Update: This story has been edited with more clarification to better reflect the deal FitBit has with the government of Singapore. New facts were added on August 23rd, 2019.
FitBit (NYSE: FIT) set a lofty goal for itself, by declaring it wanted to add a million FitBit users. And so it did something about that, by thinking outside the box and plans to give away free FitBits to the people of Singapore. Once you learn more about the details, it seems less crazy, since any company can give away free products in order to goose their user count as long as losing money isn't a big deal.
The plan: sign a deal with the Singapore government to offer the Inspire HR, on the condition new users pay the subscription fee of $7 per month for 12 months. The premium plan is a digital health program that would not only help FitBit get those million new users, but also help improve average app store ratings.
FitBit's competitors have all seen an increase in how much of their total profits come from wearable devices. The figures from Apple ($AAPL) alone should necessitate a response. At the start of 2018, Apple's wearables division was only 6.22% of its revenue stream. That number has climbed to 10.27% as of today, and this might have been a signal to FitBit to go out and try something so bold.
That's a 22% increase throughout the entirety of 2018, and so far there is a 26% increase in 2019. So in less than 9 months, there are already more ratings from users, and that number is going to skyrocket if enough people buy into the premium plan with their new fancy fitness tracker that was FREE. People love free stuff.
There was also a very similar jump for Apple app store ratings, and growth only begets more growth. And below are some nice figures on how FitBit is doing in terms of Facebook likes, Twitter followers, and Instagram followers. Imagine what free trackers in Singapore could do for those numbers.
Also, no word on if FitBit's sponsorship with the Minnesota Timberwolves will help the team win any more games this season, since the corporate logo is on their jerseys again. But we'll keep you updated on if it does.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.