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HCM People: Jean-Michel Fournier

CEO, Les Mills Media

In the long term, the fitness industry will utilise technological advances in augmented reality and holographic telepresence

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 11

What’s your story?
I dropped out of school aged 16 to become an electrician in a small village in the south of France, where I grew up. Not long after, I met a business leader who gave me a different perspective about the endless possibilities of life and the confidence that I could do more.

I went back to school, on to university and began my career during the tech boom, working at some of the world’s largest tech companies. Along the way, I’ve been fortunate enough to live and work in multiple countries.

I’ve always enjoyed having a rich blend of experiences and my whole journey has been about learning more, developing multiple skills and growing as a leader. Before joining Les Mills in 2017, I had Senior VP roles at large corporations such as United Health Group and Hewlett-Packard. I also co-founded several start-ups in Silicon Valley and am a strategic adviser for the French government, supporting the development of French start-ups abroad.

What does your role entail?
Most HCM readers are probably familiar with the Les Mills brand, but maybe less so with Les Mills Media – which is a division of Les Mills International. As CEO of Les Mills Media, I head our worldwide consumer business, the B2B and direct-to-consumer digital portfolio of products, as well as our worldwide music management.

One of my main focuses is our video streaming platform, Les Mills On Demand (LMOD), which lets consumers stream 800 workouts to any digital device. LMOD has seen significant growth in recent years and we’re expecting this category to have a huge impact on the future of fitness.

Why is this?
The two largest generations of fitness users, millennials and Gen Z, are the “anywhere and everywhere” generations, and they now make up 80 per cent of the entire fitness market.

This generation of ‘digital natives’ have grown up with technology seamlessly integrated into their day-to-day lives, so they’re evolving their needs and expectations for their fitness experiences.

In addition, the trend for fitness-at-home continues to grow and we know 85 per cent of club members also exercise at home, so our sector must evolve to meet these growing expectations for integrated fitness solutions.

How do you see this taking shape in the fitness industry?
With digital disruption and technology affecting every industry – especially fitness – we want to offer our club partners and their members a 360-degree fitness solution that seamlessly blends the physical and the digital.

We call it the “consumerisation of clubs”. It means virtually expanding the four walls of the traditional fitness facility and enabling members to exercise where and when they want.

How can clubs stay central to the fitness journey?
Clubs are the heartbeat of our industry, so we’re innovating to ensure they maintain a central role in the digital fitness experience.

That’s why we’ve partnered with Netpulse, so clubs can own their members’ fitness journey wherever and whenever they want to workout.

Clubs are able to offer members a co-branded LMOD subscription at a preferential rate, boosting member loyalty and keeping them in the habit of exercising even if they can’t make it to the gym.

With so many alternative ways to exercise, what does the future look like for live classes?
Because we’re social beings, the in-person experience will always be best. Live classes create retention, referrals and boost perception of value, but these can be augmented by technology to expand the club experience.

In the long term, the fitness industry will utilise advances in augmented reality and holographic telepresence, but science is a few years away from making this a reality for live classes.

In the near term, we can create more experiential live classes by combining great instructors with music and augmented video to create immersive virtual environments. Those who bridge the gap between the digital and physical world to offer an integrated fitness experience will be the big winners.

Looking further ahead, I believe Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be transformative for fitness. People want experiential workouts, personalisation, and smart recommendations to support their lifestyle, so AI will play a key role.

What most excites you about the impact of tech on fitness?
Our mission is to create a fitter planet, and the technologies we’ve talked about will have a key role in democratising fitness and taking it to the masses.

