Partnerships are important in life and in all types of endeavors. It turns out, that they are also crucial to growing your fitness streaming business. A partnership is an arrangement where two or more parties agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests. In fitness streaming, there are several types of partnerships you can leverage to grow your online fitness brand and fitness content. We are going to focus on the Licensee side of things for this article, covering these three areas:
Before we jump into the licensing side of things, let’s discuss three principles that should serve as the decisions making foundation for your partnership choices as a fitness creator. The first one is Content is King. This is important because your content is a representation of who you are as an artist, a creator, a brand, and a company. The licensee or partner you engage with should not change your representation but expand your content reach. The second principle is Connections are the Kingdom. Your goal is to use the content to create as many connections as you can with people, products, and partners as it expands your circle of influence. The third principle is Other Peoples Companies. Partnerships allow you to leverage other people’s reach and unique offerings while at the same time, filling gaps you may have with your content and company.
Your goal, is to build your fan base or kingdom. By partnering with other companies you can leverage their technology, marketing and sales resources and distribution networks. The most common distribution partnership is called content licensing. Content licensing is the distribution of media assets to any third party, generally for a fixed term, and for a fixed price. Put in other words, there are vast audiences of fitness consumers who are starving for content. Licensing companies take your content and distribute it through their channels to reach the consumers who want it and who are willing to pay for it. The resulting transactions create an extended fan base and revenue stream for you while giving the Licensor the inventory they need to meet the demand.
I recently sat down with Endophinz Executive Producer, Mike Donavanik, to discuss fitness content licensing. Mike is an international fitness streaming super star and producer. He outlined three content licensing paths that are available. While all of them are viable one needs to be aware that generally, the larger the potential distribution network, the smaller the fitness creators revenue share will be. Mike does not look at the license as a way to make a lot of money but as a way to expand the brand and reach into new circles of consumers he may have not otherwise reached with his content and brand.
Specialty Groups – Specialty Groups are targeted or niche markets with whom there is a direct alignment with your content. They can include hotels, corporate fitness companies, large corporations and fitness wearable and equipment brands. An example of this might be Mirror and the partnerships they create with brands to offer that content on their product. The upside with partnering with specialty groups is that you have a direct connection with the companies and the fitness consumers themselves. As a result, you have greater control of how the content is to be used and you receive most, if not all of the revenues that the partnership generates. The downside to specialty groups is that you need to find them. Unless you are already an international brand, you will need to spend time managing the entire marketing and sales process to get your foot in the door. That takes time and effort and of course, the associated opportunity cost. Which may be reasons to explore some of the fitness content licensors that are available.
Fitness Content Licensors / Aggregators – As the name implies, these companies are positioned as the middlemen who both acquire fitness content and then distribute it to specific markets and verticals. Two of the most well- known companies in this space are Wexer and Fitness on Demand. They provide not only the distribution network that will help your brand gain greater exposure, their technology creates curation and front end user experiences that would be difficult and costly for you to build and support yourself. The downside is that the revenue share percentage will most likely be lower than with a specialty group, but the number of potential fans could be much higher.
Broadcast TV – Companies like Verizon, Time Warner and Cox all provide fitness on demand channels. Rise to the top of your game, and you may be able partner with one of these giants. The upside is enormous with potentially millions of connections. The challenge is that you may have to provide a minimum threshold of content hours (100+) up front and have the production resources to maintain high quality capacity
Ultimately, the partnership path that you take for distribution will be a function of your vision, ambition and resources. But all paths allow you to increase your connections and grow your fan base. Regardless of revenue share, leveraging other people’s platforms and consumers makes sense! The reason why this makes sense is because of the “All Roads Principal”, derived from the ancient phrase, “All roads lead to Rome”. If you have built your core business correctly, then the consumers that discover and connect with you through the roads the licensors have built, may head back to you and your new and better content over time.
You, your content and your kingdom are all the center of your business world. The goal of your partnership strategy should be to ensure that all the paths that you create and all the connections that you build, lead back to you. All roads lead to your kingdom. The licensing and distribution partnerships that you create, regardless of their monetary impact, serve to guide the people that you reach and connect with back to your kingdom. There is a business principle known as the flywheel effect which states that businesses must exert a great deal of effort to get going, but once momentum builds, smaller but consistent inputs are necessary to keep it moving forward. Partnerships are a way that you can not only get your fitness streaming business flywheel to turn initially but to provide the consistent inputs at scale to help it build momentum.
Now that you have an understanding on how to view fitness content licensing, it is time to expand your content and brand reach. We work with or are connected to most all of the Licensors as well as license content with our customers and content we produce. If you are a Licensor and want to expand your catalog feel free to reach out and we can quickly evaluate the opportunity and align brands and content. I can be reached direct at BrianO@Endorphinz.Net or feel free to call us at (833) 227-4469.