Here’s an interesting take: The future success of the wearables market will come down to manufacturers willingness to charge a subscription fee, and, in turn, consumers willingness to pay for it.
That’s the idea posited in a recent Wired post by senior writer Lauren Goode. Goode bases this concept off of a real-world example in Whoop—a fitness tracking manufacturer that targets professional athletes and Fortune 500 CEOs. According to the piece, Whoop has been charging professional and collegiate sports teams anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 per player for access to the company’s in-depth analytics. Regular customers can also try the nylon activity tracker and platform for a $500 fee.
Starting today, though, Whoop announced it is rolling out a subscription service for access to the analytics platform as well as the fitness tracker itself. So, the company will no longer sell the Whoop band as a standalone product, which means consumers will only be able to get the device by signing up for the $30-per-month program. (Those who already own the band will be grandfathered into the service, while newcomers will have to pay these monthly dues—including an up-front six-month commitment.)