Peloton Interactive

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Peloton Interactive, Inc.
TypePublic company
IndustryExercise equipment
FoundedJanuary 3, 2012; 10 years ago (2012-01-03)
Founders
  • Graham Stanton
  • Hisao Kushi
  • John Foley
  • Tom Cortese
  • Yony Feng
HeadquartersNew York City, US
Number of locations
123 showrooms and 2 studios
Key people
  • Barry McCarthy, CEO
  • John Foley, Executive Chairman
  • Jill Woodworth, CFO
  • William J. Lynch Jr., Director
ProductsStationary bicycles and treadmills
ServicesFitness classes and subscriptions
RevenueIncrease US$4.02 billion (2021)
Decrease US$-189 million (2021)
Total assetsIncrease US$4.49 billion (2021)
Total equityIncrease US$1.75 billion (2021)
Number of employees
8,662 (2021)[a]
Websiteonepeloton.com
Footnotes / references
[1]

Peloton Interactive, Inc. is an American exercise equipment and media company based in New York City. Peloton's main products are Internet-connected stationary bicycles and treadmills that enable monthly subscribers to remotely participate in classes via streaming media. Peloton charges a US$39 monthly membership fee to access classes and additional features on their exercise equipment, or $12.99 for users only accessing the content via app or website.[2][3]

History[edit]

In 2011, John Foley, an executive at Barnes & Noble in New York City, pitched his colleague, Tom Cortese, on the idea that technology could make it possible for people with little time to get the full experience of working out in a high-end studio cycling class in their homes.[4] Peloton Interactive, LLC was founded in January 2012.[5] The company raised $400,000 in seed money in February 2012 and another $3.5 million in December 2012.[6] Peloton sold its first bike on Kickstarter in 2013 with an early bird price tag of $1,500.[7] Peloton's first stationary bicycle was released in 2014.[8]

Tread+ was unveiled in January 2018 by the company at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.[9] Classes are streamed via a 32″ touchscreen and sound bar mounted at the front of the machine.[10]

In May 2018, Peloton announced plans to expand into Canada and the United Kingdom in fall 2018.[11] It also announced construction of a flagship studio at Manhattan West in New York City.[12]

In March 2019, Peloton was sued by the National Music Publishers Association for using copyrighted music in their videos without proper synchronization licenses, seeking $150 million in damages.[13] The action resulted in changes to music used in its sessions, as well as removal of certain programs that used the songs that were specifically named in the suit. Users criticized these changes as affecting the quality of its product experience.[14] In September 2019, the suit was amended and increased to $300 million.[15] Peloton settled the lawsuit; terms were not disclosed.[16]

On September 26, 2019, Peloton became a public company via an initial public offering, raising $1.16 billion.[17][18]

In November 2019, the company released a new holiday commercial, "The Gift That Gives Back," where a wife, played by Monica Ruiz, receives a Peloton bike for Christmas from her husband, and begins recording a video diary of herself using the bike. A year later, she proclaims that she "didn't realize how much this would change me." In late November, the commercial began to receive criticism from viewers who claimed that its plot implied that the woman's husband was dissatisfied with her physical appearance.[19] Peloton defended the ad, arguing that it was intended to celebrate a "fitness and wellness journey", inspired by how its users were often "meaningfully and positively impacted after purchasing or being gifted a Peloton Bike or Tread, often in ways that surprise them." Criticism over the campaign had an impact on Peloton's share price.[20][19] Ryan Reynolds hired Ruiz, the actress that played the wife, for an ad titled "The Gift That Doesn't Give Back" for Aviation American Gin released in December 2019, which lightly mocked the Peloton ad.[21][22]

In February 2020, Flywheel Sports ceased its at-home cycling services after it had settled with Peloton over a patent lawsuit. Flywheel Sports (a SoulCycle competitor) created its at-home internet-connected bike in 2017.[23] The company later admitted it illegally copied Peloton's technology. Court documents revealed that Flywheel created an internal initiative under the codename "Project Magnum" to obtain Peloton's confidential trade information.[24] After Flywheel's service shut down, Peloton offered Flywheel users the opportunity to exchange their Flywheel bikes with refurbished Peloton bikes for no cost.[25] Flywheel later filed for bankruptcy in September 2020.[26]

Sales increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic as home gyms became more popular during the COVID-19 lockdowns.[27] However, the rapid increase in demand caused shipping delays, with customers receiving their products months late, leading some to cancel orders.[28] In December 2020, the company made a $100 million investment in shipping solutions in an attempt to accelerate manufacturing and decrease shipping times.[29]

