Do Fitness Apps Survive Past New Year’s Resolutions?

A fad or a catalyst for long-term lifestyle changes? Answers vary greatly in the myriad of fitness app reviews, health advice and business news. Here at 7Park Data, we put opinions, value judgments and predictions aside, focusing instead on user data to spot recent trends in consumer behavior in the United States. Looking at our multi-million user panel, we observed overall growth in daily active users of fitness apps from July 2014 through February 2016. We chose to look at daily engagement because of wearable fitness apps, where tracking daily usage is important.

Apps of Note

After capturing a new wave of daily active users thanks to seasonal enthusiasm during December-January period, Fitbit maintained its user engagement at the new high level in 2015 and continued the trend of keeping post-season fitness converts in 2016.

Fitness apps with smaller market share of daily active users in our panel — Under Armour Record, Garmin, Strava, and UP by Jawbone — also retained their newly dedicated app users. The sustained growth and engagement we observed in our panel show fitness apps’ staying power.

Chart showing daily active users of fitness apps between June 2014 and February 2016.

We also saw an upward trend when comparing daily active user growth in Q1 2015 and Q1 2016 to date. Under Armour Record’s daily active users, as percent of our panel, grew by 606.6%, followed by Garmin Connect’s growth by 193.6% and Fitbit’s by 124.2%.

Infographic listing fastest growing fitness apps by daily active users between Q1 2015 to Q1 2016.

There are probably as many fitness apps as there are ways to track and measure movements, activities and fitness levels. In this particular snapshot, we highlighted fitness apps that have dispelled the expectation of post-seasonal drop in user engagement – they have retained new active users and sustained growth over time.

The competition in the fitness app world is fierce, complicated with a series of acquisitions by big sports brands. But whether consumers use the apps on their phones, wearables or as part of sports product experience, fitness apps are here to stay.

In our next post, we’ll take an in-depth look at the business of fitness apps and acquisition trends.

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