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11 virtual fitness companies vying to compete with Peloton’s winning membership model and cash in on the at-home exercise boom

  • On-demand and virtual fitness has never been more popular, as the pandemic drastically changes the way Americans stay fit. 
  • While Peloton continues to dominate the at-home fitness market, several digital fitness programs — both new and existing — are looking to cash in on the on-demand exercise boom. 
  • We took a closer look at 11 of the most popular virtual fitness membership programs. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

 

Gone are the days of traditional gym memberships, as Americans enter the era of the virtual, at-home fitness movement buoyed by the pandemic.

On-demand fitness platforms have never been so popular, nor so ubiquitous. Though digital fitness has been on the rise in recent years, the coronavirus outbreak has put fledgling virtual companies on the map while prompting the rise of a slew of new platforms designed to help Americans stay fit while cooped up at home. 

These programs vary in price and types of workouts, but most are designed to bring streaming fitness classes directly into living rooms, with little to no additional equipment required. And while past decades have brought the likes of Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons, and Billy Blanks into our homes, today there are more options and different types of classes at consumers’ disposal than ever before. 

The breadth of new options, however, hasn’t stopped Peloton from dominating the virtual fitness market, with sales skyrocketing by 172% year-over-year and overwhelming demand for its stationary bikes causing mass delivery delays.

Companies ranging from tech giant Apple to StretchIt — an emerging app dedicated entirely to stretching — are vying for a piece of the at-home fitness market. We took a closer look at 11 virtual fitness membership programs looking to cash in on the at-home fitness boom.

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Here’s Why Some Cities Are Giving Cash to Residents

Cities including Stockton, Calif. and Hudson, N.Y. are experimenting with different models related to universal basic income. In Stockton, a program that allocated $500 a month to 125 randomly selected households in low-income neighborhoods was scheduled to end in July has been extended until January. Meanwhile, Hudson is launching a pilot program to give $500 a month to randomly selected residents for five years.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
1. The funds have helped recipients get through the pandemic.

More than half of the funds from Stockton’s $3.8 million experiment have been spent on food and utilities, according to preliminary findings. Stockton’s 30-year-old mayor, Michael Tubbs, who pioneered the project, said of the spending, “What we found is that you can trust people to make good decisions.”

2. Critics are skeptical about the concept.

Some economists argue that no-strings-attached cash could be a disincentive for people to find work—especially if the money is only given to low income households. However, studies of universal cash transfers in Alaska and among the Eastern Band of Cherokees in North Carolina found no negative effect on work. On a national level, a similar program targeting households within certain income brackets could cost as much as $1.2 trillion, according to economists Melissa Kearney and Magne Mogstad. Kearney said it would likely have to replace existing safety net programs.

3. Some mayors are still willing to give it a shot

Roughly two dozen mayors from cities as large as Los Angeles and as small as Holyoke, Mass., have signed on to a newly formed coalition advocating for a nationwide guaranteed income. “This Covid[-19] economy has just yanked the rug out from our communities across the country in a way we’ve never experienced before,” said Melvin Carter, mayor of Saint Paul, Minn., and a member of the group. He said his city is working with donors to set up its own experiment similar to the one in Stockton.

Read the original article by David Harrison here.

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