The global fitness app market was valued at USD 3.28 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21.8% during the forecast period. The key factors responsible for the fitness app market include rising internet penetration across the globe, growing adoption of wearable devices, and increased proliferation of fitness and meditation apps coupled with innovative promotional strategies.
Health and fitness apps in the market are continuing to gain popularity among millennials. As per the Flurry data, the category witnessed a growth of over 87 percent, compared to other categories, and app usage two times higher. Consumer Technology Association (CTA) survey results showed that around 30 percent of the regular internet adult users are intended to buy the fitness app in the following year. These apps are downloaded mostly during the winter holidays, the users, particularly in the U.S. have new year resolutions to get fit.
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The recent surge in the fitness app market is attributed to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which restricted people from going out due to nationwide lockdowns. Before the outbreak, half of the smartphone subscribers were using fitness apps, this number surged quickly during the lockdown and reached 75 percent, and around 4 in 10 or 38 percent of users reported use of handset for fitness and nutrition during COVID-19. People during the lockdown, were more exposed to promotional campaigns in social media, particularly, through market influencers. This enabled the user to go for in-house physical activities, like, jogging, yoga, simple workout, and breathing exercises.
Moreover, according to the WHO, the population aged over 60 years will reach from 12 to 22%, between 2015 and 2050. This demographic shift is expected to present new challenges for health systems and governments, as geriatrics are more subjected to mental, physiological, and social issues, compared to younger ones. Thus, increasing penetration of fitness apps among the older population, particularly in developed countries provides these aging populations with cost-efficient, quality, and sustainable solutions.
The market is primarily segmented on the basis of type, by platform, by device type, and geographic region.
By Device Type
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Based on the type, the global market is categorized into workout & exercise apps, disease management, lifestyle management, nutrition & diet, and medication adherence. In 2020, the workout & exercise apps market segment accounted for the largest share. An increasing number of obese people across the globe primarily responsible for such a huge revenue share. These apps simplify the process of daily calorie intake by customizing micro-nutrient needs of fat and carbohydrates through customized health plans.
Big industry players are showing interest in the market segment, recently, in November 2020, Apple introduced the fitness subscription service “Fitness+” at a monthly subscription of USD 9.99 per month. The service will include virtual fitness classes to utilize metrics from apple watch. It will benefit people with a wide range of physical activities at home, during COVID-19.
The lifestyle management market segment is expected to register the fastest growth rate over the study period. Growing demand for portable health tracking platforms led to lifestyle management among users. For instance, in March 2019, Fitbit introduced four wearables ranging around USD 70 to 160, for routine lifestyle tracking. The company re-designed the app to enable users to connect with the social community to compare and evaluate other user’s health metrics.
Based on the device type, the global market is bifurcated into smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices. In 2020, the smartphone market segment accounted for the largest share. The high share is due to a surge in smartphone users seeking connected fitness and healthcare. According to the market statistics published by the Pew Research Center (PRC), the smartphone penetration rate is surging at a rapid pace. The highest smartphone penetration rate was recorded in South Korea (95 percent), followed by Israel (88 percent) and the Netherlands (87 percent) and only 49 percent of people use social media in such countries, and around 50 percent active browsers.
Geographically, the global market is bifurcated into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and MEA. North America is the largest revenue contributor followed by Europe and the Asia Pacific region. In 2020, the North American region accounted for over 45 percent of the global market.
The growth in the North America market is driven by growing awareness regarding fitness, daily health monitoring, and the rising number of partnerships among players. For instance, in April 2019, Google partnered with Apple and introduced the Google Fit app on its iOS platform. The platform offers fitness goals based on the recommendations of reputed healthcare organizations, like WHO and the American Heart Association.
Gallup survey, says, over 45 percent of U.S. citizens tried fitness healthcare apps. Moreover, as per a market survey done by Statista, the number of fitness app users increased from 62.7 to 87.4 million users, by 2020. In the Q1 of 2020, there were 593 million app downloads and expected to reach 656 million by the end of the year.
The prominent players operating in the marketplace are MyFitnessPal Inc., Apple Inc., Google, Dom and Tom, Motorola Mobility LLC, Grandapps, Fitbit, Azumio, WillowTree, Inc., and HealthifyMe.