Anchor Bay’s Fitness DVDs Still Set Hearts Pounding

Loyal female viewers keep exercise disc market hot

In an increasingly digital world, Ashley Turner, a Santa Monica-based mind-body yoga instructor, seems confident in the staying power of the DVDs she creates — at least for now.

“Maybe it will shift completely, but we’re definitely still a really big market,” she says.

Turner is just one of Anchor Bay’s fitness brands, and she contributes to the company’s leading 37.85% share of the fitness homevideo market. Anchor Bay has 21 of the top 40 fitness titles including its bestselling workout video “10 Minute Solution: Pilates.”

Julie Cartwright, Anchor Bay’s executive VP of marketing, says their target demographic (women ages 35 and up) treats fitness as a ritual. “They have a dedicated space in their house for this,” she says. “It has allowed us to hold onto a format longer than our other categories.”

Cartwright says when Anchor Bay signs talent like Turner, it looks for people with broad appeal who deliver on their promise. And in addition to signing outside instructors, Anchor Bay also develops proprietary inhouse brands to fill voids in the market.

Mike Donohue, senior VP of sales at Alliance Entertainment, one of Anchor Bay’s distribution partners, calls it “one of the most amenable studios.” He says Anchor Bay’s employees are dedicated to keeping physical media relevant.

Turner also benefits from her relationships with the Anchor Bay team. Apart from relying on the quality of their production and marketing teams, she is also able to learn about and develop training based on new trends and insights that Anchor Bay gathers. Recently she started working with massage balls and foam rollers thanks to Anchor Bay’s insights.

“I don’t have the opportunity to get that type of feedback from people,” she says. “So to be able to survey the masses, and know what is the (cutting) edge in product development, it’s an amazing opportunity as an artist.”

Although it works exclusively with physical properties, Cartwright says Anchor Bay is constantly conversing with Starz about the digital space should there be sufficient reason to adapt. “We absolutely have plans in place to make sure this category can continue to thrive as technology quickly shifts, and behaviors quickly shift,” she says. “I think the consumer should own the product however they want to own it when they make that purchase.”

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