Tesla also wants stationary bikes to be the Netflix of fitness

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Peloton, an American company founded in 2012 and listed on the stock exchange since 2019, does two things together. The first is the production and sale of stationary bikes and treadmills that cost thousands of dollars. The second is to offer remote fitness courses via subscription, so that they are broadcast: with – but also without – exercise bikes and treadmills. Having achieved great success during the epidemic, Peloton (which was not yet in Italy) could continue to grow, and according to some it became the so-called media company. A company that produces and provides content, as per the intentions of its founder John Foley can become Similar to Netflix. However, in some ways, it really is.

Born in 1971, Foley founded Peloton in his early forties, after studying engineering and then business. After becoming CEO Avoid (known as a site from which invitations of various kinds can be sent and managed) and after leading the department dedicated to online sales at Barnes & Noble, a large American bookstore chain. “Peloton” is a word of French origin, used in cycling parlance, not just in French, to refer to a fairly compact group of road racers, where the pedals are used close together for aerodynamic comfort.

In his early years he devoted himself to equipment: first for cycling and then for walking, always with high quality products and a very sophisticated design, with large screens and a lot of efficient technology.


As early as 2018, Foley said he drew inspiration from Apple, Tesla, and “other vertically integrated software and hardware platforms, which reach directly to the consumer and revolutionize their markets.” According to him, prior to Peloton, exercise bikes and treadmills were part of a “class that was so sleepy, you didn’t know how to develop. Sometimes it still happens that you see in front of you screens with dots that fill up as you approach the end. It is a facade that has been around since 1979».

In the early years of Peloton, Foley spoke of his company with great ambition. He said For example Peloton didn’t sell bikes but happiness. Or that the mills in his plans should be “gateways to trials.”

Foley Neal 2019 (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Someone mocked Foley for his remarks, which are actually quite common among companies of this type and these years. In the meantime, the company has been growing: within a few years, it has increased its product range and above all dedicated itself to the paid application for receiving courses, with both its hardware and its free structure. Within a few years, Peloton made its way to the UK, Canada, Germany and now Australia.

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In September of 2019, Peloton was announced, a few months before the start of a pandemic that caused its sales, subscriptions, and shares to grow rapidly and rapidly. A few months ago, analyst Michel Segar He said The financial times: “Even before the pandemic the Peloton was doing well, but after the pandemic it really blew up.” The reason is obvious: the company offered the possibility to keep fit from home and at the same time connect and compare with other people: course teachers as well as other Peloton users. “It is difficult,” he wrote financial times Writing a script more appropriate for the success of a company like Peloton.

In recent years, especially during the pandemic, many Peloton coaches (often almost unknown until recently) have become very popular and some – such as Robin Arzon, Alex Toussaint or Cody Rigsby – are today influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers, and in their own way celebrity.

Peloton in recent months has had problems withdrawing some of its products (with significant costs and consequent loss in the value of its stock), but its expansion plans continue. peloton complete A series of acquisitions of companies and start-ups of various kinds, from those that produce sports equipment to those that deal with technological devices for wearing, passing through others that deal with artificial intelligence or algorithms to customize training and fitness.

On the one hand, it is obvious and logical that Peloton wants to develop the technology of its products and services and improve what can already be done with the HD screens of its equipment, which exceed 20 inches (in some cases up to 30) and offer various possibilities for interaction with other Peloton users.

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On the other hand – and most importantly – Peloton is trying to become an increasingly influential figure media company: a content and entertainment company, a company byThe Hollywood Reporter You get more and more Hollywoodizando. In the words of Jennifer Kotter, director of content at Peloton, a kind of “Netflix of wellness” is called a set of practices for getting better, both physical and mental, in a somewhat pretentious way.

Through his subscriptions, the simplest of costs $12.99 per monthIndeed, Peloton aims to offer more and more courses, in increasingly diverse activities and in increasingly differentiated ways. To create those that interview the former employee beforeThe Hollywood Reporter He knew Mini-presentations are increasingly linked to the image of the teacher who creates them.

already now, he wrote toThe Hollywood ReporterPeloton is a “global content brand”, which pays great attention to its “scenario of courses”, “smart promotion of its teachers” and many increasingly important deals with entertainment companies. “In many ways, Peloton operates like an old film studio, because it turns its coaches into stars, but not before he ties them to himself on multi-year contracts, and because it produces all of its content itself, and also controls its distribution.”

Peloton now produces and delivers dozens of new lessons every day, with sponsorship hardly found in other similar services. He wrote these lessonsThe Hollywood ReporterIt is strictly produced by a group that, according to the company, consists of people who have won 19 Emmys in total. [gli Oscar della tv statunitense]When Arzon, one of the coaches, carried the advertisement in detail, to let officials know when and how to deliver it during one of her lessons, some of which were simultaneously followed by more than 20,000 people.

And now Peloton produces content on Instagram or YouTube that is neither lessons nor related to fitness and wellness, with cycling, running, walking, yoga, stretching, aerobics or meditation. Arzon, for example, dedicated one to her pregnancy story.

Moreover, peloton cycles are becoming more and more in demand. For example, there are some with a musical theme, where you rehearse by listening to music by a specific artist: which assumes that the Peloton makes specific agreements, as he did with Beyoncé, or that he guarantees rights, as he did with the Beatles.

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The future growth of Peloton will surely pass from better tools and better applications with more services and functions (for example, similar to Strava, it allows you to track activities and performance of outdoor sports, and compare it with those of other users).

But also and above all from creating an increased sense of community to what I published in an article a few months ago He. She He knew “Peloverse,” Peloton’s digital scientist, of whom he wrote, “is an integral part of corporate identity, a lifeline to many, the secret ingredient that separates Peloton from the competition.” “Peloton really got into certain individual lifestyles,” said Gina Jacobson, professor of retail management. But it has become collective thanks to technology: “Never Ride Alone” (“You’ll Never Ride Alone”) was Peloton’s motto in 2013.

To accommodate this continuity – that someone, in certain situations, Almost like worship – Peloton is thinking too To arrange (Now you can, after users have already organized it themselves in the past) Non-digital events and festivals and collection moments.

Meanwhile, Peloton has grown to about 3,000 employees, nearly 100 “showrooms” in the countries it’s located in (testing its products, rather than selling them directly) and in 2020 generated nearly 1.8 billion in revenue. dollars, and for a lot of year issues with so many orders he couldn’t keep up (he’s now talking about shipments usually within two weeks).

Peloton currently has a capitalization of over $30 billion and over three million subscribers. Among them are Justin Bieber, Beyoncé, Shonda Rhimes, and even Joe Biden, the company’s stationary bike owner. Explaining to his readers what that bike was like before Biden moved to the White House, he said The New York Times sChris: “For starters, it’s part exercise bike and part social media.”

Maggie Benson

"Bacon trailblazer. Certified coffee maven. Zombie lover. Tv specialist. Freelance communicator."

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