In September 2020, Peloton released a high-end new version of the stationary bike, dubbed Bike+, and a lower-end treadmill, Tread.[30]

On December 21, 2020, Peloton announced it plans to acquire fitness-equipment company Precor USA for $420 million from Finnish sporting good company Amer Sports. Peloton will gain over 625,000 square feet in manufacturing space in Whitsett, North Carolina and Woodinville, Washington as part of the deal.[31]

In July 2021, the company launched a game for its stationary bikes. The game, titled Lanebreak, is an obstacle course where players control a tire by pedaling their Peloton bike and use the resistance knob to change lanes and avoid obstacles.[32] Peloton officially launched in Australia with Bike and Bike+ available for purchase, in addition to the Peloton App.[33]

In December 2021, an episode of Sex and the City reboot And Just Like That... aired in which the character Mr. Big collapsed and died after riding a Peloton bike. The day after the initial airing of the episode, Peloton shares fell 11.3%.[34] The company subsequently launched ads starring the character in response to the decline, but later pulled them after Chris Noth was accused of sexual assault by two women.[35] Several weeks later, an episode of the show Billions featured a character experiencing a heart attack after using a Peloton device.[36] Though the Billions sequence was filmed before the airing of the And Just Like That... episode, it was edited to include a reference to the death of Mr. Big.[37]

In January 2022 CNBC reported, citing internal company documents, that Peloton had paused production after greatly increased demand during early stages of the COVID pandemic had slackened, leaving the company with a glut of bikes and treadmills. Peloton shares dropped 80% from their pandemic high 12 months before.[38] CEO John Foley also indicated the company would likely begin layoffs.[39] In February 2022, 2,800 employees were laid off in an effort to save $800 million annually. CEO John Foley stepped down from his position and was replaced by Barry McCarthy, a former Spotify executive.[40][41] Despite his termination, Foley maintains substantial influence over the company, with 80% voting power.[42]

Tread and Tread+ safety recall[edit]

In May 2021, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warned people with children and pets to immediately stop using the Tread+ model of Peloton treadmill after one child died and almost 40 others were injured including fractured bones. The incident in question occurred when a child was pulled under the treadmill while a parent was running on it.[43][44] The commission posted a video showing a child being pulled under the treadmill.[45] The commission stated that if the product was to be used, it should be stored in a locked room to prevent children and pets from accessing it.[46][47]

Peloton initially rejected the Consumer Product Safety Commission's request to recall the product and instead warned parents to keep children away from the treadmill. The company changed course and voluntarily recalled the Tread and Tread+ on May 5, 2021. Foley said in a statement, "the decision to recall both products was the right thing to do for Peloton's members and their families. I want to be clear, Peloton made a mistake in our initial response."[48][49][50] In addition to the Tread+ model, the Tread model was recalled due to reports of the touchscreen display screws loosening causing the screen to detach and falling off.[51][52] In July 2021, a Brooklyn couple filed a lawsuit for unspecified damages against the company claiming their 3-year-old son suffered third-degree burns when he got sucked under the treadmill.[53]

As part of the recall, Peloton allows consumers to return the treadmills for a full refund until November 6, 2022. For consumers interested in keeping their treadmill, Peloton is offering to move the treadmill to a room where children or pets cannot access free of charge.[54] In August 2021, Peloton announced that Tread owners could schedule an in-home appointment for their treadmill's touchscreen to get repaired by a technician.[55] Later that month, Peloton reintroduced a updated version of the Tread that includes safety features of a removable safety key in order to begin use.[56]

Peloton also implemented the Tread Lock feature after the recall to prevent unauthorized use of the Tread+ by children.[57] The feature locks the treadmill after inactivity and requires a four-digit passcode to unlock.[58] This change temporarily required an active subscription for the treadmill to operate in the offline Just Run mode (a mode that previously did not require a membership).[59] Peloton said it made this change in order to require the Tread Lock passcode safety feature to access the Just Run mode, and that it was "working on updates to Tread Lock that will allow us to make Tread Lock and Just Run available without a Peloton Membership." In June 2021, the company announced that it would give Tread+ owners three months of membership to enable Just Run mode free of charge.[60][59][54] In August, the company released a software update to make the Just Run mode accessible again without a subscription.[58]

On August 27, 2021, it was announced that Peloton was under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for its public disclosures related to customer injuries. The company has also been subpoenaed by the Department of Justice for information related on how injuries were reported by Peloton customers.[61][62]

Products[edit]

Gen 3 Peloton bike

Bike[edit]

The Peloton Bikes are internet-connected stationary bicycles with a touchscreen that streams exercise classes to the rider.[63] The device touchscreen operates on a custom version of Android.[64] Classes can also be streamed via the Peloton mobile app or website and can also be shared from an iOS device using AirPlay or Miracast from Peloton equipment, or can be connected via HDMI cable to a computer, or be connected via Chromecast from an iOS and Android device.

