A Glance at Multisided Platforms through Classpass

How many of us have more than one gym membership?  It’s actually quite common these days as several different forms of fitness have been created over the last 5 years. Some days, all I want to do is yoga, but others I want to do the opposite and lift heavy(essentially undoing all the yoga I did). It’s seemingly uncommon for a lifting gym to offer yoga classes, so I have another gym membership at a studio. Let me just say IT’S EXPENSIVE(especially for the college budget). With all these trendy new ways to work out, what if I want to try something new? I know I can get free days, but then I have to buy another membership… What do I do?

Well, recently I was told about this business called Classpass. Classpass is a multisided platform that connects hundreds of different gym/studios with people like me who want to explore the cool new fitness options. “Multisided platforms are technology products and services that create value primarily by enabling direct interactions between two or more costumer or participant groups.”[1] For Classpass to be a multisided platform, they need gyms/studios to supply classes and a demand from consumers who are interested in going to these different types of gyms. They allow these two sides to interact with each other on attractive terms. These attractive terms look very different based on how multisided platforms develop their business plan.

The business model associated with multisided platforms is complicated, and most times companies often fail to create networks between a supply and demand side in the market. Multisided platforms, like Classpass make money by charging consumers with a monthly subscription that allows them to take 3 classes at multiple different gyms. This is called the money side of the platform. On the other hand, the gyms/studios who have decided to participate in Classpass don’t pay anything. This is called the subsidy side. Evidently, from the name, gyms/studios benefit by filling classes they wouldn’t have otherwise and can even end up with new customers who may have not tried something new.

Multisided platforms are way more common than one might think. Other Multisided platforms are Spotify, they connect artists with music lovers. Airbnb, travelers who need a place to stay and locals who can provide that space. Of course, their business model in terms of the money side and subsidy side are different but have the same concept.

So if you’re interested your sick of paying for multiple different gyms, checkout ClassPass! https://classpass.com/about

Bib: [1] https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/strategic-decisions-for-multisided-platforms/

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