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Home Blog Mobile Game & App Insights Case Study: Opportunity of Fitness Apps in The Post Pandemic Era

Case Study: Opportunity of Fitness Apps in The Post Pandemic Era

Aug 25 2021



After a volatile year in fitness, as digital exploration and integration continue to accelerate, appropriate pricing is on operators’ minds. To understand your business’s best pricing, it’s important to understand where you fit in the overall digital fitness market.  Digital fitness is an approximately $1 billion market today and is expected to grow to $10 billion to 15 billion, suggesting only a 7 percent to 10 percent penetration to date. 

Working out on your own can be a struggle. For those of us who can't (or don't want to) go to a gym or exercise class in person, apps can nudge you to get moving. What do you need to get you going?

The digital fitness business is raising

The global fitness app market size was valued at USD 4.4 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.6% from 2021 to 2028. The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in nationwide lockdowns and social distancing norms. This has led to a transition to virtual fitness from traditional studios and gyms. This, in turn, has increased the downloads and usage of fitness apps. 

According to an article published in the World Economic Forum in September 2020, the global downloads of fitness and health apps increased by 46%. This increased usage rate of fitness apps due to a growing trend of online fitness training is driving the market globally. The growing awareness regarding health and wellness is also driving the market.

The COVID-19 scenario

Finding the mental wherewithal to get into workout mode can take some serious effort, especially when all your activities happen at home. It can be done, but you have to find an activity or commitment that speaks to you.


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How has COVID19 impacted this market?


The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the awareness pertaining to health and hygiene. The Daily Active Users (DAUs) on fitness apps increased by 24% from quarter 1 to quarter 2 of 2020, according to an article published in the World Economic Forum in September 2020. In addition, studios and gyms are increasing their online presence. Many consumers are investing in home fitness equipment. For instance, sales of Peloton, the U.S.-based exercise equipment company, are estimated to double in 2020.


Fitness apps utilize artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other technologies to provide personalized fitness programs to their customers. They also offer no equipment workout routines, personalized diet charts, monitor diet, track footsteps, and also provide personalized health coaches. Such advantages are increasing the growth potential of the market. 


For instance, MyFitness Pal (MFP) provides personalized diet tracking and activity tracking to its customers. The revenue of this app was USD 6.7 million in June 2020.

Increasing penetration of smartphones is a major factor driving the market. According to the Mobile Economy Survey 2018, smartphone penetration is estimated to reach 77% by 2025 from 57% in 2017. Moreover, unique mobile subscribers are expected to reach 5.9 billion by 2025, according to the Mobile Economy 2018 survey. Furthermore, the rising adoption of wearable devices, such as the Apple Watch and Fitbit, is supporting the market growth.


The opportunities for fitness apps


The rising adoption of sports & fitness applications for monitoring activities & heart rates, increasing internet penetration has triggered the growth of the market. Emerging countries like India, Japan, China, Australia, and South Korea are seeing a surge in disposable income, changing habits, and mobile users as a result of rapid economic growth, the digitalization of the healthcare sector in developed countries is expected to have a variety of lucrative opportunities for the fitness market. 


Many health benefits that these smartphone applications have at the user’s convenience have increased the use of multiple exercise apps for keeping a healthier lifestyle.


The market challenges for fitness apps

Schedules that are too tight and gym memberships that are too expensive exercise & nutrition Guide, false information user interface, lack of professional training are the challenges of the fitness app market. Furthermore, between 2015 and 2050, the population over 60 years old would increase from 12 to 22 percent, according to the WHO. 


Geriatrics are more susceptible to behavioral, medical, and social conditions than younger people, so this generational change is likely to raise health systems and policymakers’ new problems. As a result, the growing use of exercise apps by the elderly, especially in developing countries, provides these people with cost-effective, high-quality, and long-term solutions.


The outlook of fitness app

Based on Type, the market is segmented into Activity Tracking, Exercise & Weight Loss and Diet & Nutrition. Exercise and weight management apps offer a personal trainer, the feature to connect with other devices, and logbooks for weight tracking, video audio guides, and timer. Additionally, the majority of individuals are choosing online fitness lessons due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hence boosting the development of the segment. As per Curefit, an India-based health tech company, its online fitness platform, Cult.Live observed a triple increment in the amount of time spent by its customers.

How the pandemic has changed the future of workouts


With robust business models and steady revenues from these apps, the app owners are investing larger chunk in the digital platforms rather than their standalone gyms and yoga training centers. 


This shows that the fitness apps will see an upward parabolic graph in near future. Moreover, the pros that the online fitness startups offer outweigh the cons and hence there might be a semi-permanent shift over the time to these platforms. 


Convenience and flexibility of the commute, schedule, and place are some of the added advantage with the online fitness startups that the standalone gyms and yoga studios could not offer before the pandemic. Many gym chains had to shut during the pandemic but now they have pivoted to a digital only model and are seeing an increase in memberships as compared to the pre-Covid times and can expect similar results moving forward. 


Advancements in technologies have brought many offline or physical activities like monetary transactions and education to the online mode. Who knows there might be a time when the fitness ecosystem comes in an all-digital mode.


The future


Today there are a whole host of platforms and apps that promise to help people move more, sleep better, eat healthier, reduce stress, and be all round happier.

Gyms will provide hybrid experiences


The benefit of virtual classes is the convenience (for example, not having to drive across town to the gym, doing it between Zoom meetings or while your child is napping, etc.), and that it can be more versatile. The types of virtual classes you can do are endless. You can choose from a wide range of workouts of varying intensities, from HIIT and strength training to yoga and cycling sessions. With so many options available, you can frequently switch things up to keep your workout routine fresh.


Workouts will be bite-sized


Whether it's because of working from home, childcare responsibilities or a busy schedule, people have been finding time to work out whenever they can, even if that’s just 10 minutes here and there.
In fact, researchers found that a 10-minute workout with just one minute at high intensity had the same benefits as 45 minutes of steady cycling.

Home gyms will be even more popular


Because so many more people are enjoying the convenience of working out from home, the home gym is now more popular than ever. And while fancy and expensive equipment, like Peloton and Mirror, are beloved by many, Dougherty said she’s also been seeing people stock their home gyms with simple fitness accessories, like adjustable dumbbells, resistance bands and jump ropes.

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