Users can video chat with friends during classes.[65]

The Gen 3 monitor is 21.5 inches in size, and is an HD touchscreen. The monitor used on the Bike+ is an HD touchscreen that is 23.8 inches. When the monitor was upgraded, Peloton required users to purchase monitor upgrades to continue using its software.[66]

Bike shoes with cleats are required for use so that users can lock into the pedals.[67]

Peloton bikes are available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and parts of Canada.

Treadmill[edit]

The Tread+ (originally named the Tread) was unveiled in January 2018 by the company at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.[9][68] Classes are streamed via a 32″ touchscreen and sound bar mounted at the front of the machine.[10] The treadmill features a slatted rubber running surface, a feature that is often compared to Woodway's professional treadmills.[69]

In September 2020, Peloton released a lower-end treadmill called the Tread. The company renamed the original treadmill the Tread+.[30] In late 2021, Peloton added safety key and 'Tread Lock' features to the Tread to increase safety and prevent unauthorized access.[70]

Rowing Machine[edit]

In May 2022, Peloton teased and confirmed the forthcoming release of a new home rowing machine. Early videos showed it as an all-black resistance rower featuring a large display similar to that of their other products.[71]

Guide[edit]

In November 2021, Peloton announced the Peloton Guide, a digital media player with camera to stream workouts while tracking movements. The product is set to cost $495 when it becomes available in early 2022. Unlike Peloton's other hardware equipment, the Guide only requires the less expensive Digital Membership.[72]

Digital membership[edit]

Users without Peloton exercise equipment stream all classes via a mobile app or website. The Peloton app is available on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Android TV, which is installed onto smart TVs from Sony, Philips, and Sharp Corporation.[64]

The digital membership costs $12.99 per month.[73] The subscription is discounted to $6.99 for students and $9.99 for healthcare workers, first responders and teachers.[74]

Class formats and features[edit]

Stationary bicycle class streaming on the bike touchscreen.

Classes and instructors[edit]

While Peloton's flagship offerings are cycling and running classes using their exercise machines, they also offer classes in strength training, yoga, cardio aerobic exercise, meditation, stretching, tread bootcamp, bike bootcamp, and walking.[75][76][77][78] Classes are recorded daily and streamed live from instructors' homes or Peloton's cycling studios in Hudson Yards, Manhattan and London and are then uploaded to the Peloton library for on-demand access 24/7.[79][80] Peloton produces up to 19 new classes a day.[81]

Peloton also has special themed class formats like its Artist Series, which features playlists from featured musicians, including Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, and Bon Jovi.[82]

Some of the company's fitness instructors, including Olivia Amato, Robin Arzon, Jess King, and others have become celebrities and social media influencers.[83][84] Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby participated on Dancing with the Stars season 30.[85]

Interactive and gamification features[edit]

Users can compete with one another on the live leaderboard that ranks class participants based on the Output (total wattage of energy expended).[86] Peloton also tracks the Strive Score (based on the percentage of the maximum heart rate) using a Bluetooth heart rate monitor connected to the bike, treadmill, or phone.[87][88] Unlike the Output metic, the Strive Score is non-competitive.[88]

Users can tap someone's username on the leaderboard to give them a high five (a virtual show of encouragement).[89]

Other products and offerings[edit]

Showrooms[edit]

Peloton retail store
Peloton retail kiosk at Aventura Mall in Florida

Peloton has physical retail locations called "showrooms" where prospective customers can take a trial class on the Bike or Tread. The first location was at the Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey. As of 2019, Peloton has 78 showrooms in the United States and Canada and 12 stores in the United Kingdom and Germany.[90][91]

Peloton Homecoming event[edit]

The Homecoming event was originally organized by fans of the Peloton products in 2016 but, having gained the attention of the company, was adopted as a company-sanctioned event. It was held in person up to 2019 with a small-scale online fan event held in 2020.

