While large media companies are capitalizing on these trends to the benefit of their bottom lines, how can fitness professionals capture a piece of the powerful revenue stream that is VOD? Insights from Michael Skogg, gym owner and digital video product creator and Matt Given, VOD platform CEO weigh-in on what it takes to create a video offering that can earn you big.
What is VOD and why does it matter?
Given: Video On Demand (VOD), specifically Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) is a powerful way to offer your existing members a way to stay connected to the club when they’re not able to be there physically. Plus, it allows you to expand beyond the physical walls of your business. Creating fitness videos by either recording classes or going a step further with higher-produced versions are both effective ways to create a video library that you can leverage into a VOD offering. By providing access to this library of videos as a subscription service, you can build an additional recurring revenue stream for your business. Fitness- and workout-based videos are one of the fastest growing categories in this exploding space, making this a trend all fitness professionals should have on their radar.
Why should fitness professionals care?
Skogg: Fitness professionals are uniquely positioned to take advantage of SVOD in particular. Customers are already familiar with the gym business model (a monthly membership fee), so taking it digital is the natural next step. Plus, it provides customers with an entirely new level of flexibility. The fitness industry can be fickle, so making your workouts available to customers anytime they want - at 2am in their living room if the mood strikes them - can be a powerful differentiator!
As a fitness expert you likely have an existing customer base that would love the convenience of your workouts on demand. Additionally, going digital opens you up to a whole new audience that may not be able to get to the gym. Your expertise and ability to improve people’s lives with your training techniques should not be limited to the customers in your backyard!
How is VOD different from YouTube?
Given: YouTube is a fine option if you’re just looking to give away your content for nothing. But, if you’re serious about making money with video, a paid for VOD offering is the way to go. YouTube’s ad platform provides a much smaller revenue opportunity for fitness video producers, to the extent that it’s almost nothing. Not only that, YouTube may show competitors’ advertisements alongside your videos, compromising your fitness brand. With VOD you maintain control of your brand and customers with the opportunity to make substantially more revenue.
Skogg: YouTube is a great place for free promotional videos, such as a video trailer for your paid offering. It helps gain exposure for your business and drive traffic to your site and video products that you have available for sale. The same goes for other social channels such as Facebook and Instagram. They are great for driving traffic and building awareness for your videos, but when it comes to monetization, a VOD offering is the way to go.
How can a video offering impact a business’ revenue stream?
Skogg: Giving your customers access to you and your training programs anytime they want allows you to virtually replicate yourself many times over. Therefore, your revenue is no longer tied to the number of people who attend your class. With VOD you can instantly tap into a global audience, and a very powerful new revenue stream without a lot of extra work. You can create video assets once, and sell them over and over again.
Given: Creating a video offering is quite possibly the best way for a fitness brand to substantially increase their bottom line. It’s literally the next frontier in creating a fitness business whether or not you have a physical location.
How many videos does it take to get started?
Given: While some people start with an entire library of videos, others successfully build their first offering with just a handful. You can start with as few as five as long as you are committed to creating more content over time. If you have five videos that you can price at a $10 per month subscription fee and sell to 20 paying customers, you’re in business.
Skogg: Keep in mind, your videos don’t need to be highly produced as long as you’re sharing valuable content. Other digital assets such as images, PDFs and audio files and can help increase the perceived value of your offering. The key to success is committing to releasing new videos on an ongoing basis while continuing to deliver value and giving your customers something to look forward to.
Are there any challenges to be aware of?
Skogg: In the fitness industry, success often hinges on the strength of your personal brand. When looking for a platform partner for your video products, find one that allows you to control your brand and the customer experience. Also, make sure you own the customer relationship, and that you maintain control of the customer contact information so you can market to them again and again.
Given: As with any technology, there is an adoption curve. You need to learn how to record videos (if you don’t already have video content) and you need to know how to sell and deliver them securely to paying subscribers. This is where a platform partner can be very helpful at flattening out the curve. Some barriers to entry, however, are actually a good thing! They ensure that the success (and profits) go to the business owners who are serious about building out a real revenue channel with video and committed to seeing it through. Putting in a little time up front will translate to big payoffs in the long run.
The time is now
If you’ve considered adding a video offering to your business or have thought about converting your library of fitness DVDs to digital, don’t wait! Customer demand for streaming and downloadable videos across all categories is literally booming. Fitness professionals, both established and new, are uniquely positioned to profit from these trends. Start today so you (and your business) can reap the rewards for many years to come.
About Matt Given
Matt Given is the CEO of Intelivideo, a comprehensive video platform that makes it easy for businesses to sell their videos online. The platform specializes in helping companies build, grow and manage profitable VOD businesses. Learn more at www.intelivideo.com.
About Michael Skogg
Michael Skogg is a world-renowned kettlebell coach, educator and author. Most recently, Skogg has expanded his reach to customers outside of his gym by making his workouts available through his SVOD offering. Learn more about his success with video at intelivideo.com/skogg.