More features

Artificial intelligence

When you hear the words ‘artificial intelligence’, do you think of talking computers and helpful androids? Think again. We find out how AI can be used in fitness

Sight & sound

The audio visual aspect of your club is one of the biggest factors in keeping members motivated and engaged with your offering. So how can you optimise this? We asked four of the top audio visual suppliers in the industry for their tips
people

Jean-Michel Fournier

CEO, Les Mills Media
In the long term, the fitness industry will utilise technological advances in augmented reality and holographic telepresence
people

José Teixeira

SC Fitness, Portugal: head of customer experience
People often assume that those who pay more stay longer, but we don’t see this. What we see is that if you have PT you stay longer because you use more, not because you pay more
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Rachael Blumberg

Platefit: creator and founder
People know yoga, Pilates, HIIT and Barry’s Bootcamp, but many don’t know vibration training and it’s my intention, passion and purpose to make it available and bring it to the world
interview

Paul Juris

Director of sports science, Brooklyn Boulders
We’re trying to help people understand exactly how much effort they need to apply in order to get the best outcome, so they can do it over a long period of time and not burn out. The overall training effect is then much better

Body image

Will the body image debate define the future of fit-tech? Becca Douglas looks at the evidence
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Andrew Grill

Practical Futurist
Your marketing department will have to start writing ad copy for robots, not for humans. These digital agents will be gatekeepers, a bit like a PA. It’s already happening, so get ahead and start using it

The middle man

Many industries have aggregators so it makes sense for the health and fitness industry to have them too. Are they a force for the good, or could it become a case of the tail wagging the dog? Kath Hudson reports

Activelab 2019

Following the ActiveLab Live! finale at the recent Active Uprising conference, we take a look at startups that are using technology to help people become healthier and more active
people

Ben Keenan

SUF Cycling: commercial director
This isn’t a spin around the park: SUF Cycling requires participants to dig deep, which can push some people not used to HIIT out of their comfort zone
celebs

Chris Hemsworth

I believe we all have untapped potential. And we all need support to achieve our goals. Centr puts the world’s best in the palm of your hand, to help you develop a healthier body, stronger mind, and a happier life - CHRIS HEMSWORTH

Bio Hacking

Silicon Valley hacker Dave Asprey used his tech skills to gather the latest fitness kit to create a bio hacking boutique. Kath Hudson investigates

Tech upgrade

New technology is transforming the way the health and fitness industry functions and interacts with customers. Liz Terry catches up with operators around the industry for an update

Body Insights

Want to know your biological age or your bone density, or maybe get a 3D model printed showing your hard-won new biceps? The latest tech enables this and much more. HCM does a roundup of the new kit on the market for fitness testing and body scanning

Get upgraded

HCM asks the industry’s leading software suppliers about the new tech and software features you can look forward to getting your hands on in 2019

In-club Tech

What’s happening in the world of health club management software? We get the inside view from some of the best-known tech companies in the sector

How can clubs get the most out of virtual?

HCM’s Steph Eaves gets tips from our panel of experts

Cycle revolution

A new age of indoor cycling is upon us, characterised by a more diverse range of bikes and consumers. Steph Eaves breaks down the options in this two-part series

Body composition analysers

Body composition analysers are an excellent way to differentiate your club, as well as help your members get results. Kath Hudson reports
interview

Matthew Allison, Space Cycle

I want to build a social lifestyle brand that combines music and wellness to create something that inspires people. I want to change the way people think of working out, so it’s like going to a club or a concert

ActiveLab 2018: Meet the startups in fit-tech

Following the ActiveLab Live! finale at the recent Active Uprising conference, we take a look at startups seeking to solve some of society’s biggest challenges through technology designed to get people active

Smart and flexible member payments

Providing customers with the best member experience, while maximising revenue, is vital. We look at the latest in customer centric payment solutions

Health club management software

We asked some of the biggest names in health club management software to share their predictions for the future
Video Gallery
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The Best Product for the Best Clubs Read more
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Company profile: Legend Club Management Systems (UK) Ltd
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Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Fitness equipment
TRX Training: Fitness equipment
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Spa software
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Diary dates
03-05 Aug 2020
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore
30 Sep 2020
Exhibition Centre Cologne, Cologne, Germany
01-04 Oct 2020
Exhibition Centre, Cologne, Germany
07 Oct 2020
Palais Brongniart, Paris, France
features

HCM People: Jean-Michel Fournier

CEO, Les Mills Media

In the long term, the fitness industry will utilise technological advances in augmented reality and holographic telepresence

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 11

What’s your story?
I dropped out of school aged 16 to become an electrician in a small village in the south of France, where I grew up. Not long after, I met a business leader who gave me a different perspective about the endless possibilities of life and the confidence that I could do more.

