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Zumba’s New App Brings Dance Party On-Demand & In-Person

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The iconic dance fitness brand is flexing its DTC muscles, launching a new app with virtual and in-person class options

Zumba, the biggest name in dance fitness with a 20-plus year history, has choreographed its next hit move: a new app to find and book in-person classes and take part in on-demand Zumba sessions.

To support the app’s launch, Zumba has unleashed a vibrant marketing campaign, “Zumba Responsibly,” a PSA-style ad promoting its “good addictive” approach to fitness. As rhythmic beats play, Zumba urges viewers to “just say yes” to local instructors, on-demand classes and its Zumba app. Zumba worked with Joan Studios on the campaign, according to Adweek.

“For 20-plus years, we have been producing content for our global Instructor Network to give them the tools to teach incredible classes,” Carolina Moraes, Zumba’s chief marketing officer, told Athletech News. “In the new Zumba app, you’ll see we’ve merged our unbeatable music, top instructors and superior quality content production to give students an opportunity for more Zumba classes and snackable fitness content at their disposal.”

Zumba’s app is free to download, and there is no cost associated with finding local in-person classes. For a cancel-at-any-time $19.99/month fee (or a prepayment of $179 for a year), fitness enthusiasts can access Zumba Virtual+, featuring on-demand content for all levels, including HIIT, strength training, and mobility and flexibility classes. App users can try Zumba Virtual+ with unlimited access for free for 14 days.

The app also allows Zumba enthusiasts to earn badges, track stats and make recommendations based on music preferences, dance level and intensity.  

Zumba’s latest strategy — driving consumers to live Zumba experiences — comes as fitness enthusiasts flock to in-person fitness, especially group classes. Plus, the at-home fitness hook meets the needs of busy consumers who may be unable to attend class but still want the Zumba experience at home. 

“We know from the early days of Zumba and selling DVDs to our Nintendo Wii game that sold 14 million copies, when we have a product where people can try Zumba at home, it will drive them to the in-person experience, and nothing beats a live class!” Moraes added.

Targeting New Zumba Enthusiasts  

The brand has come a long way since selling its Latin dance fitness DVDs through infomercials in the early 2000s, having entered the virtual and mixed reality workout space in partnership with FitXR, a VR workout platform on Meta Quest, last November.

More than just smooth moves against addictive beats, the fitness brand has also tapped into the powers of artificial intelligence with “choreography challenge AI,” a feature launched in 2022 that uses AI to coach Zumba instructors in fine-tuning the dance fitness moves they plan to teach. 

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In an exclusive interview with ATN last fall, Zumba co-founder and CEO Alberto Perlman hinted that Zumba had plans to bring products to market in early 2024 that would expose new consumers to the brand and ultimately drive them to their local gym for in-person classes.

“Traditionally, there’s a phenomenon that anytime we launch direct-to-consumer products, we see a flood of new people into Zumba classes,” Perlman shared, perhaps predicting what’s to come with the launch of Zumba’s new app.

It’s a strategy that benefits not just the Zumba brand and its instructors, but the many fitness operators hosting Zumba classes, such as Crunch Fitness and Life Time.

Having mindfully covered all angles — at-home fitness, in-person experiences and now the Metaverse, Zumba continues to capitalize on dance fitness, a leading form of exercise. Dance workouts saw 25.16 million participants in the U.S. breaking a sweat in 2022, up from 24.75 million in the year prior, according to Statista. 

Courtney Rehfeldt has worked in the broadcasting media industry since 2007 and has freelanced since 2012. Her work has been featured in Age of Awareness, Times Beacon Record, The New York Times, and she has an upcoming piece in Slate. She studied yoga & meditation under Beryl Bender Birch at The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and is an avid reader. Courtney has a BA in Media & Communications studies.