Samsung is teaming up with six fitness brands to present their apps via the brand’s smart TVs, including the 2018 and 2019 models and the most current sets.
The move comes, obviously, as social distancing rules keep people away from health clubs and stuck at home.
The smart TV apps package gives consumers over 5,000 hours and 250 separate titles of free at-home wellness content to choose from, ranging from cycling and rowing videos to barre classes and meditation sessions.
The companies working with Samsung are Barre3, Calm, Echelon, Fitplan, Jillian Michaels Fitness and Obé Fitness.
Samsung is making some of the apps available in several countries, but in a more limited degree.
“As our community grapples with unprecedented disruptions to their daily routines, it is important for homebound consumers to have access to free high-quality health and wellness offerings,” said Salek Brodsky, vice president of strategic partnerships and business development for Samsung Electronics.
The fitness package jumps the gun on the more coordinated new Samsung Health app that hasn’t yet launched, but will include those wellness brands among others. Samsung Health will be available only on new Samsung Smart TV sets and will include some features that aren’t free.
The company says the Samsung Health feature on the new sets will adapt to “each consumer’s unique schedule.” The new app was in the spotlight at this year’s CES tech show in Las Vegas.
The Samsung free health apps point to a conundrum of sorts. Some of the help companies offer during the pandemic inevitably creates problems for other companies.
For example, health clubs may be among the biggest losers in the aftermath of the virus. It’s likely Americans will be on a tighter budget and many will abandon the gym just to cut costs, or learn at-home substitutes. As early as a month ago, guides to coping with the economic fallout from the pandemic often included instructions on how to get out of health club memberships.
According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, there are almost 40,000 of those locations nationwide, which employ more than 425,000 people. Many fitness clubs and instructors have turned to YouTube and other video venues to create virtual workouts as a way to stay afloat.