Calling all fitness instructors, yoga teachers and wellness studios…consider live streaming your classes to create a profitable online business!
This article is a follow-up to our post “The Impact of Covid-19 on the Wellness Industry” from April of this year.
I was recently in Bohl, my favorite Barcelona-based cafe, to grab a healthy bite and get some work done—talking with the owner about how business has been going post-quarantine. She said things were better but truly the only way they survived was by pivoting how they operated.
And that got me thinking…
For any class-based fitness or yoga studio owner, pivoting your business during the COVID-19 pandemic has been an integral part of survival. The fitness industry has scrambled to quickly adapt to the changing economy and adopt new technologies to serve their quarantined clientele. Online live streaming fitness platforms have popped up overnight by the handfuls to meet the health and wellness industry’s new demands.
We all know Youtube, Facebook & Instagram offer live video streaming to share your content. But here’s the catch—these are great platforms for offering free content to reach a broader audience, however they fall short when it comes to monetizing your wellness business and selling classes online.
And since a good portion of the Good Karma Works community is made up of wellness entrepreneurs and owners that run class-based businesses, I decided to do some digging.
What are the top fitness live streaming platforms for fitness instructors, gyms and studios?
What fitness live streaming platforms are out there and easily adoptable for a fitness studio or yoga teacher to take their class offerings online? I also wanted to know if they have payment integration systems built in that allow for the business owner to monetize their classes. Do they offer flexibility for your offerings—class passes, subscription models and pay-per-view classes? Are they easy to integrate into your existing website?
After some research, here are my fav picks.
This is a paid plugin that integrates with WordPress websites only. And since we specialize in WordPress, we are super excited about offering this option as an additional service to our WordPress web clients. WP Stream is very transparent about their pricing model and offers flexibility in how you share your class video content, whether it’s free, pay-per-view or on a subscription basis.
Easy integration with WordPress websites
WooCommerce integration for paid video products
Free Trial Account
Only works with WordPress websites
No native payment processing (requires Woocommerce)
4 Pricing Tiers starting at $19/month
Bonus – Try their free trial today.
Namastream caters to our audience exactly—yoga teachers and other fitness/wellness businesses taking their businesses online. They offer a full-service, online class platform that includes courses, memberships and live stream programs. They claim to have a very easy set-up process with no technical expertise required.
And I love the catchy (yet a little cheezy) brand name for all fellow yogis out there!
Responsive (multi-device use)
Personalize brand (logo, colors, etc)
PDF/audio file storage
Shopping cart & sales-tracking dashboard
Integrates with Mailchimp/ConvertKit
Live streaming requires paid Zoom account
Expensive for individuals to start on
Teacher Plan – $125/month or $1250/year
Studio Plan – $179/month or $1790/year
Although I have my personal reservations about Mindbody, I felt it was necessary to mention their virtual class streaming since they have dominated the US yoga and fitness studio market for many years. They also offered this add-on for free until June of this year to any existing MB studio clients for an extra value during COVID.
Virtual Wellness Platform – this is an add-on to the traditional Mindbody CRM which starts at $125. Pre-recorded class libraries for videos on demand (VOD) start at just $99 per month and live streaming attendees charged at $0.15-$0.25 per class.
All-in-one-platform for class-based studio owners
Built into the Mindbody software
Allows for hybrid classes packages (online & in-person)
Native payment processing & emailing system
Client-only access to video content
Not clear/transparent in their pricing
Not always intuitive, easy-to-use
Not compatible with all devices (desktop recommended)
Uscreen claims that by taking your workouts online they will future-proof your business. Under your brand, their platform offers you a comprehensive video-on-demand library for your fitness videos, all customized with your brand.
Depending on which pricing tier you choose, you have the option to offer your classes through live streaming or on-demand.
30-day free trial
Responsive (multi-device use)
Payment processing & sales dashboard built-in
Simple website builder included (if you don’t already have one)
Pay-per-view, subscription or free options for live streaming
Strict student limits to pricing tiers
Lowest tier doesn’t allow for live streaming
3 tiers starting at $99/month
Bonus – Read “How to Sell Fitness Programs Online” from their blog.
Zype’s mission is clear—to help you monetize your fitness video content by offering a full-fledge video infrastructure. It also offers flexibility in selling live and on-demand videos through subscriptions, pay-per-view, rentals, etc. They also provide services to build your own branded class video app if you are ready to make it big!
This platform was worth mentioning for larger gyms or fitness brands however because of its hefty pricing model, it’s not really meant for the individuals and small businesses just starting out.
Responsive (multi-device use)
Schedule live events ahead of time
Video paywalls and payment processing
Integrates with social platforms (IG, Facebook, Youtube)
No cheaper tiers in pricing
Technical expertise required
Zype X starts at $500/month
Maybe it doesn’t make sense at the moment for your wellness business to adopt a robust virtual live streaming business model. If sending out Zoom links 5 minutes before every class is working for you, by all means stick with that.
However, if you’re excited by the points mentioned above to broaden your student base and diversify your revenue streams, consider taking the leap!
And to get some more quick tips on optimizing your wellness website to broaden your client-base, read our ‘9 Tips to Drive Traffic to your Website’ resource article next!