CALIFORNIA, United States — Apple is extending its grip on the fitness space with the forthcoming launch of Fitness+, a fitness subscription platform built around the Apple Watch.
By incorporating health metrics from Apple Watch — such as heart rate, calories burned, pace and distance — for users to visualize via their preferred choice of Apple screen (either iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV), it taps into the growing demand for more personalized workout experiences based on individual data.
According to the formidable brand, Fitness+ users will have access to studio-style workouts delivered by world-class trainers, underscored by motivating music from renowned artists — thus tying the platform to its Apple Music service.
“We’re so excited to energize our customers with new ways to get active and stay active with Apple Watch,” commented Jay Blahnik, Apple’s senior director of fitness for Health Technologies.
“With diverse studio workouts that are suitable for all ability levels, led by a phenomenal group of unique trainers, and an approachable program designed for beginners all the way through to the fitness enthusiast — as well as the flexibility to work out anywhere — there’s something for everyone. We know Fitness+ will take working out with Apple Watch to the next level with unparalleled engagement, convenience, and inspiration.”
The platform, which is earmarked for launch in the UK, Ireland, US, Canada and Australia by the end of the year, priced at $9.99 a month or $79.99 annually, is another example of the brand’s move towards subscription-based digital services, aimed at bolstering growth.
The strategy, which is also soon to include the bundling together of its services into packages that cover fitness, TV, music, gaming and more, is also demonstrative of Apple’s potential advantage over its competitors.
When it comes to digital fitness specifically, the sector is already rife with established players such as Peloton, Aaptiv, Fiit, Freeletics and many others. By positioning its fitness platform within a larger ecosystem of other entertainment-based services, Apple aims to add value where other brands can’t.
The news, however, didn’t seem to faze Peloton’s CEO John Foley, who told CNBC that, if anything, Apple launching a fitness platform is a “legitimization” of this type of content.
“The biggest thing I will say is it’s quite a legitimization of fitness content, to the extent the biggest company in the word, a $2 trillion company, is coming in and saying fitness content matters. It’s meaningful enough for Apple,” he explained.
But, “they’re just going to be the content,” he added. “We think the special sauce, the magic, is our connected platforms and in order to work out at home you need a stationary bike if you’re going to be biking, you need a treadmill if you’re going to be running.”
Despite a number of tech giants including Samsung and Google also taking aim at the fitness and wellness space, Peloton’s international managing director Kevin Cornils is also confident that the brand isn’t threatened by the growing competition.
“No one is doing what we’re doing, anywhere in the world — combining the best software, hardware, content and experience in one place,” he told Welltodo earlier this year.
“We created the category and we’re confident about the quality and uniqueness of the Peloton experience. We spend a lot of time thinking about how we can continue to innovate and deliver the best possible experience for our members globally rather than focusing on the competition.
Whether Peloton’s confidence is shared by the growing number of smaller entrants into the digital fitness category, especially brick and mortar operators that have been forced to navigate the digital space in response to COVID-19, remains to be seen. As Apple has proven time and time again, it’s certainly a force to be reckoned with.