Fitbit’s CEO discusses the company’s subscription future

James Park talks Fitbit's first decade and its new premium play

At a small event in Manhattan this week, Fitbit laid out its future for the press. Tellingly, the event was far more focused on the company’s software play, with the big hardware announcement feeling almost rushed at the end.

Along with an increased focus on healthcare providers and enterprise, much of its revenue strategy will be tied up in Fitbit Premium, a $10 a month subscription service. The offering marks a major shift for a company whose identity has been so closely tied to hardware for its first decade of existence.

The announcement comes a year and a half after the release of Versa. The smartwatch has helped the company begin to right the ship after several quarters’ worth of financial struggle. And while last quarter found Fitbit’s valuation stumbling a bit on the heels of a disappointing performance by the Versa Lite, the company says it continues to be committed to its core hardware offering.

Following the announcement of Fitbit Premium and the Versa 2 smartwatch, we sat down with CEO and co-founder James Park to discuss the company’s path and what the future holds for Fitbit.

The state of Fitbit

Brian Heater: The flow of today’s briefing was different. In previous years, the company’s always led with hardware.

James Park: You noticed that it was pretty conscious, and I think it’s just to reinforce the fact that what we’re working on is not just about hardware anymore. But it’s equally important that the services component is an important part of our strategy, and also an important part of an overall solution, again, people healthier.