Peloton (exercise equipment company)

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 requires a $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]

Peloton Interactive, Inc.
TypePublic company
IndustryExercise equipment
FoundedJanuary 3, 2012; 9 years ago (2012-01-03)
FoundersGraham Stanton
Hisao Kushi
John Foley
Tom Cortese
Yony Feng
HeadquartersNew York City
Number of locations
95 showrooms & 2 studios
Key people
John Foley, Chairperson & CEO
Jill Woodworth, CFO
William J. Lynch Jr., Director
ProductsStationary bicycles and treadmills
ServicesFitness classes and subscriptions
RevenueIncrease $1.825 billion (FY 2020)
Increase -$71 million (FY 2020)
Total assetsIncrease $2.981 billion (FY 2020)
Total equityIncrease $1.678 billion (FY 2020)
Number of employees
3,281 in the U.S., 283 in the UK and Germany, and 71 in Taiwan (2020)
Websiteonepeloton.com
Footnotes / references
[1]

After one child died and 40 more were injured by the Tread+ treadmill model, Peloton issued a recall on the Tread+ due to safety concerns involving children and pets getting swept under the belt. The Tread model was also recalled at the same time.[4]

ProductsEdit

 
Gen 3 Peloton bike

BikeEdit

Peloton bikes are available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and parts of Canada, with expansion to Australia planned for 2021.

All of Peloton's bikes include a touchscreen.[5] Users can video chat with friends during classes.[6]

The device touchscreen operates on a custom version of Android and is available on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Android TV, which is installed onto smart TVs from Sony, Philips, and Sharp Corporation.[7] 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.

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.[8]

Bike shoes with cleats are required for use so that users can lock into the pedals.[9]

TreadmillEdit

The Tread+ (originally named the Tread) was unveiled in January 2018 by the company at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.[10][11] Classes are streamed via a 32″ touchscreen and sound bar mounted at the front of the machine.[12] The treadmill features a slatted rubber running surface, a feature that is often compared to Woodway's professional treadmills.[13]

In September 2020, Peloton released a lower-end treadmill called the Tread. The company renamed the original treadmill the Tread+.[14]

Digital MembershipEdit

Users without Peloton exercise equipment stream all classes via a mobile app or website. The digital membership costs $12.99 per month.[15] The subscription is discounted to $6.99 for students and $9.99 for healthcare workers, first responders and teachers.[16]

Classes and instructorsEdit

While Peloton's flagship offering 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.[17][18][19][20] 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.[21][22] Peloton produces up to 19 new classes a day.[23]

Peloton also has special themed class formats like its Artist Series, which features playlists from featured musicians and has featured Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, Bon Jovi, BTS, Bob Marley, Billie Eilish, Billy Joel, Calvin Harris, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Metallica, and Outkast.[24]

The company's fitness instructors, including Robin Arzon, Ally Love, Alex Toussaint, and Jess King are now celebrities.[25]

HistoryEdit

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.[26] Peloton Interactive, LLC was founded in January 2012.[27] The company raised $400,000 in seed money in February 2012 and another $3.5 million in December 2012.[28] Peloton sold its first bike on Kickstarter in 2013 with an early bird price tag of $1,500.[29] Peloton's first stationary bicycle was released in 2014.[30]

Peloton raised a $10.5 million series B round of funding, followed by $30 million in round C and $75 million in round D.[31][32][33][34][35][36] In May 2017, Peloton raised a $325 million series E round of funding, valuing the company at $1.25 billion.[37][38]

A version of the bicycle designed for commercial environments was unveiled in January 2017.[39][40]

Tread+ was unveiled in January 2018 by the company at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.[10] Classes are streamed via a 32″ touchscreen and sound bar mounted at the front of the machine.[12]

In May 2018, Peloton announced plans to expand into Canada and the United Kingdom in fall 2018.[41] It also announced construction of a flagship studio at Manhattan West in New York City.[42]

In June 2018, Peloton acquired Neurotic Media, a music distributor.[43]

In August 2018, Peloton raised a $550 million series F round of funding, valuing the company at $4 billion.[44][45]

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.[46] 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.[47] In September 2019, the suit was amended and increased to $300 million.[48] Peloton settled the lawsuit; terms were not disclosed.[49]

On September 26, 2019, Peloton became a public company via an initial public offering, raising $1.16 billion.[50][51][52]

In October 2019, Peloton acquired Tonic Fitness Technology, a Taiwanese manufacturing company for $47.4 million.[53]

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.[54] 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.[55] After Flywheel's service shut down, Peloton offered Flywheel users the opportunity to exchange their Flywheel bikes with refurbished Peloton bikes for no cost.[56] Flywheel later filed for bankruptcy in September 2020.[57]

