Health and Fitness Apps, an Opportunity for Carrier Billing?
14 June 2022
Our health and wellbeing have become a focus for many in our post-pandemic world. The value of exercise has long been recognised and valued by society, but overall well-being is a relatively new consideration for us all. Of course, the pandemic affected how many of us were able to train, with gyms, swimming pools and wellness centres closing many people were pushed to look for alternatives to continue training. For many of us, this was a fitness app. Grandview Research has valued the global fitness app market at $1.1 billion in 2021, which is anticipated at a rate of 33.10% per year (Run Repeat) which is phenomenal for a market that was almost in stagnation before the pandemic (Business of Apps).
What encouraged this growth?
The global COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for the adoption of fitness and wellness apps with nationwide lockdowns and social distancing requirements creating a shift away from the brick and mortar gyms. Further growth has been aided by the increased usage of smartphones worldwide (Grandview Research), they’re ease of use, offer increased privacy, have fewer time constraints and are cheaper than joining a gym (Market Data Forecast). There are some localised factors relating to specific markets encouraging growth, such as the “Rise in chronic disorders and older populations across Europe” (Market Data Forecast). These factors have encouraged companies to invest in developing their apps and technology targeted to the fitness and well-being markets.
What does the market look like?
Data Bridge estimates that there “are more than 97,000 fitness and health apps available”. These fitness and health apps can be segmented based on the function they have been designed for; training, tracking, fitness games, nutrition, etc, which can then be further broken down into health-specific monitoring, such as cardio and diabetes. These segments can then be grouped into care management, women’s health, medication management, consultancy apps, vital sign monitoring and health & wellness.
An article in the Business of Apps has further split the fitness market into fitness trackers and agnostic fitness platforms. Trackers refer to the wearable technology that tracks your exercise, such as smartwatches or smart bands and the fitness platforms are sites or apps where your customers can access exercise classes from the comfort of your home. The latter can be personalised to suit your goals and needs, using a mix of AI and manual input. The article highlights Peleton as an example of this, which offers a subscription to classes and personalised workouts through their app to use on their bike or treadmill.
Most apps offer their basic packages for free with an option to opt into their premium services, which have additional features, advanced programmes, etc. Business of Apps found that revenue was up for these apps in 2020 by 84%, with Grandview Research showing that health and fitness apps have the highest retention rates “with 96% of users only using one app”.
How can Carrier Billing help?
With the number of fitness, health and medical apps growing, as well as the number of engaged users, it’s clear that the segment holds an opportunity for carrier billing. Premium subscription packages for these apps have good retention rates and a CAGR of 33.10% per year (Run Repeat) which would indicate that growth is going to continue. Being able to offer mobile payments via carrier billing for these subscriptions could help maintain retention rates and make subscribing easy. With carrier billing the app user could pay for their monthly subscription on their phone, ensuring a convenient, secure payment. If you would like to find out more contact the SLA Digital Team today.