We're approaching the holidays, which means many of us are already planning our wish lists. There's only one thing I really want for Christmas---OK maybe two things---but one of them is that Netflix would start offering exercise videos. A few titles can still be ordered through the company's DVD service, but for the most part, a lot of the content designed to keep us active was pulled a few years ago and is now gone. You'd think the market would be there, which means we have one desire. We'd love Netflix to start streaming workout videos again.
If you head into your Netflix streaming account right now, you can search a lot of key terms related to working out. If you look in Sports & Fitness, for instance, it's going to be a lot about sports and very little fitness. Even the sports stuff that is there are scripted movies or sports-related documentaries, like Last Chance U. There are no Jillian Michaels specials or Denise Austin works. There are no cardio or strength training or pilates tapes, and there's no yoga or anything like that, as well. Even searching kids fitness won't get you anywhere.
Back in 2012, Netflix had some content that was available to help people exercise from the comfort of their own living rooms. Back in August of 2012, Netflix subscribers woke up and all of the content was gone. Netflix was pretty open about what happened with customers, noting that the license for the workout videos had expired. This happens all of the time with various Netflix deals. Over the past year in TV alone, we've learned that a slew of big shows and movies have been pulled from the streaming service to make room for original content, including Numb3rs, Chuck and Everybody Loves Raymond. The lack of exercise is just another byproduct of Netflix spending more on original programs than on syndicated ones.
The ideal situation would be to add a bunch of older workout videos and maybe even some originals. If cost not equaling demand was causing Netflix to rethink having workout videos available, I wonder if an addendum to the original package would make more sense. I'd personally be willing to pay an extra dollar or two a month to access a whole bunch of exercise programs on top of the originals and syndicated scripted programs that Netflix already has. Even if that's a niche market, you would think there would be money to be made there somewhere, especially if Netflix could charge a little extra for it, like an add-on.
Previously, Netflix had syndicated workout content available, but the streaming service has demonstrated an interest in original content and exclusivity deals. Given the constant interest in fitness, added to the growing number of up-and-coming names in the industry, Netflix seems like the perfect fit for some exclusive workout programs for beginners as well as intermediate and expert level at-home fitness. If Netflix can find an attractive fitness name to join the brand then that would be one more reason for people to subscribe, as well.
Clearly, I'm not involved in these sorts of decisions, but I do think there is an audience out there that used to use Netflix's fitness programs. I also think there is an audience out there who might be interested in checking them out, should there be a good variety in the workout programs or should Netflix start producing one or two fitness originals each month. Netflix has shown no inclination to re-add fitness to the programs the streaming service has offered in the four years since the last set of contracts expired.
Which leads us to say:
That's not too much to ask for, is it? While we wait, here's what Netflix has announced the subscription streaming service will be releasing in the new year.