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It’s Happening: Peloton is Entering the Rower Game

It’s Happening: Peloton is Entering the Rower Game

Peloton is marking its tenth anniversary & says the rumors are true. Will rowing change Peloton’s course?

As Peloton celebrates its tenth anniversary, the connected fitness company revealed a few special announcements – the biggest one confirming that Peloton is (finally) entering the rowing game. The move will put Peloton in competition with Hydrow, the celeb-backed at-home rowing fitness device. 

“We’re G[row]ing: The rumors are true – Peloton will be bringing its best-in-class fitness experience to the world of rowing! Combining cardio and strength – Peloton is excited to add this total body workout into its powerhouse arsenal of content and grow its connected fitness portfolio with even more options for engaging and challenging workout experiences,” Peloton shared in a post.

The news isn’t surprising, as there has long been speculation of a Peloton rower in the works. However, Peloton has been notoriously elusive when prodded to discuss interest in the rowing arena.

The dominant fitness company has faced significant challenges. Data from Google search trends revealed earlier this year that demand for Peloton had been dwindling, there had been a CEO shuffle, and there has been ongoing public criticism in the form of scathing letters and calls for the board to sell the fitness company.

Peloton’s entry into rowing may provide a much-needed boost to the connected fitness company, which recently announced disappointing third-quarter financial results. Peloton also disclosed that it has signed a binding commitment letter with JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs to borrow $750 million in 5-year term debt to strengthen its balance sheet, and Peloton shares fell 12 percent as a result. 

Despite the gloomy financial results, Peloton CEO Barry McCarthy remained optimistic, writing that turnarounds are a “full contact sport.” He shared that Peloton is aiming for 100 million members and deepened his commitment to connected fitness.

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“We’ve already solved the hardest problem which is finding product/market fit. That begs the question, what’s next? My goal for Peloton is to become a global connected fitness platform with 100 million members. That’s equivalent to roughly half the world’s global gym memberships. It’s a long, long way from where we sit today. But we sit at the epicenter of technology enabled fitness, a long-term secular growth trend. Who doesn’t want to live a healthier, happier, longer life?” McCarthy stated in a letter to shareholders. 

In addition to rowing, Peloton announced three new programs: Arms with Tunde, a four-week program that will be exclusive to Peloton Guide users for seven weeks before becoming available on Peloton’s platform; Peak Your Power Zones Program, which is designed for Peloton members to develop functional threshold power over an eight-week period; and The Approach: Path to Inversion with Kirra, a two-week second installment of Peloton’s yoga program series “The Approach.”

Peloton is also slated to release new software features such as Invite Friends, which will allow Peloton users to schedule workouts with friends. Just Work Out, which Peloton describes as a “consistently requested feature,” has also been revealed, which will allow members to track freeform workouts on the app. Peloton will also offer TalkBack on Tread, allowing blind and low-vision members to access programming and metrics via Google’s TalkBack screen reader. Members will also receive real-time feedback on changes in speed and incline.

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