Literally for YEARS now I’ve been swinging at the fences about getting Team Beachbody programs digitally. I’ve even asked the CEO in person at Q&A sessions when this was going to happen, and a couple of weeks ago they announced Beachbody On Demand. At one point I had a blog post talking about ripping DVD’s for personal use so when I traveled I could still stay true to my workouts and was asked to have the blog removed. I was so excited at a fitness person and technologist when they announced Beachbody on Demand……that is until I really read the details. There’s a few things I simply don’t like about it. The video makes it sounds great….but I have some thoughts.
How Do I Watch Beachbody On Demand?
To me as a technologist this is the EPIC part of the fail here. There is NO ‘Digital Download’, there is only streaming, so no internet….no videos. Also, how about all those people who will unknowingly max out their mobile data plans using the streaming option? How well will it work on Free hotel WiFi where in some cases video streaming is limited or even completely disabled! What about those people on residential internet where you have Fair Access Policies?
What I simply don’t understand is why, like the entire movie industry you don’t simply get a Digital download key when you purchase the DVD’s. It would seem to me that a purchase and a 1-time use expiring digital download key has been working for years now on movies. You’d get far better adoption and less issues if the content was downloadable one time for one data stream instead of constant over and over downloading.
If you cannot tell I feel that of everything, this was the least thought out decision.
What Programs Will be Available With Beachbody On Demand?
Well, here is the next part of the fail. According to the FAQ link about only the following will be available for unlimited streaming with a club membership.
- Brazil Butt Lift,
- Ten Minute Trainer
- ChaLEAN Extreme
- Asylum Vol 1,
- Tony One-on-One (vol 1)
- Hip Hop Abs
This is a very limited set of videos compared to what is currently available on DVD. Refer to the first point I make that you cannot get the new programs digitally via streaming or any content download. So, anything recent or newer (besides P90X3), your SOL. I’m curious how they are going to handle the newer programs or if things will only show up for streaming when it’s “getting old”.
Beachbody On Demand via Airplay…
So my wife has been able to beta test the service since she earned a place in success club. What I can say is at least watching the videos via Apple Airplay works from iOS and from OSX. That was a nice surprise to see that work, but I will say I’m just disappointed at the approach they are taking here. Streaming is nice…..but has a lot of technical limitations and they will only play via a browser not through any local app. I cannot say enough….just offer Digital Content Downloads like every other movie studio AND have streaming as well. All I am saying is that streaming a workout is a one trick pony, and the first time the stream freezes, skips, or otherwise gets wonky…you end up ruining your workout.
Beachbody On Demand Final Thoughts
Personally, I’ll stick to ordering DVD’s and ripping them for personal use when I travel or to use via Airplay so I can get the workouts I WANT anytime anywhere. Sadly I’ve offered tons of support and ideas over the years to them, but because I am not a founding coach, or million dollar earner, it falls on deaf ears. As an avid user of their programs and a technologist, I would have hoped for more from this launch. Yes it’s cool, but it’s missing a lot in my opinion.
Let’s see how this plays out in the end and if any of what I’m saying ends up being true or not, or if nobody cares. Don’t get me wrong I love streaming movies on my TV, every once in a while and now that I have Comcast Business I can do that. I know when I was in New Hampshire on DSL it would have been impossible, so my frustration is coming from a place of knowledge. Streaming is awesome….but it’s not always the best to me when doing a workout versus lying in bed watching a TV show or movie. I just see a bigger option for people with digital downloading instead of streaming.
UPDATED 3/23/15: Beachbody On Demand
So I was in a hotel last week and tried to give the streaming a shot. As expected, even with the “Upgraded” hotel high speed the performance and the streaming was less than spectacular. This is NOT a specific problem with the Beachbody On Demand hosting, but simply with the hotel internet. In my travel experience, hotel internet is always limited even when trying to use things like Netflix.
Also a friend of mine posted about how SnapChat is killing mobile data plans in the background, so I do expect to see people killing their data with this if they forget it is using it. Don’t get me wrong, I still think the IDEA of accessing Beachbody programs digitally is awesome. They even announced purchased content access is going to start up, I just think the delivery mechanism is limited based on your connection capabilities.
I’m off my soap box now. What are your thoughts on Beachbody On Demand Streaming? Comment below by all means