Apple Launches Digital Workout Platform Apple Fitness+

The new workout subscription program will be available by the end of 2020.

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Need to Know

  • The new subscription service for workout classes, Fitness+, can be used on all Apple devices but is optimized for the Apple Watch.
  • The platform will leverage a recommendation engine to analyze a user’s past completed classes and recommend new options that complement their routine.
  • Apple Watch will collect metrics, such as heart rate and calorie burn, while users complete workouts.
  • Workout types available via Apple Fitness+ include cycling, treadmill, rowing, HIIT, strength, yoga, and dance, among others.

Analysis

Apple has launched a new program catered towards those who have taken their fitness regimens from the gym to the living room during the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple Fitness+, which the company unveiled on Tuesday, is a new subscription service that offers workout classes and can be accessed via any Apple device but, because of its biometrics-tracking capabilities, is built especially for use with the Apple Watch.

Fitness+ costs either $9.99 a month or $79.99 per year and can also be bundled into Apple’s new Apple One program. The video workouts, many of which require no equipment, span popular fitness types including cycling, rowing, treadmill, HIIT, strength, yoga, and dance, and are accompanied by music chosen by each video’s leading trainer (Apple Music subscribers can save music that they like to their personal libraries).

The program will use a recommendation engine to suggest workout videos to users that complement their current regimen, and users can filter videos by what’s important to them in a workout, whether that is upbeat music, duration, or a preferred trainer. Fitness+ will also sync up with Apple’s Activity function, and users can let friends and family members see their workout progress in Apple Fitness+ with Activity Sharing.

While Fitness+ can be accessed via any device, the company says it’s built for the Apple Watch. When a workout is started on an Apple device such as an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, the same workout will automatically start on Apple Watch. Metrics from the Apple Watch, such as heart rate, are shown on the screen and cataloged within the Fitness Plus dashboard. Customers can also use workouts with Apple GymKit-enabled machines.

“We’re so excited to energize our customers with new ways to get active and stay active with Apple Watch,” said 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.”

With its aggressive entry into the home fitness market, Apple is effectively declaring itself serious competition to the companies that have come to dominate that field. Peloton CEO John Foley has taken note of Apple Fitness+, calling it “quite a legitimization of fitness content” in an interview with CNBC. Apple Fitness+ is only competing with Peloton and other home-fitness companies with content, however; while Peloton’s workout subscriptions have skyrocketed in 2020, 80% of the company’s revenue still comes from the sale of its stationary bikes and treadmills.

Apple Fitness+ will be available by the end of the year.

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