How To Build a Workout Streaming App Like Peloton?
If you have an idea for building an application for online workout classes, the Peloton app will be a very interesting case to study. In this article, we’ll briefly review the main challenges in the fitness industry, features of the Peloton app and tech tips for developing your own App.
The guide will be the most relevant if you’re one of these:
- Gym Owner who wants to sell his branded workouts through a mobile app.
- Team with Angel or F&F Funding in need of an MVP, which is trying to estimate the possible cost to build an app like Peloton.
- Team with an iOS/Android/Web Peloton-like app that wants to develop an Android/iOS version.
- Team that wants to create a workout streaming app and is looking for some dev insights.
Let’s dive in!
💥 The Biggest Mistake in Workout Streaming App Development
As Nir Eyal puts it in his article, most fitness applications don’t succeed because they’re unable to change long-term behaviours. Such applications make people exercise, and this is something they're usually unwilling to do or do with a little pleasure.
At this stage, the psychological phenomenon (known as reactance) turns on. What happens next? People just resist doing things that feel difficult or unpleasant, abandon the exercises and the fitness app itself as well.
The study by Lynn Katherine Herrmann and Jinsook Kim proves this. Their key conclusions were as follows:
- After 2 weeks the expected frequency of workouts with apps decreased.
- Fitness apps don’t make people more inclined to engage in fitness activities.
- Users are more likely to abandon the app if they perceive them as an external force that tries to control them rather than the users controlling the application.
So what you should keep in mind during the workout streaming app development is that one of your key goals is to make people enjoy the activity itself!
For this purpose, many apps heavily rely on gamification features — point systems, leaderboards, badges that may have some positive effect on retention rates. However, often such experience quickly becomes monotonous and users leave.
What’s to be done?
|How to retain users?|
|🏆Make them compete with their friends. People will see more value in your app if it makes them feel like a part of a bigger like-minded group.|
|😄Help your audience enjoy the activity, not just track it. For example, nowadays many people are crazy about voice instructions like in the Headspace or Nike Run+ Club apps.|
|🧘♀️Find ways to affect users’ long-term behaviour. For example, if you’re going to sell on-demand classes, provide 1 for free if users workout at least twice a week for 4 weeks.|
How is the hero of this article, Peloton, tackling this problem? Take a look and get some new ideas for your own workout streaming app development.
📖 What can you learn from Peloton for your own app?
The role of fitness in the world today isn’t the same it was even 10-15 years ago. Today it’s not only about growing muscles to feel confident at the beach in summer. It’s also about building a community of like-minded people, networking, rethinking your values and lifestyle in general. And that’s what guys from Peloton clearly understood.
So here are a few useful hints for the ones who want to make own online workout classes app like Peloton:
- Content is the king 🚴♂️
It’s true that Peloton was first developed as an application for online cycling classes only. Yet, today it includes classes in 10 categories: from yoga and stretching to walking and running. Nowadays, Peloton’s library includes over 10,000 classes.
And it’s a good example to follow.
By adding classes for different types of workouts Peloton was able to attract more users and provide a better value to existing ones.
However, a golden Startup rule, which Peter Thiel mentions in his “From 0 to 1” is: focus on a niche market, build a monopoly, then conquer similar markets. For us this means, that you should focus on a specific workout type - e.g. workouts for pregnant.
- Live Experience 🎥
Along with offline classes, Peloton is famous for its live workout broadcasts. They stream several dozens of classes daily in almost every category.
By the way, it is Peloton’s main way to make people enjoy what they’re doing. So why have they decided to develop a workout streaming app with live sessions?
First, it helps to influence their long-term behaviour. Online classes make users more inclined to visit the app so as not to miss this unique opportunity to join a live session.
Second, they make users feel special. Having a large offline database is great, but understanding that this exact training is held for you and together with you is priceless 🙂
- Strong Community 🤝
Peloton tries to bring like-minded people together and that’s the idea you may reuse as you create a workout streaming app.
For example, users may follow each other and give high fives during live workouts.
However, you may go even further and introduce a chatting feature so users can become even closer and discuss their common fitness problems and achievements right in the application.
What other features will you need to develop an app like Peloton? Let’s find out!
📱 Top Features to Build an App Like Peloton
In this article, we decided to split all Peloton’s features into flows — logic blocks that users experience when using the app. These are:
- Sign Up Flow.
- Personal Profiles.
- Classes Flow.
- Live Sessions Flow.
- Payment Gateway.
- Push Notifications.
How Peloton's app looks in general? Here it is:
Let’s take a closer look at its features!
# 1: Sign Up Flow 🔐
This is the basic part of almost any application. How to create a cycling streaming app with a correct Sign-Up Flow and omit typical mistakes? Here’s the answer!
