$8.99/month?! Did Bodybuilding.com Just Switch to a Paid Model for Training Plans?!

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$8.99/month?! Did Bodybuilding.com Just Switch to a Paid Model for Training Plans?!
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#1

Are they serious here?

Have they completely forgotten what made them so popular in the first place?!


#2

That’s just ridiculous … who needs those bs plans when the real gold is hidden in their user forums full of quality tips & tricks if you search for it


#3

Yeah, just this week. Corporations gonna corporate


#4

The only program I think worth paying for through them would be PH3. It sucks that it used to be free and then seemingly out of nowhere it’s behind a paywall now.


#5

The microtransaction model has been so successful in every industry it’s implemented in, it is only a matter of time before it takes root EVERYWHERE.


#6

Just tried to email my contact over at BBcom. Email bounced.

This company is in literal freefall.


#7

It’s not pretty, but Wayback still has it:

https://web.archive.org/web/20171026131104/https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ph3-layne-norton-power-and-hypertrophy-trainer.html

Several dates are archived. You can probably cobble the workout together and save it to your computer


#8

But I need that stoppani drink my products program… no more stoppani gainz:


#9

Exactly. Netflix did the same thing among others. Amazon has a type of paywall with Prime. Gyms do the same thing with free 3-7 days passes.

No one likes paying for something that has been free before, so the backlash is expected. Big picture, $9 a month is equal to maybe 2 Starbucks coffees or 3 energy drinks, which most people don’t even think twice about spending.


#10

Well, there’s always YouTube for exercise programs :grimacing:


#11

Mike, comin’ through with the archive.org tech! :sunglasses:


#12

Have you ever tried that program ?


#13

while i agree with you, they still have a long way to fall…

this was a horrible move, too.


#14

Below is what I sent to CJ regarding the matter, hoping he’ll put together some kind of YouTube with our team’s opinions:


CJ, throw down your opinions, but here’s some of what you can say:


We spoke to industry consultant, Joshua Schall, who had this to say:

The approach of being a content company that sold supplements worked for over a decade but they did not create a way to increase switching costs. They chose to battle their biggest competitor on pricing when that competitor could operate at a loss for years on the category with little to no worry to P/L.

Content though is not more accepted to be paid for if the value justifies it. If its just the same plans that used to be free, people are going to be upset. This “freemium” option could be bundled with other “special” offers that could be packaged into a valuable item. I think they would need to go full on Liberty Media mode though with maybe vlog tv shows, podcasts, etc. that are exclusive to BB.com.

Just some general thoughts off the top of my head. CJ needs help tomorrow let me know. I could try and head up to meet for a video if that adds some meat to the content.

My take: like McCandless said on our Facebook, they gotta do SOMETHING. Might as well make some money for doing basically nothing - it’s pure profit.

But this will obviously not fill the gap – they will never be a billion dollar revenue company again. Liberty Media will probably sell this eventually, taking a serious loss, and there’s no stopping that train.

Their launch was also a terrible approach. People got cut off in the middle of their workout cycles, there was no press, and I don’t think there’s enough value-add to justify monthly fees, unless they seriously start pounding the pavement and building better stuff like Josh said above. I don’t know if I see them really doing that, to be honest.

Now let’s talk big picture and history.

The biggest and baddest companies are platforms, not just stores or simple applications. iPhone isn’t just a phone, it’s a whole platform/ecosystem of apps. Bodybuilding had a platform for community, but they could never figure out how to actually make money on it.

In fact, over time, they neutered their forums, and they allowed their review system to get gamed. They allowed their awards to get gamed by pay for play. And everyone saw RIGHT through it.

So they are the Twitter of this industry - closed off and unable to compete because they are trying to control everything rather than foster an ecosystem / marketplace (both digital and physical). Everyone knows about them, and nobody likes them. Just like Twitter.

Plus, they’re simply not giving the users what they want, which is more hardcore products. But can we blame them for that? They’ve been busted for steroids before and don’t want to go back down that road. But you and I both know that they see those MESOMORPH searches in their search bar, and the ensuing bounce rate when they have nothing to sell that competes.

Meanwhile, the most successful places have better celebrity presence… and they fucked it up with that terrible Stoppani contract, and their replacement was… LAYNE NORTON? LOL.

So they’re screwed. They couldn’t see the future, and they are too big to take crazy risks. They’re in no mans land, so back down to earth they come.

…

As for the workout plans, the pro’s know where to get theirs, and the beginners want free stuff on YouTube. So the market is smaller than you’d hope. It’ll profit, but it won’t fill the gap. But I defer to CJ how GOOD the content is.

…

Also, I emailed my contact there for comment, and his email bounced. Attrition and layoffs are brutal. This is a company in freefall.


#15

This pay per month has definitely caused a big stir. I was in the GNC yesterday looking for Pina Colada Bang, which they didn’t have and the employee asked if I saw that BB.com was charging a monthly fee now. I said yes. So it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the future. Whether they stop the charging or keep it.


#16

a GNC employee, with a clue? Did you also see Bigfoot? :slight_smile:


#17

Those free workout plans, mainly the ones from Kris Gethin were how I got my start into bodybuilding and working out. That’s why I loved bodybuilding.com. I quit ordering from them a long time ago. I ONLY used their site for their workout plans. Kris Gethin and his workout trainers are very informative and helpful. It’s sad to see such a great thing come to an end. If I won’t spend my money buying supplements from them anymore, what makes them think I’ll pay for their programs? According to Kris Gethin, they sent out emails to everyone who signed up for and were in the middle of a trainer on their website. I don’t think they did because I didn’t get one


#18

Hey, I used to work at GNC! Wait… yeah you’re right.