COVID-19 DIGITAL ACCELERATION
5 predictions for Peloton and the future of digital fitness
Will Apple finally buy Peloton?
Last September, CNBC analyst Jim Cramer referred to Peloton’s upcoming IPO as, “the kind of thing that will be exciting for today, tomorrow. And then I think we’re going to look back and say, ‘What were we thinking?’”
Flash forward to July 2020, Peloton’s stock has more than doubled since its IPO and the company has shifted from a luxury bike producer to an exercise lifeline bought by Americans earning $75,000 or less. Thanks to social distancing brought on by COVID-19, the entire fitness industry is rushing to pivot to a Peloton-like model with streaming classes and connected equipment at home.
What does this hastily digitized industry look like now? And where is it going?
The digital fitness industry has actually existed for a long time. Video programs like Beach Body and Insanity brought boutique fitness home, while apps like Strava and Nike+ connected communities to run together and track their performance. Video workouts actually date back to the 1950s, when Jack LaLanne, often described as “The Godfather of Fitness” shared guided exercises over black-and-white TV programs. Actress Jane Fonda brought video workouts mainstream with her top-selling workout tapes in the 1980s.
Today, the difference is the level of adoption of digital fitness, and the level of integration across different products.
There are two main elements needed to enter this rapidly evolving market: content, and the means to distribute said content. This can be as simple as you uploading a workout regimen on YouTube, or Barry’s Bootcamp launching its own direct-to-consumer streaming service. The ease of entry means that new participants are likely to emerge. Meanwhile, current leaders are focused on grabbing market share while consumers are still adapting to the new reality of fitness at home.