Onboarding is usually the first screen the user sees when entering the app. Its main aim is to provide users with some basic info about the key features.
In other words, you should briefly describe how your app can be useful to users.
Despite it may seem like a not important feature, Clutch reports that 44% of users download apps “for fun”. So a cool onboarding process may turn curious novices into your loyal users.
Here are a few basic tips on how to develop a cycling streaming app with a great onboarding screen:
- Don’t add too much info. 72% of users believe, that onboarding process should take up to 60 seconds, so 3-5 “screens” are enough.
- Bring benefits upfront. Your main goal here is to make people interested in using your app so dedicate this screen to key benefits users will get when using your application.
- Make it appealing. Onboarding should also be nice-looking, not only informative. Animations, gifs, different colors - here you can be even more creative than in the app itself.
This feature is rather important for an on-demand workout steaming classes app. Why? Because all fitness apps heavily rely on personalization of users’ experience.
However, if you choose the wrong approach to build this feature when you create a workout streaming app, it may play a bad joke. You will just lose users at their first step.
So it doesn’t happen, follow a few simple bits of advice:
- Don’t make users Sign Up. If they face such a mandatory request, many will just leave. Instead, ask for this when it’s really needed (for example, when they’re buying offline classes and have to provide some personal data).
- It should be as fast & easy as possible. Ask only the most important info first (like email/password). All other data - age, sex, weight, height, custom name etc. - they should be able to fill in later.
- Implement Social Login. It allows creating personal profiles with just one tap by reusing users’ data from their social media like Facebook, Twitter etc.
# 2: Personal Profiles 👤
To build long-lasting relationships with your customers you’ll need Personal Profiles. In an application for online workout classes they may be helpful in many ways:
- Allow users to become a part of the community, follow other people and chat with them.
- Links all purchases (subscriptions, bought courses) to specific users.
- Store user’s personal data so he can continue his progress after some time (e.g. when he installs the app again or changes his device).
- Help users to keep track of their activity.
- Provide users with gamification elements like achievements, badges etc.
If you’re going to develop a workout streaming app where classes are sold separately (unlike Peloton which uses a subscription-based model), this screen may also be a place to access purchased courses.
# 3: Classes Flow 🏃♂️
Finally, we’ve got close to one of the core parts of your on-demand workout steaming classes app. Let’s see how you build it right.
The categories screen is one of the easiest and most “organic” ways for your users to explore the content. If you want to develop an app like Peloton, you may follow their way and create a separate screen for this purpose.
The main idea here is that Categories should be easily visible and reachable.
We’d also recommend complementing each category with an image to make it even more appealing to your users.
After opening the category, users will see the screen with relevant classes. And that’s when the next feature comes in handy.
Filtering & Sorting
Remember we’ve mentioned that Peloton has over 10,000 classes? But even if you make own online workout classes app like Peloton with just 200 on-demand classes it’s still a challenge.
Users won’t spend much time trying to find what they need. They will just leave. And it’s something we don’t want them to do, right?
The Filtering & Sorting feature is the key. The Peloton app provides its users with the following options:
|Filtering (what to show)||Sorting (what to show first)|
|⏱ By length (5; 10; 20; 30; 45; 60 mins)||🔥 Trending|
|🏋️♀️ By class type (special options for each category; e.g. bodyweight, chest & back, arms & shoulders for strength workouts)||👍 Popular|
|🦸♀️ By instructor||⭐️ Top rated|
|🧗♂️ By difficulty level||😎 Easiest|
|🎸 And even by music genre||🥵 Hardest|
Your on-demand cycling steaming classes app may have different filtering & sorting options but the list above seems reasonable enough to be considered.
When a suitable workout is found, users would like to know a bit more about it. Thus, during your workout & cycling streaming app development pay attention that each on-demand course can be opened for more information.
What should users see on that separate screen?
- Its name (e.g. 20 min Intervals Run).
- Instructor’s name (if you have more than 1).
- Short description.
- Needed equipment.
- Class plan with timing (warmup, list of exercises, cool down).
- Button to buy or play (if it’s free or has been already bought).
- The “Favourite” button to save course for later or add it to the list of the most liked ones.
Finally, the user will turn your workout on and enjoy 🙂
Featured is a completely another screen that works as the feed in social media apps. Also, this is the must-have if you want to make own online cycling classes app like Peloton because the guys have it, too.
What can you post here?
- New classes.
- The best (most popular) workouts from each category.
- Upcoming live training.
- Workouts based on their previous history (for example, running for runners).
- Everything that most of your users may find interesting and useful.
The main aim of this screen to attract users’ attention and make them interested in discovering and using your app even if they haven’t thought about it at the moment.