Sales increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic as home gyms became more popular during the COVID-19 lockdowns.[58] However, the rapid increase in demand caused shipping delays, with customers receiving their products months late, leading some to cancel orders.[59] In December 2020, the company made a $100 million investment in shipping solutions in an attempt to accelerate manufacturing and decrease shipping times.[60]

In April 2020, Peloton announced a new record of simultaneous users in a workout class: with the approximately 2 million worldwide members, the record amount was 23,000 people.[61]

In September 2020, Peloton released a high-end new version of the stationary bike, dubbed Bike+, and a lower-end treadmill, Tread.[14]

On March 8, 2021, Peloton announced its expansion to Australia where it plans to sell the Bike and Bike+ in the second half of 2021.[62]

In March 2021, the company warned people to keep their kids off its treadmills after a child died in an accident.[63]

In April 2021, the company acquired Precor USA, a manufacturer of home and commercial-grade workout machines, for $420 million from Amer Sports.[64]

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.[65]

Other products and offeringsEdit

ShowroomsEdit

 
Peloton retail store
 
Peloton retail kiosk at Aventura Mall in Florida

Peloton has physical retail locations called "showrooms" where prospective customers can take a test 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.[66][67]

Peloton Homecoming eventEdit

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.[68]

Peloton StudiosEdit

Peloton has several physical locations where its live classes are filmed. Classes are filmed in live with actual riders at its studio. Classes at the studio are $32 but lunchtime classes are often free as they are hard to fill.[69] Its New York facility was renovated at a cost of $50 million in 2020.[70]

Tread and Tread+ safety recallEdit

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.[71][72] The commission posted a video showing a child being pulled under the treadmill.[73] According to the CPSC, 23 of the incidents registered with Peloton products involved children and at least one involved death or injury to a pet. 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.[74][75]

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."[4][76][77] The Tread model was recalled due to reports of the touchscreen display loosening and even detaching and falling off.[78][79] 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.[80]

As part of the recall, Peloton is allowing consumers to return the treadmill 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.[81]

Peloton implemented the Tread Lock feature after the recall to prevent unauthorized use of the Tread+ by children.[82] The also company made a change to require an active subscription for the Tread+ model function in the offline Just Run mode, a mode that previously didn't require a membership.[82] Peloton said it made this change in order to require the Tread Lock passcode safety feature to access the Just Run mode. In a statement, Peloton said that the change was due to "current technical limitations" 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.” The company is giving Tread+ owners three months of membership to enable the Tread Lock feature and Just Run mode free of charge.[83][82][81]

The Gift That Gives Back ad controversyEdit

In November 2019, the company released a new holiday commercial, "The Gift That Gives Back," where a wife 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.[84] 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.[85][84]

Ryan Reynolds hired the actress that played the wife, Monica Ruiz, 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.[86][87]

Product specificationsEdit

Model CPU Memory Storage Camera Auto Follow Rotating screen GymKit Integration Footprint Display Speakers Input Connectivity Mass
Peloton Bike (Gen 3) 2.0 GHz Mediatek MT8173 quad core processor 2 GB 16 GB 5 megapixel No No No 59" L x 23" W 21.5" Diagonal 1080p HD 2 Channel rear-facing stereo speaker system with 16 watts USB

3.5 mm headphone jack

WiFi

Bluetooth 4.0

ANT+

100 Mbps ethernet

135 lb
Peloton Bike+ 2.5 GHz Qualcomm QCS605 processor 4 GB 8 megapixel with privacy cover Yes Yes Yes 59" L x 22" W 23.8” Diagonal1080p HD 2.2 Channel front-facing stereo speakers with 26 watts and 2.2 rear-facing woofers USB-C

3.5 mm headphone jack

WiFi 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz

Bluetooth 5.0

ANT+

140 lb
Peloton Tread 5 megapixel No No No 68” L x 33” W 23.8” Diagonal1080p HD 2.2 Channel Front-facing stereo speakers with rear-facing woofers USB-C

3.5 mm headphone jack

WiFi 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz

Bluetooth 5.0

ANT+

100 Mbps ethernet

290 Ib
Peloton Tread+ 8 megapixel with privacy cover No No No 72.5” L x 36.5” W 32” Diagonal1080p HD Front-facing soundbar with 20 watt and 70 Hz-20KHz frequency response USB-C

3.5 mm headphone jack

WiFi 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz

Bluetooth 4.0

ANT+

455 lb
Sources:[88][89][90][91]

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External linksEdit