Spreadable Media in the Fitness Industry

So here we are again! Last time round, I spoke about how ‘Will Digital Disruptions impact the Fitness?’ (Click the link to find out more about that!) But today I will be discussing the spreadability of the media in the fitness industry. Before I begin, let’s take a look at what spreadable media actually is. In 2013, Jenkins and Henry defined the spreadability of media as the fundamental changes that take place in our ‘contemporary media’ environment, in which corporations would no longer have tight control of media distributions but would directly be involved in the circulation of content.

To keep it simple, the content of spreadable media allows both formal and informal networks, some being approved and some being unauthorised. With the stickiness of success in the broadcast era (where it has carried over to the online world), spreadability of media has the content to travel through social media.

The turning point of Jenkins and Henrys argument in 2013 is interesting within the fitness domain because“Anyone in the fitness industry would be able to benefit tremendously from the power of social media”. With that being said, the affordance of networked publics provided technical stresses that can make it easier to circulate different forms of media content from others (Greens and Jenkins, 2011).

Now let’s put this into a fitness perspective, with the use of spreadable media, it can create a marketing status for Personal Trainers to announce themselves on the fitness scene but also provide information on their business and work. With the theory backing this statement up, Fuchs suggested in 2014 that the target audience for Personal Trainers would alternatively play a crucial role by allowing them to be part of an integrated commodity of success.

The fitness industry has seemed to have thrived with spreadable (social) media supporting the content created within the fitness domain especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, where endless lockdowns seem to be forcing Gyms and sport facilities to close. Companies such as Digital Media Team have created content based around advertising to selling and marketing their products to boost sales to gain a profit from it. A quote from one of their client’s says that “Not only did this significantly help increase sales, but has helped increase the brand awareness and spread the word about their protein cheese further’.

From what we can see here, we have seen a fully demonstrated role of the grassroots that circulates the spreadable content. This also shows us as the ‘consumers‘ that they have a certain authority when spreading their content to gain more consumers to buy their products by creating a commercial opportunity presented to them during a global pandemic. However, this can also result in a digital media disruption within the fitness domain, where if the main source of authority has moved away from the traditional media outlet, it wouldn’t demonstrate the whole potential in the role of the grassroots that circulate in the spreadable content (the hashtag).

SO what have we learnt from spreadable media?

In short summary, if you have the correct form of media to engage with consumers, you will have control of the media domain to create better content. BUT if the media ecology has no authority, it won’t have any success in the digital platform for spreadable media.


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