# 4: Live Classes Flow 🎥
Live workout sessions are one of the best things about Peloton. If you want to create an application for online workout classes with live training, this piece of functionality is quite important.
From the user perspective, they work almost the same way as the usual on-demand workouts. The main differences here are:
- It’s possible to join them only at a specific time.
- Obviously, users can’t fast forward them.
- You can see the list of other people watching this session with you and give them high five.
Before we move on, we wanted to note, that the Live Classes Flow isn’t considered by our Stormotion as a “Must Have” for the MVP stage. We’d recommend implementing it later on, once you have a good amount of DAU.
Let’s take a closer look at some specific elements.
In the Peloton app you can find the special Schedule screen.
That’s a very convenient tool that shows the list of all planned live sessions for the nearest two weeks. Thus, users are able to plan ahead so they will be available for training at the needed time.
It’s also needed to allow users “subscribing” to the session so they can later easily find it in their personal profile and receive reminders.
Live Session Details
Just like on-demand workouts, live sessions have a separate Live Class Details screen.
The content of this screen is almost the same, except for the “X days till start” field.
# 5: Payment Gateway 💸
To allow in-app purchases you’ll need to integrate a payment gateway. Without this, you will be able neither to sell separate on-demand courses nor subscriptions.
Checkout process (image by Paweł Szymankiewicz)
The requirements for this piece of functionality stay quite the same no matter whether you’re building a smart indoor cycling app or not. To put it short, they are:
- It should proceed transactions fast.
- It must keep users’ personal data safe.
- It should be convenient to use.
How to choose one? Check our guide on this topic.
# 6: Push Notifications 🔔
As always, Push Notifications are also on the MVP list. It’s a powerful retargeting tool to interact with both active users and ones who haven’t used the app for a while.
What are the reasons to build an app like Peloton with Push Notifications? For example, Push Notifications will be helpful in the following cases:
- To remind users about upcoming live workouts.
- To notify about new on-demand classes.
- To update users on their chats, new followers and other social activities.
- To encourage them to use the app if they were inactive for a while.
⚙️ Wearables Integration
According to eMarketer, the number of wearable devices continuously grows. By 2022, the quoter of the adult US population, which equals to 67 million people, will use wearables. The number is to go up from 45.8 million in 2017.
Moreover, wearables integration is especially expected by users of workout apps since most of the tracking devices were designed for fitness purposes. Such a feature will not only significantly improve the UX but also allow you to make your interaction even deeper and more customized.
The list of devices that can track biometric parameters isn’t limited to well-known fitness bands; it also includes heart sensors, compression sleeves etc.
Usually, manufacturers provide developers with APIs and SDKs. For example, everything you need to integrate Fitbit’s devices into your workout streaming app can be found here.
However, not every manufacturer has its own separate documentation. We faced such a situation when needed to integrate a specific heart rate sensor into a React Native mobile application.
The task was a bit challenging but we quickly found the right solution. Here it is: if you need to integrate any wearable device into your workout streaming or fitness application, use React Native BLE PLX library.
You can also check this guide on BLE-device integration.
Here’s what we’ve achieved after we went down that road:
What other tech tools can your team use to create a workout streaming app? Check out a few additional tips by the Stormotion Team!
🛠 Tech Stack to Develop a Workout Streaming App
- Some of the good payment gateways are Stripe, Braintree and Mangopay.
- To implement Push Notifications, you can use Firebase Cloud Messaging, OneSignal or Airship.
- You can use Facebook Mobile SDK in many different ways: to implement the Social Login, gather analytics, monetization, provide customers with support through Messenger etc.
- When working on a fitness app, our team also used Canner CMS so as to allow our client managing the content.
💸 Сost to Build an App like Peloton
As always, we couldn't help but provide you with an estimate of costs to develop a workout streaming app. However, keep in mind that this is only a rough calculation.
If you want to get a more accurate cycling streaming app development costs estimate, drop us a line and share some details of your Idea. Then our tech team will be able to provide you with more precise calculations.
So the rough cost to build a workout streaming app is about $26-33,000. We took an average hourly rate for Eastern Europe that is $40/hour. So the development costs for the same project will dramatically raise if you hire developers from Western Europe or North America.
Moreover, your own Project may (and likely will) contain a little bit different set of features - that's why an accurate estimate can be given only after a conversation.
These were our insights on how to make own online workout classes app like Peloton. Hope you found this guide helpful and will use it when preparing an MVP-Backlog for your own project.
Let’s briefly recall the main features of an on-demand workout steaming classes app:
- Sign Up;
- Personal Profiles;
- Offline On-Demand Classes;
- Live Classes;
- Wearables Integration;
- Payment Gateway;
- Push Notification.
Looking for the Parter-in-Crime to help you with development? Share your idea with us and we’ll be ready to assist you at all stages!