For fitness aficionados and those just looking to get in a workout, several online platforms have emerged to help them bring home the gym experience. But NEOU Co-founder Nathan Forster found that existing offerings forced consumers to buy expensive equipment and lacked a great user experience. “I truly felt like the real Netflix of wellness did not exist, and we wanted to build it,” Forster told PYMNTS in an interview.
Forster said that his company, NEOU, does two things: For starters, it brings content and trainers to consumers in one place with the goal of providing a great user experience. At the same time, his platform allows fitness trainers to reach consumers and grow their digital brands. Forster noted that there are many talented trainers who might teach classes for other fitness brands or who have trouble scaling their own brands. He has an active talent acquisition team that is on the lookout for trainers to bring onto his platform, and is particularly on the hunt for people who bring transformation.
“We want talented people who want to help other people change their lives,” he said. Forster also allows those who are interested in joining the platform to send the company a note, and some trainers have reached out via social media.
To qualify to join the platform, trainers have to offer a great performance on camera, be passionate about what they do and have a meaningful brand. Forster said his company works on the Netflix model, aiming to have something for everyone, spanning many age groups. (His nine-year-old niece, his grandmother and Forster himself all use the service, which shows its cross-generational appeal.)
Multi-Platform Fitness Classes
Through its efforts to offer something for everyone, NEOU includes classes in several different disciplines, ranging from boxing to barre. The subscription service is available through several different mediums, such as Apple TV, Roku, Android, iOS and the web in general. “It really is usable anywhere,” Forster said.
The classes are designed to allow consumers to use equipment they have already have. If consumers have dumbbells, for instance, they can search for live or on-demand classes that use dumbbells. They can also search for live or on-demand classes that don’t require fitness equipment at all. The idea is to lower the barriers to getting people moving and enabling them to start without shelling out money on fitness equipment.
When it comes to Forster’s target market, he thinks his service has a broad reach, but will likely have a similar target demographic to other companies in the wellness space. He sees a typical customer as someone between the age of 21 and 50 who works out one to two times per week.
Forster also has a functioning brick-and-mortar gym in New York City, where instructors film content with real customers taking the classes. The 20,000-square-foot space has three different studios with dynamic lighting and projector systems that can allow instructors to personalize their studios to fit their own brands, with the goal of making users feel like they are in a class when they are at home.
Going forward, Forster hopes to bring the concept to other markets and to introduce more content, such as classes focused on kids, among other offerings. Overall, he aims to show that subscriptions can serve an array of consumers looking to get in their workouts with a virtual class that makes them feel like they are in the studio.