Women-focused digital lifestyle POPSUGAR is betting at-home workouts are here to stay after the pandemic.
They’ve also seen that fitness serves as part of an overall content and monetization strategy that is good for audiences, and the brand’s bottom line, Digital Content Next reports.
POPSUGAR has had fitness content since 2006. As the Covid-19 pandemic spread in 2020, POPSUGAR released more than 200 workouts across social media platforms and its own website and got more than 3 million new subscribers on YouTube in 2020 alone, where its total audience is above 5.5 million.
The brand is part of Group Nine Media and hosts live workouts on Instagram stories and YouTube. It launches Snapchat popups, and posts on-demand workouts to Facebook, Twitter, and the POPSUGAR website. “This year, we’re continuing to see growth and audience attention on these workouts,” POPSUGAR GM Angelica Marden said. POPSUGAR has created a series of short workouts that require nothing more than a phone.
Unlike going to the gym, working out at home is about fitting fitness into your life wherever you can, according to Jennifer Fields, deputy editor. That could mean slipping a 5-minute ab workout in between zoom meetings or a 3-minute BTS cardio workout.
POPSUGAR’s goal is to “meet audiences wherever people spend their time,” Fields said. “So many people are looking for ways to exercise at home. There’s a freedom that comes with at-home workouts.”
The company planned to release a subscription app with a recurring monthly fee last spring. However, in March 2020, the company shifted gears to better serve their audience in need. They released the app as a free, ad-supported product and – with hundreds of thousands of downloads to date – have opted to keep it free, DCN reports.
The strategy aligns with that of parent company Group Nine Media, which traditionally monetizes video content through sponsorships and advertising on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and its website. It also licenses content to OTT services including Discovery+ and Xumo and syndicates some content to linear TV. Group Nine also generates revenue through affiliate product sales.