlog of content gives customers something to work through so they don’t get bored.  If you don’t have quite that many videos, that’s okay. Regardless of how many videos you are starting with, you want to make sure that you are adding new videos to your network on a regular basis. Typically subscribers like to see at least one new video each week. With subscription customers are paying monthly for access so they expect to see new content to make it worth keeping their subscription active. 

If you don’t think you have enough to start a subscription now, you may want to test the waters by selling transactionally. If you have a series or two you can start that way to see if there’s interest in your product and to give you time to build up the word of mouth behind your brand. If you are already selling transactionally, at first one option you may want to consider is the Pay What You Want feature. With this feature, you can set a minimum price but give your customers the option to pay more if they want to support you creating future content. It’s also a helpful tool for figuring out the right price point for your work. You'll get the email addresses for anyone who makes a transactional purchase so you message them about signing up for your subscription in the future. 

When It Comes to Fitness Networks, What Works Best? 

StipXperteaseSpeaking of price point,s we’ve found that $9.99-$14.99 a month tends to be the sweet spot for fitness. If you’re also offering an annual subscription option you want to make sure that you’re offering a discount to make it worth paying more up front. For example, if you were charging $9.99, a month you might choose to set your annual price for $99.99 which would work out to someone receiving 10 months for the price of 12. 

Free trials also go over well with fitness networks. It gives people the opportunity to try out some of your content before purchasing. You have the option to offer 3, 7, 14, or 30-day free trials. For fitness, we’ve found that 7 or 14 day free trials work the best, but if you don’t have a lot of content to start with you might want to consider a shorter length. Over 66% of people who sign up for a free trial convert into paying customers so it’s a great tool.

Engage with your audience. If you already have an active Facebook group or other space for your online community that's great. If not you may want to enable forums on your site. Fitness networks, in particular, do well with forums. It's a place where customers can ask questions about routines and where you can start discussion topics or ask questions. You can set some or all of your boards as private to subscribers only. Another way to engage subscribers is by uploading some non-video extras such as meal plans or workout calendars. 

What Can I Do to Continue Growing My Subscriber Base? 

Pose Method

Once you’ve launched, there are a number of things you can do to gain more subscribers and retain your existing customers. For starters, make sure that you’re promoting your site on your social media channels and that you’re keeping your eye out on opportunities to be featured in other outlets.

Use your data. Your admin lets you see where your traffic is coming from in terms of platform and location. This can help you determine which social channels to focus on and which physical locations to target for events and ads.You can also easily connect Google Analytics to gain even more insights. Once your network has been live for a while and you’ve built up a subscriber base, you’ll also be able to use your video views data to see what content has been the most popular. This can help you determine what new content to create in the future, and also where to target your social ads. Sellers sometimes have more success pointing prospective subscribers to specific workout series rather than their landing page.

Branded Apps are another good way to increase your reach. Prospective customers can find you in app stores, and existing customers can watch your content on their preferred device. We’ve found that 58% of customers who sign up on the web migrate their viewing habits to a mobile or connected device. Customers who sign up via an app are also 50% less likely to churn because of a credit card expiring

Don’t forget to look all of our help guides and best practices for even more support and suggestions. Check out this video from one of our sellers, Adriene Mishler of Find What Feels Good, to see how she has used Vimeo OTT.