At the beginning of June 2021, Peloton held a free online Homecoming event, consisting of three days of special classes, panel discussions on fitness and the introduction of new features and instructors.[92]

Peloton studios[edit]

Peloton has two physical locations where its classes are filmed live and streamed to users. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, classes were filmed live with participants at its New York and London studios. Classes at the studio are $32 but lunchtime classes are often free as they are hard to fill.[93]

The New York studio was moved and upgraded at a cost of $50 million in 2020.[94] In addition to the New York studio, bike classes are also filmed at the London studio. The European location, which opened in 2018, also serves as the location for German-language classes with German instructors.[95][96] Although Peloton is available in Australia, the Australian classes are filmed in the New York studio with Australian bike instructors.[97] At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the studios were shut down and Peloton filmed live classes from the homes of select instructors, including those from New York and London.[98]

Peloton apparel[edit]

Peloton sells branded activewear apparel items, often with collaborations with other fitness apparel companies like Adidas. In 2021 it launched a new line entirely made from its own private label.[99][100][101]

Instructors[edit]

US instructors[edit]

Bike Tread Yoga
Aditi Shah
Adrian Williams
Alex Toussaint
Ally Love
Andy Speer
Anna Greenberg
Becs Gentry
Callie Gullickson
Camila Ramón
Chelsea Jackson Roberts
Christine D'Ercole
Cody Rigsby
Daniel McKenna
Denis Morton
Emma Lovewell
Hannah Corbin
Jenn Sherman
Jess King
Jess Sims
Kendall Toole
Kirra Michel
Kirsten Ferguson
Kristin McGee
Marcel Dinkins
Mariana Fernández
Matty Maggiacomo
Matt Wilpers
Olivia Amato
Rad Lopez
Rebecca Kennedy
Robin Arzón
Ross Rayburn
Selena Samuela
Tunde Oyeneyin
Christian Vande Velde (guest instructor)

UK instructors[edit]

Bike Tread Yoga
Ben Alldis
Bradley Rose
Hannah Frankson
Jermaine Johnson
Jon Hosking
Joslyn Thompson Rule
Leanne Hainsby
Sam Yo
Susie Chan

German instructors[edit]

Bike Tread Yoga
Benny Adami
Charlotte Weidenbach
Cliff Dwenger
Erik Jäger
Jeffrey Mceachern
Marcel Maurer
Mayla Wedekind
Mila Lazar
Nico Sarani
Tobias Heinze

Product specifications[edit]

Model Peloton Bike (Gen 3) Peloton Bike+ Peloton Tread Peloton Tread (2021 update) Peloton Tread+
CPU 2.0 GHz Mediatek MT8173 quad core processor 2.5 GHz Qualcomm QCS605 processor
Memory 2 GB 4 GB
Storage 16 GB
Camera Resolution 5 megapixel 8 megapixel 5 megapixel 8 megapixel 8 megapixel
privacy cover No Yes No No Yes
Auto Follow No Yes No No No
Rotating screen No Yes No No No
GymKit Integration No Yes No No No
Footprint 59" L x 23" W 59" L x 22" W 68" L x 33" W 68" L x 33" W 72.5" L x 36.5" W
Display 21.5" Diagonal 23.8" Diagonal 23.8" Diagonal 23.8" Diagonal 32" Diagonal
Speakers Front-facing None 2.2 Channel stereo speakers with 26 watts 2.2 Channel stereo speakers 2.2 Channel stereo speakers soundbar with 20 watt and 70 Hz-20 kHz frequency response
Rear-facing 2 Channel stereo speaker system with 16 watts 2.2 woofers rear-facing woofers rear-facing woofers None
Input 3.5 mm headphone jack Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB-C
Connectivity WiFi Yes WiFi 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz WiFi 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz WiFi 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz WiFi 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz
Bluetooth 4 5 5 5 4
ANT+ Yes
Ethernet 100 Mbit/s ethernet No 100 Mbit/s ethernet 100 Mbit/s ethernet No
Other features Safety key
Weight 135 lb 140 lb 290 Ib 290 Ib 455 lb
Sources:[102][33][103][104]

Controversies[edit]

In December 2018 the company threatened to sue a YouTube blogger Shane Miller (GPLama) over the use of word "peloton", widely used in cycle sport, in titles of his videos.[105]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 6,743 in the US; 828 in the UK, Germany and Australia; 135 in Canda; 160 in Taiwan; 796 from Precor acquisition[1]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]