by Gavin O'Malley, Apr 30, 2012, 5:54 PM
One could be excused for doubting Lionsgate’s recent foray into online fitness programming. What did a company with celluloid roots know about digital streams and full-body stretches? Yet the self-described “diversified" entertainment company is experiencing success with its dedicated YouTube fitness channel “Lionsgate BeFit.”
Since its January debut, the channel has racked up over 3.7 million views, and more than 1.5 million in the past month.
“Our ability to combine compelling original content and a broad and deep catalog of fitness brands positions us for long-term success," said Anne Parducci, executive vice president of home entertainment marketing at Lionsgate.
Part of YouTube’s recent entertainment programming venture -- in which Google has agreed to invest $100 million -- the BeFit channel is already preparing to add the “BeFit Club Hip Hop,” a hip-hop dance fitness series.
Taking a cue from cable networks, YouTube debuted a premium content strategy in 2011. To date, programming standouts include Hearst's Car and Driver Television, the Madonna-supported DanceOn, The Onion News Network, WWE's Fan Nation, Clevver Media, Meredith, Varsity Pictures and ION Television.
Targeting baby boomers and older Web users, “Jane Fonda Prime Time Health” -- featuring Fonda holding forth on workout routines, stretching, strengthening and toning, as well as healthy eating habits, vitamin intake, and the like -- will soon premiere on the BeFit channel.
An ad-supported resource for free fitness programming, the BeFit channel also includes programming from Lionsgate's catalog of fitness content from Jillian Michaels, Denise Austin, Deepak Chopra and Tara Stiles, as well as dance workouts based on "Dancing with the Stars" and “Dirty Dancing.”