Strava is doing a great job, thanks to the pandemic

Until a few years ago, the physical activity tracking app Strava was known mostly by amateur cyclists and runners, who appreciated it to record, analyze, share and compare their workouts: They usually play these sports, and have continued to be successful in dozens of countries even after the lockdowns ended. According to some studies, fitness apps of this type have their advantages and they work for several reasons: Strava, in particular, seems to continue to perform thanks to some distinct characteristics.

according to data Provided by the company that runs Strava, which allows you to track your route during a workout via GPS, in 2020, the app was used by about 2 million additional people each month (it currently has about 100 million users). In the same year, its turnover increased by 75 percent compared to the previous year, reaching nearly 100 million dollars (88 million euros): a success due in particular to users who decided to download the paid version of the application. A cost of about $60 per year (also €59.99 in Italy) provides additional features, such as suggestions about itineraries to follow or training plans.

From September 2020 to September 2021, Strava users ran nearly 3.9 billion kilometers: 800 million kilometers more than were covered in the same period between 2019 and 2020 and more than double those run in 2018 (1.4 billion). The kilometers traveled by cyclists who control their activity on the application has also increased significantly, which in 2021 was about 16 billion, an increase of three billion from 2020 and much more than 9 billion traveled in 2019.

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These are remarkable results, considering that in the past two years gyms and sports centers have been closed for long periods and that millions of people have had to limit their movements due to the restrictive measures introduced to contain the spread of infection, such as closures, curfews and quarantines.

Other fitness apps for working out at home have also been very successful initially during the pandemic, but not all of them have performed as well as Strava.

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One of them was Peloton, a US company that sells stationary bikes and treadmills that cost thousands of dollars and offers remote, streaming, and subscription-based fitness classes. as note BloombergInitially, there were so many orders for Peloton tools (and course subscriptions, which can be done with or without their products) that the company had to delay delivery for months; But then users who signed up began to decline since last summer, with the gradual easing of restrictions.

Strava CEO, Michael Horvath He explained That in 2021 the company’s turnover grew by another 68 percent compared to the previous year: that’s a turnover of nearly $170 million annually, with nearly 3 million users signed up.

A graphic of two elephants looking at each other was obtained by tracing the path taken by Strava user in England (Anthony Hoyte / Cover Images via ANSA)

Horvath says there has been no waning of interest in Strava in recent months.

Unlike other similar fitness apps, Horvath said, Strava works both indoors and out, and best of all it’s OK because it has a huge community of loyal users who have made it a bit of a social network. Among other things, during lockdown periods, users were able to compare their results on the app by running a virtual marathon. Many then started using it again during the traditional marathons that took place after restrictions were relaxed (41 percent of the nearly 33,000 people who ran in the New York Marathon in November signed up for Strava, so it represented more than half of those who ran in the London Marathon in October) .

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In addition, according to Horvath, the company is doing well not so much because it has increased the number of active users, but in particular thanks to people who have chosen to sign up for an additional service: a successful model that in recent years seems to have convinced many people to pay to take advantage of the services The most diverse technology offered through apps, such as Netflix, Spotify or Zoom video calling app.

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In 2021, there has been a sharp increase in the use of fitness app and smartwatches Garmin, a well-known brand also in Italy; And only in October 2021 Fitbit He earned $2.25 million from downloads of his app from the Google Play Store.

according to one studio Recently Posted in British Journal of Sports Medicine, Nearly a third of adults in the US and UK use fitness apps, and it will help those who do use them to take an average of 1,850 extra steps per day. In general, it allows you to easily measure your progress and according to many it helps to motivate yourself: in fact, it allows you to compare yourself with others and stimulate competition thanks to gamification, i.e. the ability to make each activity a game, a challenge, something with obstacles to overcome and rewards to be obtained.

Horvath noted that at this time of year, downloads also tend to increase as a result of the greater freedoms one enjoys during the Christmas holidays and good New Year’s resolutions, i.e. what he called the “new year phenomenon”. In that sense, the company’s goal is to ensure that new users are able to continue to be engaged and active after January 17, the date jokingly called “the day of those who give up” at the company’s San Francisco headquarters.

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Queenie Bell

"Introvert. Avid gamer. Wannabe beer advocate. Subtly charming zombie junkie. Social media trailblazer. Web scholar."

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