Peloton went mainstream this year with its first-to-market, live fitness app and bicycle.
Then, right in time for the holiday shopping season, Peloton released a video ad that set internet pitchforks ablaze.
Was the internet’s backlash against Peloton justified, or did the internet overreact, which it has been guilty of at least once or twice before?
Spearheaded by a Competitor
Still — some people are curious about what is offensive with the Peloton holiday gift commercial. Outlets are calling it sexist and a “controversy.” Peloton’s stock prices receded slightly the first week of December when the ad was released before it made a comeback at the week’s end.
Still… the attack left others wondering why the media and internet was so upset about the ad.
Two questions loom:
- Would it be out-of-the-question to consider that media backlash against the ad was motivated by a competitor?
- What company(anies) will be the first to swoop in with a cheaper fitness alternative?
Second to Market, but Which Market?
When asking “who will compete against Peloton,” the answer is complicated because Peloton is SLAYING two different markets.
Consider the trajectory of the next 1–3 years of the live fitness subscription and live fitness machine industries. Peloton is in a unique position for both of these two different markets.
Market one: Live-fitness subscription/ platform. The race is on to onboard national, regional, and subregional fitness influencers who can market live fitness classes to their community. Imagine that cross-fit or yoga instructor that everyone knows, and the number of people who would sign up to see their class on Peloton or another live fitness platform.
Market two: Live fitness machines. The Peloton bike and upcoming treadmill/ rowing machine are much different and harder to sell than the subscription platform. However, Peloton is still first to market here. A competitor will soon release a machine just as good for half the price, like Zwift.
As such, Peloton should focus a great amount of effort on attracting users and trainers as it does on building the next generation of machines.
A cheaper alternative will soon emerge.
(By the way, Use THIS CODE to receive $100.00 off a Peloton bike 🚲 9MDQGQ)
My money is on good ole’ Uncle Jeff (Bezos) and his S-Team, but it could easily be Apple, Alphabet Inc., Mirror, Soul Cycle, or Orange Theory.
Amazon via Twitch could expand its live streaming, IRL infrastructure in the fitness world somehow — whether that be through a partnership/acquisition of Orange Theory, Zwift, or Soul Cycle, or if that means creating a knock-off Peloton from scratch internally (unlikely).
Other brands will come out with an alternative. For example, Zwift released a bike that will rival Peloton. The brand has roughly 250,000, among them Mark Zuckerberg who used the multiplayer online platform.
Will Peloton merge?
As a first-to-market, live fitness platform, Peloton is LONG overdue to make some acquisitions.
For example, look at the M&A History of Ebay, another first-to-maket company in the early stages of the dotcom era. Within 3-5 years after it was founded, Ebay acquired 5 of its competitors, all online auction houses, in addition to other scale-minded decisions (like buying Elon Musk’s PayPal… brilliant 💡).
Likewise, Peloton should consider using some IPO money for acqusitions, especially for a company like Mirror or Forte.
Peloton might be the target of a smear campaign against a soon-to-be competitor. They need to double-down on the bigger industry at-hand, the live fitness subscription services. Onboard users, make trainers put you #1, and expand beyond the fitness studios of Manhattan. After they capture and concretize a growing share of the live fitness market AND the live fitness machine market, it will be smooth cycling. but if it is one or the other, live fitness is the the priority.
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