The Shape of the Fitness app market

May, 28 2019

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With summer right around the corner and wellness goals in full effect, the fitness app market is welcoming an infusion of fresh blood in the form of eager new users. 



The global fitness industry has grown leaps and bounds over the last decade. Mobile apps in particular have transformed the workout experience and have become a focal part of most fitness enthusiasts’ daily routine.

Users seem to appreciate that such apps promote better eating habits by monitoring nutritional intake, encourage healthy competition by tracking progress, and foster social support by posting accomplishments on social media. Another major draw of fitness-focused apps is that they enable individuals to get involved in fitness despite hectic schedules, and typically at a much lower cost than they would generally pay for a conventional gym membership.  


Leader of the pack - MyFitnessPal

Tracking is all the rage and global market leader MyFitnessPal has embraced self-monitoring wholeheartedly. Priori Data records show that in 2019 so far, MyFitnessPal has generated almost $14 million from 7 million downloads, making it the highest grossing fitness app in the world. The US is the company’s largest market by a mile with over 70% of its total in-app sales originating from the region. Australia, UK and Canada are smaller but also key territories for the company.

As well as the usual diet tracking and exercise log, MyFitnessPal boasts a rich community forum for questions and advice. The app also adopts gaming elements to motivate users - a feature which is perhaps the most vital to its success.


In the slipstream - Sweat 

The Instagram famous Sweat app - co-created by fitness trainer and entrepreneur Kayla Itsines - has quickly risen to cult status in the three years since its launch. So far this year, the app has been downloaded on over 2 million devices and has brought in over $9 million in revenue globally, with the US contributing to over 50% of sales and 10% coming from Kayla’s home country of Australia.

Targeted at millennials, the Sweat app is a one-stop shop for women’s fitness, featuring not only Kayla’s own content but other trainers’ programs too across areas like yoga, pregnancy and gym workouts.


sweat reveWeekly Total Revenue for Sweat (iOS) 2018-date

Paying for steps - Sweatcoin 

A growing trend in digital fitness apps is the concept of rewarding users in digital currency for exercising more. London-based free app Sweatcoin taps into this trend by turning steps into digital currency that can be used for fitness gear, gift cards and workout classes in the app's marketplace.

Founded in 2016, Sweatcoin’s popularity began to spike in the summer of 2017 and by early September, it had become the most downloaded health and fitness app in the US on iOS and Google Play stores combined. At one point, it even overtook WhatsApp as the most popular application in the UK and US! 

This year, the app has been downloaded on over 6 million Android and Apple devices, with Spain alone accounting for 21% of all downloads.


fitness cmpareMyFitness Pal & SweatCoin Download comparison (iOS & GP) 2017-date


Train hard, feel good - Charity Miles

New-York based Charity Miles adopts a somewhat similar concept to Sweatcoin. For every mile users run, an amount is donated to charity by the app’s corporate sponsors. 58% of Charity Miles’ downloads in 2019 have emanated from the United States. The app’s second largest market is France, with 10% of downloads hailing from the Western European region.


A Healthy Outlook

A broader look at our data illustrates that over the past five months, the top 10 grossing apps within Apple App Store’s Health and Fitness category have raked in over $64 million globally.

Android users on the other hand appear to be more cautious with in-app spending; the collective earning figure of the top 10 grossing health and fitness apps in the Google Play Store stands at $20 million in 2019 to date. 

With fitness and health escalating further up the priority ladder, we expect that in future mobile apps shall serve as even more powerful extensions of gyms, personal trainers and expert professionals in helping customers achieve their holistic fitness goals. Watch this space!


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