Netpulse is getting its software for gym-based entertainment deployed throughout New York through a deal with Town Sports International that will enable club members to watch on-demand videos and track their workouts with a single log-in.
New York Sports Club members have long had the ability to watch broadcast and cable programming from treadmills, elliptical machines, and other pieces of cardiovascular equipment. But with the Netpulse entertainment system, gym members can watch the club’s TV subscription, access on-demand music and video and plug in their iPods, iPhones or iPod Touch devices to watch their own videos. The system also enables them to read RSS feeds or connect to social networking sites, as well as keep track of their personal preferences and workout results.
Interestingly enough, Netpulse doesn’t license any of the premium on-demand content from broadcasters like ABC, CBS, Fox or NBC that is shown through its entertainment system. Like Boxee, the system accesses content from online video sites like Hulu or TV.com and pulls those videos into a user interface that is easy to navigate. But Netpulse CEO Bryan Arp said in a phone conversation that those videos make up just a small portion of the content that its users tune into while working out.
In addition to licensing software to get the software on screens in various gyms, Netpulse also hopes to make money off of targeted advertising that will run against the content that is being shown on screen. Not only do club members spend about 30 minutes in front of the screens on average, but Netpulse has demographic information about them that it can use to send appropriate advertising to.
Netpulse raised $3.1 million in a Series A financing round led by Javelin Venture Partners last October, so the Town Sports deal is good validation of the company’s plans. Through the agreement, the Netpulse entertainment system will be rolled out starting 109 of its health clubs in New York, and eventually making it into 160 total clubs throughout the U.S. That means the system will be available on about 8,000 screens throughout TSI’s total footprint.
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