The Best Live Streaming Tools for Gym Owners

Live Streaming is a Must for Gym Owners

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

As the industry continues to shift to digital, fitness trainers are faced with a number of new challenges regarding how to best deliver their services online. Producing content for pre-recorded workout videos and live stream classes is only half of the battle—businesses must also figure out how to deliver their digital offerings in a way that converts it into revenue. 

On-demand vs. Live Stream Classes: What’s the Difference?

On-demand workout videos and fitness classes are pre-recorded and can be accessed through a fitness studio app, web browser or mobile device. All you have to do is select the class you want and click and hit play. On-demand workout videos are great for people who need a specific start and end time, as well as those who need the flexibility to start and stop workouts if the need arises. 

Pre-recorded fitness classes can be released at certain times to function like attending a class, or they can all be stored in a database and accessible at any time. Some fitness trainers prefer teaching on-demand classes because it gives them the ability to re-record or edit the workout routine as many times as needed until they feel confident in the finished product. 

Live streaming workouts, as the name suggests, are live and take place in real-time. With live stream classes, attendees have the benefit of a “here and now” fitness trainer. Many people prefer doing live stream classes because the real-time engagement helps them feel more connected to their fitness trainers, as well as each other. In some cases, live stream classes also provide the fitness trainer the ability to see attendees and to provide feedback and positive reinforcement, which can help boost motivation, participation and accountability. 

Now that we’ve covered the key differences between on-demand (pre-recorded) and live stream classes, let’s talk about three of the most popular platforms for live streaming workouts: 

Facebook Live

When lockdowns hit last year, Facebook Live viewership in the U.S. jumped 50%, with many viewers tuning in specifically for live streaming workouts they could do from their living rooms. Facebook Live is the platform of choice for many fitness trainers because it’s free, easy to use, and it publishes workouts directly to followers’ news feeds. One downside, however, is that Facebook Live is open to anyone and, therefore, it can be difficult to control access. One solution businesses have found is to create private groups for members to help safeguard their digital content and limit viewership to only their members.  

YouTube

According to Pew Research, 74% of adults in the U.S. use YouTube. As the largest video platform in the world, YouTube is an attractive platform for live streaming workouts because it’s also free and easy to use. But despite its widespread popularity, many fitness trainers forgo using YouTube for live streaming classes because of the platform’s copyright policies which inhibit instructors from using whatever music they like during workout routines. Also, similar to Facebook Live, it is difficult to restrict viewership to members-only using YouTube. 

Zoom

Zoom, the virtual meetings app, has quickly become an industry favorite because of its strong video quality, ease of use, and two-way visibility. Zoom can also be easily integrated with gym management software to automate the process of sending log-in information and links to members once they’ve signed up for a class, providing businesses control over who can access their digital content. However, while a basic Zoom membership is free, gyms that want to utilize this platform for live streaming classes longer than 40 minutes will need to invest in a Pro or Business account before doing so.

Which video platform is the right choice for your business?

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution in the streaming world. Each video platform comes with its own benefits and challenges, and the best fit for you will depend on your business’ needs and resources. So, before you launch your online offerings, we recommend you develop a digital strategy that supports the long-term needs of your business, as well as your members.

For more health and fitness-related insights, click here to read our other blog posts.

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