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The Leisure Media Company Ltd | Fit Tech promotion
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.

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
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The future of sports and fitness are dependent on the climate. Our goal is to positively influence the future of our planet by instilling a global vision of wellbeing and a sense of collective action
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We don’t just create the technology and bail – we support our clients’ ongoing hybridisation efforts
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When you’re undertaking fitness activities, unless you’re on a stationary bike, in most cases it’s not safe or necessary to be tied to a screen, especially a small screen
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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.

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
Gallery
More features
Editor's letter

Into the fitaverse

Fitness is already among the top three markets in the metaverse, with new technology and partnerships driving real growth and consumer engagement that looks likely to spill over into health clubs, gyms and studios
Fit Tech people

Ali Jawad

Paralympic powerlifter and founder, Accessercise
Users can easily identify which facilities in the UK are accessible to the disabled community
Fit Tech people

Hannes Sjöblad

MD, DSruptive
We want to give our users an implantable tool that allows them to collect their health data at any time and in any setting
Fit Tech people

Jamie Buck

Co-founder, Active in Time
We created a solution called AiT Voice, which turns digital data into a spoken audio timetable that connects to phone systems
Profile

Fahad Alhagbani: reinventing fitness

Alexa can help you book classes, check trainers’ bios and schedules, find out opening times, and a host of other information
Opinion

Building on the blockchain

For small sports teams looking to compete with giants, blockchain can be a secret weapon explains Lars Rensing, CEO of Protokol
Innovation

Bold move

Our results showed a greater than 60 per cent reduction in falls for individuals who actively participated in Bold’s programme
App analysis

Check your form

Sency’s motion analysis technology is allowing users to check their technique as they exercise. Co-founder and CEO Gal Rotman explains how
Profile

New reality

Sam Cole, CEO of FitXR, talks to Fit Tech about taking digital workouts to the next level, with an immersive, virtual reality fitness club
Profile

Sohail Rashid

My vision was to create a platform that could improve the sport for lifters at all levels and attract more people, similar to how Strava, Peloton and Zwift have in other sports
Ageing

Reverse Ageing

Many apps help people track their health, but Humanity founders Peter Ward and Michael Geer have put the focus on ageing, to help users to see the direct repercussions of their habits. They talk to Steph Eaves
App analysis

Going hybrid

Workout Anytime created its app in partnership with Virtuagym. Workout Anytime’s Greg Maurer and Virtuagym’s Hugo Braam explain the process behind its creation
Research

Physical activity monitors boost activity levels

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have conducted a meta analysis of all relevant research and found that the body of evidence shows an impact
Editor's letter

Two-way coaching

Content providers have been hugely active in the fit tech market since the start of the pandemic. We expect the industry to move on from delivering these services on a ‘broadcast-only’ basis as two-way coaching becomes the new USP
Fit Tech People

Laurent Petit

Co-founder, Active Giving
The future of sports and fitness are dependent on the climate. Our goal is to positively influence the future of our planet by instilling a global vision of wellbeing and a sense of collective action
Fit Tech People

Adam Zeitsiff

CEO, Intelivideo
We don’t just create the technology and bail – we support our clients’ ongoing hybridisation efforts
Fit Tech People

Anantharaman Pattabiraman

CEO and co-founder, Auro
When you’re undertaking fitness activities, unless you’re on a stationary bike, in most cases it’s not safe or necessary to be tied to a screen, especially a small screen
Fit Tech People

Mike Hansen

Managing partner, Endorphinz
We noticed a big gap in the market – customers needed better insights but also recommendations on what to do, whether that be customer acquisition, content creation, marketing and more
More features