It seems like, every few months, ClassPass makes a huge announcement about how they're adjusting their business model to better suit their users. Over the past two years, they've gotten rid of "unlimited" memberships, raised prices, added beauty services, and launched an online streaming service. Some of these changes made customers furious. But today, they're shaking things up in a way that's sure to excite ClassPass devotees.
As of today, ClassPass is getting rid of its three-visit studio limit, meaning members can go to their favorite studio as many times as they want, Fritz Lanman, CEO of ClassPass, tells Refinery29. Originally, the folks at ClassPass thought that members would sample different classes, and then end up buying extra classes at their favorite studios once they found something they enjoyed. "But, what we saw is that our customers don't want to do that," he says. "There's too much friction, so they'll just go to a different studio inside ClassPass." In the old model, studios would lose out on money and loyal customers, and members would often feel limited by their options.
Another big complaint customers had was that popular classes at peak times would fill up and become unavailable for ClassPass members. (Additionally, studios could decide not to put a popular class on ClassPass altogether.) But, after working with studios, Lanman says ClassPass will be able to offer more spots in those high-demand classes, just for a "premium price" — aka more class credits.
Members will now have to buy credits — $45 for 27 credits (2-4 classes); $75 for 45 credits (4-6 classes); or $135 for 90 credits (8-12 classes) — and choose to spend more of them to get into a busy class, or take a less sought-after class for fewer credits. "Now there's more spots in popular classes that didn’t exist on the platform before, and the customer can choose to pay premium to go to those or not," he says. And finally, ClassPass will now allow members to roll over 10 credits a month. So, if you get injured or are traveling a lot one month, you don't have to worry about wasting the credits you've already purchased.
ClassPass says that these changes were all driven by their customers, but studios will certainly be affected by the overhaul, too. Alberto Ortiz, founder of Work Train Fight (WTF), a boxing gym in New York City that's on ClassPass, says having a steady client base is incredibly important to him as a business owner and fitness expert. In the past, ClassPass has encouraged people to try the classes WTF offers, but it's also driven some people away. "Many people feel discouraged when they don't master our workout on the first try, and automatically decide they're not good at it, when at the end of the day boxing is a skill that takes years to develop," he says. A successful fitness routine requires commitment, which he says ClassPass hasn't always allowed for in the past.
Payal Kadakia, ClassPass founder and chairman, says she wants this new business model to encourage users to stick to a program, rather than bounce around to a bunch of different studios all the time. "We wanted to not just cater it to someone who’s discovering and exploring, but also make sure we're helping people stay active through their fitness routine, and getting to a place where they love a studio and want to go back," she says. "At the end of the day, it's in favor of the entire fitness ecosystem, because when we send someone to [a] class, [studios] get a customer."
If you're a ClassPass member, you're likely wondering how this will affect your wallet and your workouts. In theory, you should be able to take more classes for less money, but now Lanman says studios will also have the option to charge more for their classes. "It's really about empowering the studio and giving customers choice and flexibility," he says.
It may take some budgeting to figure out how you can afford your ClassPass habit under these new rules. But, if there's one thing ClassPass has been great at, it's responsiveness to not-so-happy customers — so if you're not thrilled, make sure ClassPass knows.