I went back to school, on to university and began my career during the tech boom, working at some of the world’s largest tech companies. Along the way, I’ve been fortunate enough to live and work in multiple countries.

I’ve always enjoyed having a rich blend of experiences and my whole journey has been about learning more, developing multiple skills and growing as a leader. Before joining Les Mills in 2017, I had Senior VP roles at large corporations such as United Health Group and Hewlett-Packard. I also co-founded several start-ups in Silicon Valley and am a strategic adviser for the French government, supporting the development of French start-ups abroad.

What does your role entail?
Most HCM readers are probably familiar with the Les Mills brand, but maybe less so with Les Mills Media – which is a division of Les Mills International. As CEO of Les Mills Media, I head our worldwide consumer business, the B2B and direct-to-consumer digital portfolio of products, as well as our worldwide music management.

One of my main focuses is our video streaming platform, Les Mills On Demand (LMOD), which lets consumers stream 800 workouts to any digital device. LMOD has seen significant growth in recent years and we’re expecting this category to have a huge impact on the future of fitness.

Why is this?
The two largest generations of fitness users, millennials and Gen Z, are the “anywhere and everywhere” generations, and they now make up 80 per cent of the entire fitness market.

This generation of ‘digital natives’ have grown up with technology seamlessly integrated into their day-to-day lives, so they’re evolving their needs and expectations for their fitness experiences.

In addition, the trend for fitness-at-home continues to grow and we know 85 per cent of club members also exercise at home, so our sector must evolve to meet these growing expectations for integrated fitness solutions.

How do you see this taking shape in the fitness industry?
With digital disruption and technology affecting every industry – especially fitness – we want to offer our club partners and their members a 360-degree fitness solution that seamlessly blends the physical and the digital.

We call it the “consumerisation of clubs”. It means virtually expanding the four walls of the traditional fitness facility and enabling members to exercise where and when they want.

How can clubs stay central to the fitness journey?
Clubs are the heartbeat of our industry, so we’re innovating to ensure they maintain a central role in the digital fitness experience.

That’s why we’ve partnered with Netpulse, so clubs can own their members’ fitness journey wherever and whenever they want to workout.

Clubs are able to offer members a co-branded LMOD subscription at a preferential rate, boosting member loyalty and keeping them in the habit of exercising even if they can’t make it to the gym.

With so many alternative ways to exercise, what does the future look like for live classes?
Because we’re social beings, the in-person experience will always be best. Live classes create retention, referrals and boost perception of value, but these can be augmented by technology to expand the club experience.

In the long term, the fitness industry will utilise advances in augmented reality and holographic telepresence, but science is a few years away from making this a reality for live classes.

In the near term, we can create more experiential live classes by combining great instructors with music and augmented video to create immersive virtual environments. Those who bridge the gap between the digital and physical world to offer an integrated fitness experience will be the big winners.

Looking further ahead, I believe Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be transformative for fitness. People want experiential workouts, personalisation, and smart recommendations to support their lifestyle, so AI will play a key role.

What most excites you about the impact of tech on fitness?
Our mission is to create a fitter planet, and the technologies we’ve talked about will have a key role in democratising fitness and taking it to the masses.

More features

Artificial intelligence

When you hear the words ‘artificial intelligence’, do you think of talking computers and helpful androids? Think again. We find out how AI can be used in fitness

Sight & sound

The audio visual aspect of your club is one of the biggest factors in keeping members motivated and engaged with your offering. So how can you optimise this? We asked four of the top audio visual suppliers in the industry for their tips
people

Jean-Michel Fournier

CEO, Les Mills Media
In the long term, the fitness industry will utilise technological advances in augmented reality and holographic telepresence
people

José Teixeira

SC Fitness, Portugal: head of customer experience
People often assume that those who pay more stay longer, but we don’t see this. What we see is that if you have PT you stay longer because you use more, not because you pay more
people

