Is Peloton in trouble with the launch of Apple Fitness Plus virtual workouts?
One thing that is constant in today’s tech world is change. Peloton is a New York-based health technology startup that is revolutionizing the fitness industry by merging high-design with modern technology to provide access to live and on-demand fitness group classes led by elite NYC instructors.
Founded in 2012, Peloton has built a name for itself as a go-to home fitness solution thanks to its popular stationary bike and its new treadmill. With instant access to classes, performance tracking metrics, and a motivating real-time leaderboard, Peloton is changing the way people get fit through a comprehensive and socially connected experience that makes every workout both efficient and addicting. However, Peloton is about to face its biggest challenge since its inception eight years ago. Apple, the 800-pound gorilla, is coming after one of its core business–virtual workouts.
In addition to its library of classes for its at-home equipment, Peloton also offers a variety of additional live and on-demand workout videos accessible to anyone — with or without Bike or Tread. Peloton’s classes include cardio routines, Bootcamp workouts, dance classes, and even yoga sessions, all of which are accessible on a smartphone or tablet via its digital membership streaming app, which costs $12.99 per month plus tax.
However, like all things technology, the change is here. There is a new challenger–Apple is the 800-pound gorilla that takes no prisoners. Yesterday, Apple unveiled a new Apple Fitness+ app that reportedly intends for its virtual classes to compete with services from Peloton and Nike. With millions of Apple customers already using Apple Watch, the new Apple Fitness+ is uniquely poised to take a large portion of the virtual workout market.
According to Apple, the new Apple Fitness+ intelligently incorporates metrics from Apple Watch for users to visualize right on their iPhone, iPad, and even Apple TV, offering a first-of-its-kind personalized workout experience. That’s not all, based on usage patterns, the Apple Fitness+ also delivers personalized recommendations to help customers quickly get to their next workout, and uses Apple Watch to provide an engaging, immersive experience to help them stay motivated throughout. The new Apple Fitness+ also comes with studio workouts and the Fitness+ Trainers.
At launch, Apple said the Fitness+ features a team of celebrated, charismatic, and passionate trainers who are specialists in their fields, working as a collective team to design and create outstanding fitness content, and appearing in each other’s videos welcoming everyone into the experience.
So, what does all this mean for Peloton? Apple Fitness+ gives more options to consumers. In addition, since Apple Fitness+ is already integrated with other tools they use in their day-to-day lives, they are more likely to migrate away from the Peloton app to the new Apple Fitness+.
Unlike the Peloton App which only works with Peloton bikes and treadmill, Apple said the Apple Fitness+ will launch with the most popular workout types including Cycling, Treadmill, Rowing, HIIT, Strength, Yoga, Dance, Core, and Mindful Cooldown, and each is accompanied by music thoughtfully curated by the trainers. Each week, the team of Fitness+ trainers will deliver fresh workouts from the studio across a range of lengths, disciplines, and music genres so there are always new workouts to explore.
Peloton is aware of the risk posed by Apple. In an interview with CNBC’s Lauren Thomas, Peloton CEO John Foley said Apple Fitness Plus is “quite a legitimization of fitness content.” A couple of hours after the interview with CNBC, Peloton also went on Twitter to allay concerns any of its shareholders may have. “Friendly competition is in our DNA. Welcome to the world of digital fitness,
@Apple,” Peloton said in a tweet.
Friendly competition is in our DNA. Welcome to the world of digital fitness, @Apple.
— Peloton (@onepeloton) September 15, 2020
Back in December 2019, Peloton market cap fell after Citron Research said the exercise equipment company is really worth $1 billion and not $8.8 billion, claiming that anyone can turn any exercise bike into a Peloton for $12. Since then, there wasn’t really any app to challenge Peloton until now. So far, Peloton has benefited from the current social distancing mandates and so is its market value.
In the end, time will tell. We shall see how this plays out a year or two from now. We are rooting for Peloton. We hope it survives the assault from Apple.