Join fitness industry experts, in collaboration with IHRSA and REX Roundtables, for a monthly talk show featuring current events, industry news, and hot topics.

Talks & Takes: Knowing Your Technology, Music Lawsuits, & More [VIDEO]

In this month’s episode, the hosts discussed knowing your gym’s data, why you need to perform a compliance audit on your business, and more.

This edition of Talks and Takes with fitness industry experts Brent Darden, Bill McBride, Sara Kooperman, and Blair McHaney, in collaboration with IHRSA and REX Roundtables, covered important topics including how data can help your business in 2022, wellness trends that your members are interested in, and why music lawsuits are on the rise.

In this episode, hosts covered important topics including:

  • 1:28 Technology to Change Your Business
  • 8:50 Trends to Know About
  • 14:31 Lawsuits on the Rise, Run a Tight Ship
  • 20:05 Online is Down, In-Person is Up
  • 25:48 Media Report
  • 32:08 MINDBODY State of the Fitness Industry Report
  • 37:33 Training New Employees and Staff
  • 42:22 "Pre"Habbing
  • 49:48 GYMS Act

The Talks & Takes show and the team will be back in 2022.

How Technology and Data Can Help Your Business in 2022

The show kicked off with a video on technology and how it can change your business. Sara said, “You've got to know your technology. You've got to know your customer. You've got to put the cloud at the center. And this means that you have to look at your businesses and think about hiring a developer.”

Sara stressed that data is key. “You have to collect this data because a lot of us rely on our ability to predict what's going to happen next. We know who our members are, who our members were, who our potential clients are—and if we can better predict, we can then guide our marketing and hopefully guide us into 2022 successfully,” she said.

Bill noted that you might want to consider partnering with a developer or hiring someone like ABC Fitness Solutions to integrate a tech stack.

Blair added that data integration is critical for our industry and the reason technology companies need to have really good API's to get costs down. He also noted that no matter who you are, you need to know your customer. “It's inexcusable to not know your customer, no matter the size of your organization,” he said.

Blair also stressed that data visualization is so critical. “I don't care how much you track and how many different spreadsheets you have. You're not going to process the complexity of how that data interacts with each other until you get it in really good data visuals,” he added.

22 New Wellness Trends and How to Apply Them to Your Business

Bill reviewed an article from Better Up that broke down 22 wellness trends into six dimensions of wellness:

  1. Emotional

  2. Occupational/Financial

  3. Physical

  4. Social

  5. Intellectual/Mental

  6. Spiritual

Talks takes two women in pool pexels column

From the 22 wellness trends, Bill also highlighted a few things:

  • Hydrotherapy, cryotherapy, and all touchless services are trending. You can even do touchless facials now. People are interested in touchless spa services.

  • Immunity is bigger than ever. People are focusing on optimizing their immune system including foods and functional foods for the immune aspect and this is an opportunity for our industry.

  • Mental wellness is more widely accepted and focused on. We’ve been talking about this space for a long time. Our industry is doing things in this space but the important thing to note is that people are now more accepting of it. It’s talked about and less people are as embarrassed about it. You should be encouraging mental well-being with members and staff.

Bill concluded with, “If you're not focused on wellness, you're going to miss opportunities that your consumers are looking for.”

Lawsuits Are on the Rise and Here’s Why You Need to Pay Attention

Blair told the story of Gymshark, a fitness apparel company, that is being sued by Sony for synchronization rights.

Synchronization happens any time audio and visuals are synced up together. You have to get the rights per song, Blair explained.

“This is so important because during the pandemic we did a lot more online, a lot more virtual recording of classes, and all of that is susceptible to synchronization rights,” said Blair.

Briefing Paper Music Licensing Cover

Music Licensing in the United States

The U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 makes it illegal to play copyrighted material in your club without the consent of the copyright owner. Here’s what you need to know about music licensing in your club.

Learn More

Sara added, “During this pandemic, they loosened up. They let instructors just play the music, they let clubs play whatever they wanted with their hybrid programs for online, on-demand, and livestream. They let it glide by because they thought this pandemic was gonna end and now they want money for it.”

Sara noted that synchronization is also blending different artists and songs together. “It's the integration of songs together that they don't want to have happen and synchronization rights will cost you $150,000 per song that's integrated, whereas unlicensed music is about $3,500 a song,'' said Sara.

“Synchronization was the way for them to make more money and this is scary for our health club market. They also noted influencers are also liable, and that includes your instructors. So you've got to be careful what you're doing as a club owner,” she added.

Bill reminded the audience that lawsuits are on the rise. “It goes beyond just the music stuff. This is a good time to do a compliance audit on everything that you have exposure to such as your insurance, compliance, licensing, labor laws, and posters. Everything. This is a great time for a compliance audit,” he said.

Sara also shared that there are legal ways to get music through Power Music, Yes! Fitness Music, and Muscle Mixes Music, which are essentially cover songs and keep you from violating any music rights.

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Elizabeth Studebaker

Elizabeth Studebaker focuses on new business marketing and employee engagement and advocacy for the Active Wellness organization. She has over 10 years of fitness marketing expertise and has been a speaker for IHRSA and served on the Medical Fitness Association Marketing Committee. She works out of her home office in the Bay Area and stays active by taking Active GO virtual classes or chasing around her 1.5-year-old son.