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Fitness Brand Hydrow Strengthens Web Performance Through Media Management

An innovator in the fitness space, Hydrow live streams expert rowing coaches from beautiful locales to rowing enthusiasts working out from the comfort of their homes. The videos simulate an on-the-water experience while creating an abundance of digital marketing content for Hydrow.

Managing images and videos on the Hydrow site had been difficult for the company. With an out-of-date tech stack, Hydrow suffered from slow page loads and poor core web vitals. 

To remedy these challenges, Hydrow selected Cloudinary to be its single source of truth for image and video management, drastically improving its web performance. 

Hydrow saw core web vitals go from ranking in the bottom quartile to the top quartile, compared to competitors. Videos now stream faster through adaptive bitrate (ABR) streaming, images load quickly, and Cloudinary seamlessly fits within Hydrow’s new tech stack, which was designed to deliver a high-performing composable commerce experience.

“We lacked an ability to tell our brand stories and leverage our strength in content,” said Reuben Kabel, SVP of Engineering at Hydrow. “We couldn’t iterate different treatments or ideas around prospect messaging, page structure, or marketing activation. We were limited in terms of velocity because of the technology footprint that we had.”

The Hydrow fitness program offers its users more than 5,000 video-based workouts. Although rowing makes up the large majority, Hydrow also offers circuit training and other exercise videos. The videos feed a large library of visual content that Hydrow rolls into its digital marketing activities.

With Cloudinary as its single source of truth, Hydrow now builds content quickly, knowing the assets are automatically stored, optimized, formatted, and sized in one place. 

Now Hydrow developers can experiment with web pages and marketing content, and to run test-and-learn scenarios with ease. 

By integrating Cloudinary to automate media management, Hydrow’s developers have earned hours back in their days. Time they now use to focus on enterprise digital projects and explore new tools like generative AI.

Kabel said Hydrow’s team is working with more confidence since partnering with Cloudinary. The developers and creatives trust that visual assets in the library are up to date, and when it’s time to build a campaign or test a product display page, the components they need are there. “Pulling those assets together is now minutes of work, as opposed to weeks,” he said.

“For media and asset management, if you need to optimize front-end performance, Cloudinary is the best way to fire and forget,” said Kabel. “They handle your speed concerns and quality management.”
The full Hydrow case study is available here.

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