Video Fitness Startup Grokker Launches An iOS App

Sara Alix

Video fitness startup Grokker is one of a large new group of startups aimed at helping people get fit. After offering up a wide variety of videos online, the company today is rolling out an iOS app that will now let users stream fitness content to their mobile devices.

Grokker was founded out of the personal frustration of former eBay and Yahoo exec Lorna Borenstein while on vacation a few years ago. She was in Maui with her family and wanted to get her yoga on, but didn’t want to drive 35 minutes to the nearest studio. After searching YouTube for a while in search of a decent yoga workout, Borenstein decided there was a market for a curated group of professionally produced fitness videos and Grokker was born.

“Finding quality videos on YouTube is like finding a needle in a haystack. There’s a real content discovery problem,” Borenstein told me by phone.

Grokker hopes to solve that problem with a collection of more than 3,500 cooking, yoga, and fitness videos designed to appeal to users of varying fitness and skill levels.

It works on a freemium model, with 1,000 of those videos available as part of a Grokker subscription. For those videos, the company hand-selects instructors and does all the production in-house to ensure high-quality videos.

Grokker hasn’t been around for a long time, but early results have been positive: It has doubled membership every quarter over the past year, and 20 percent of its members are from outside the U.S.

More importantly, users are pretty highly engaged. Members watch 30 minutes of video each week on average, and they generally watch videos across multiple categories rather than just stick to one. Nearly 30 percent of videos in December were either shared, commented on, “loved,” or marked as “I Did This.”

More than half of Grokker’s members are already watching its videos on mobile phones or tablets, which is why it makes sense for the company to introduce its own app.

The new iOS app features all the same content that’s available on the company’s website, but it has a couple of features designed to appeal to mobile users. Most notably, the iOS app integrates with Apple’s HealthKit, which enables the app to add calories burned after users complete a workout.

The app also keeps track of videos users have completed or saved for later in your “My Videos” tab, as well as a feed to show users new content that has been added. Users can also ask instructors questions and receive push notifications when they respond.

Finally, the app has Airplay integration to enable users to stream videos from their mobile devices to their TV via Apple TV.

Getting its app on iPhones and iPads is the company’s first move onto new devices, but it’s unlikely to be the last. Android devices, as well as a wide range of video apps on devices like Roku and other connected TVs, will probably be coming soon.

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