At home fitness on TV is as old as Jane Fonda’s Step Aerobics (probably older). Over the decades, we’ve seen the evolution from video to DVD to online. In the ‘90s, ESPN was broadcasting a roster of shows such as Kiana’s Flex Appeal, Body By Jake, and Getting Fit with Denise Austin. There was even a channel called Fit TV that was entirely dedicated to fitness programming.
As consumer tastes and preferences continuously evolved, and there was more demand for products that targeted people who already had a solid base level of fitness, the DVD empire that we now know as Beach Body rose with p90x.
As technology and broadband reached a critical mass, many fitness companies began to move into on demand streaming digital fitness content. We’ve seen companies like Daily Burn (acquired by IAC) and Wello (acquired by Weight Watchers) produce original content and provide an alternative to the gym.
Now, with the cord being cut, a whole new crop of fitness companies are getting into the on-demand streaming space, allowing consumers to work out where they want, when they want, all with just an internet connection. Some are startups, and some are really well-funded and backed by giant corporations. All strive to pick the hottest and most-well known trainers to feature in their programming. Here are some of the more recent products we’ve come across.
Acacia TV – The Acacia brand promotes healthy, joyful living. It’s streaming TV service is relatively new, and boasts instructors Gerren Liles, Amanda Young, and Kristin MCGee.
The most basic service is $6.99/month. One drawback is that you can’t actually see what all the offerings are until you get behind the pay wall. They do offer a 10 day free trial, which is convenient if you are just browsing. They offer a very wide variety of workout programming options, from Yoga to Dance to Barre to Interval Training. Acacia provides a mix of original content, as well as a library of older, licensed videos.
Booya Fitness – We love what Booya Fitness is trying to do. We’ve referenced the booming boutique fitness industry before, which has really taken off in some of the larger cities in the US, and they are trying to create a boutique fitness on demand brand.
Given the price points for some of these studios (e.g. $34 per class), Booya has sought to make these brands and their products more accessible to the rest of America by working with these studios to film content for on demand distribution. It’s great for consumers because now they can try these workouts, and it’s great for studio partners because it helps with brand visibility. Some studios on Booya are Soho Strenght Lab, ReXist360, ASOne, and Chaisse Fitness. The cost is $9.99/month, and you get a 30 day free trial.
CosmoBody – CosmoBody is an extension of Cosmopolitan Magazine and launched by Hearst. Given it’s brand origin, it’s not surprising that the workouts have names like School Spirit Sweat Sesh, Do it in your Dorm Room, and Date Sexy Yoga.
They’ve got all original programming created by some great instructors like Tara Stiles, Adam Rosante, and Ary Nunez. The service costs $9.95/month, but you get a 10-day free trial so you’ll know exactly what you’re going to be getting.
FitFusion – Unlike other fitness aggregators that catalog any content they can get their hands on, FitFusion has selected more current programming to stream on demand. They’re proving to be a distribution channel for fitness personalities and companies that have already produced DVDs, such Jillian Michaels, Ilyse Baker, and Doonya Fitness
The service costs $9.99/month, and you’ll get access to over 260 fitness videos.
Grokker – Grokker has an extensive library and takes things a little bit farther than many of the other on demand products we’ve seen in that you can get on demand cooking classes. This is terrific, because diet is 80% of the solution when trying to get healthy.
There is a lot more to this platform than just following along with videos and doing the exercises/cooking the recipes. There’s a Q&A section to the site, and when you sign up the onboarding process tries to suss out your preferences so that Grokker can do a better job of recommending classes for you.
Grokker offers premium, original content, as well as standard fare not created specifically for them. The premium subscription costs $9.99 per month for unlimited access to premium content, or else you can just go for the free version that gives you limited access.
Radius Fitness – Probably the best out of these new players in terms of providing recommendations based on your level of fitness and preferences. Radius also differs because these are not just one off vides, these are full programs, created by some very notable fitness personalities like Keoni Hudoba, Natalie Uhling, and Alex Isaly.
The programming ranges from beginner to advanced, so there’s something for everyone. All of it is custom for Radius, and they already have integrated with Under Armour/MapMyFitness. Another thing that gives us confidence in the product is that Radius is backed by NBC Sports, which means we would expect the level of content and video production to always be very high. At $9.99/month, it actually feels like a bargain.
There are so many options to choose from and these are just some of the latest. Not everyone likes or can afford to go to a gym, so on demand fitness is a great alternative. It’s cost- and time-effective and provides variety for pretty much anyone.
What do you think of each of these above services? Leave us your thoughts in the review box when you click on the service.
Did we miss any great on-demand streaming services? Let us know!