ClassPass Discontinues Unlimited Monthly Memberships
When ClassPass raised its monthly rates to $180 this spring, it sparked a rash of internet outrage. That’s nothing compared to the storm that’s about to hit.
The popular gym-hopping service announced Wednesday that it’s discontinuing unlimited monthly memberships—the offering that drew many people to the company in the first place. Members currently on that subscription, which allows users to take unlimited classes at some of the best studios in Boston, will keep their plans for one more billing cycle, then get bumped down to 10 classes per month. They’ll also receive 10 free classes per month for the first three months post-change.
In a blog post, CEO Payal Kadakia, an MIT grad, writes that the unlimited model realized her dreams of ClassPass, but proved unsustainable.
“For every class taken, we paid our studio partners. The more classes that were taken, the more we paid. As you can imagine, our business costs increased rapidly,” she writes. “We simply couldn’t make the plan work for our business.”
Customers are sure to grumble about the change, but studios may actually be pleased. While, as Kadakia says, studios are paid for each student who works out through ClassPass, some local gym owners complained after the last cost hike that their payout hadn’t correlated with ClassPass price increases. Some added that users defecting from ClassPass, and instead buying memberships directly from boutique studios, would benefit their bottom lines.
Moving forward, ClassPass will offer five- and 10-class-per-month plans, with the option to add more credits when necessary. In Boston, they’ll cost $65 and $120, respectively.
In her blog post, Kadakia also looks to the future, noting that ClassPass plans to roll out on-demand video; out-of-studio workouts, such as group runs; and social elements. “Despite this news, I am confident in where ClassPass is headed, as its founder and a user myself,” she writes.
Customers, we’re guessing, are not going to feel the same way.
UPDATED, 4:45 p.m.:
As expected, ClassPass users are taking the news pretty hard. Here’s a sampling of the reactions we’ve seen on Twitter:
— Julia Becker Collins (@JuliaRivka) November 2, 2016
— Jessica Liou (@jessliou92) November 2, 2016
— Jenn Hoffman (@jennhoff32) November 2, 2016
We don’t envy you, ClassPass social media manager.