Rachael Blumberg

Platefit: creator and founder
People know yoga, Pilates, HIIT and Barry’s Bootcamp, but many don’t know vibration training and it’s my intention, passion and purpose to make it available and bring it to the world
interview

Paul Juris

Director of sports science, Brooklyn Boulders
people are together on the climbing walls, cheering each other on, coaching each other, interacting, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. It’s a completely different environment from anything I’ve ever seen

Body image

Will the body image debate define the future of fit-tech? Becca Douglas looks at the evidence
people

Andrew Grill

Practical Futurist
Your marketing department will have to start writing ad copy for robots, not for humans. These digital agents will be gatekeepers, a bit like a PA. It’s already happening, so get ahead and start using it

The middle man

Many industries have aggregators so it makes sense for the health and fitness industry to have them too. Are they a force for the good, or could it become a case of the tail wagging the dog? Kath Hudson reports

Activelab 2019

Following the ActiveLab Live! finale at the recent Active Uprising conference, we take a look at startups that are using technology to help people become healthier and more active
people

Ben Keenan

SUF Cycling: commercial director
This isn’t a spin around the park: SUF Cycling requires participants to dig deep, which can push some people not used to HIIT out of their comfort zone
celebs

Chris Hemsworth

I believe we all have untapped potential. And we all need support to achieve our goals. Centr puts the world’s best in the palm of your hand, to help you develop a healthier body, stronger mind, and a happier life - CHRIS HEMSWORTH

Bio Hacking

Silicon Valley hacker Dave Asprey used his tech skills to gather the latest fitness kit to create a bio hacking boutique. Kath Hudson investigates

Tech upgrade

New technology is transforming the way the health and fitness industry functions and interacts with customers. Liz Terry catches up with operators around the industry for an update

Body Insights

Want to know your biological age or your bone density, or maybe get a 3D model printed showing your hard-won new biceps? The latest tech enables this and much more. HCM does a roundup of the new kit on the market for fitness testing and body scanning

Get upgraded

HCM asks the industry’s leading software suppliers about the new tech and software features you can look forward to getting your hands on in 2019

In-club Tech

What’s happening in the world of health club management software? We get the inside view from some of the best-known tech companies in the sector

How can clubs get the most out of virtual?

HCM’s Steph Eaves gets tips from our panel of experts

Cycle revolution

A new age of indoor cycling is upon us, characterised by a more diverse range of bikes and consumers. Steph Eaves breaks down the options in this two-part series

Body composition analysers

Body composition analysers are an excellent way to differentiate your club, as well as help your members get results. Kath Hudson reports
interview

Matthew Allison, Space Cycle

I want to build a social lifestyle brand that combines music and wellness to create something that inspires people. I want to change the way people think of working out, so it’s like going to a club or a concert

ActiveLab 2018: Meet the startups in fit-tech

Following the ActiveLab Live! finale at the recent Active Uprising conference, we take a look at startups seeking to solve some of society’s biggest challenges through technology designed to get people active

Smart and flexible member payments

Providing customers with the best member experience, while maximising revenue, is vital. We look at the latest in customer centric payment solutions

Health club management software

We asked some of the biggest names in health club management software to share their predictions for the future

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More news
Company profiles
Company profile: Legend Club Management Systems (UK) Ltd
Legend provides the leading software solution for driving improvements in leisure operations. We deliver savings ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Book4Time Inc.
Founded in 2004 by Roger Sholanki, Book4Time is a global provider of a cloud-based management ...
Video Gallery
How to use the MZ-Bodyscan
MyZone
The Best Product for the Best Clubs Read more
Get Fit Tech
Sign up for the free digital edition of Fit Tech magazine and the free weekly Fit Tech ezine
Sign up
Directory
Software
Book4Time Inc: Software
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Fitness equipment
TRX Training: Fitness equipment
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Spa software
ResortSuite: Spa software
Diary dates
03-05 Aug 2020
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore
30 Sep 2020
Exhibition Centre Cologne, Cologne, Germany
01-04 Oct 2020
Exhibition Centre, Cologne, Germany
07 Oct 2020
Palais Brongniart, Paris, France
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