Peloton extends digital app trial to 2 months — call it The Apple Effect

Well it’s begun. Apple makes a move and there’s a response.

Peloton has doubled the amount of time users have to test its app. Previously you had 30 days to try out the Peloton digital app (iOS, Android, Roku TV, Fire TV, Apple TV, etc.). Now you get 2 months. That should be plenty of opportunity to try out workouts including cycling, strength, yoga, among others.

Once the trial is complete if you want to continue taking Peloton classes you’ll be billed $12.99 USD per month.

Stark Insider Take: Call it the Apple effect

This move by Peloton Interactive, Inc. (NASDAQ: PTON) is obviously in response to Apple.

Earlier this year Apple finally released its competing service called Fitness+ (my thoughts as a Peloton Bike owner). At release the new fitness platform offered a few key differentiators to would-be subscribers:

  • 3 month trial
  • Lower monthly fee at only $9.99 USD (vs. $12.99 for Peloton digital app, $40 for Peloton Bike/Tread)

But, to be fair with Fitness+ there is one obstacle that might prove too pricey upon final consideration:

  • Apple Fitness+ requires an Apple Watch (and obviously an iPhone, Android is not welcome here… yet?)

That requirement aside, Apple is coming into the home fitness market hard. With the launch it becomes Peloton’s largest and most established competitor to date, by far. Though not a pure play, Apple has vast experience in the consumer market and knows a thing or two about technology. And let’s face it, this is the core of the service. If content is King then the way it’s delivered and how it’s organized and the way consumers engage with it is beyond the role of court jester.

More Home Fitness News: Trendspotting: Renpho AI-powered exercise bike looks like a low-cost Peloton alternative that’s actually decent (and works with Zwift)

Take for example Apple Rings.

Three rings indicate your daily progress in reaching three key fitness goals: movement (calories), exercise (minutes), stand (per hour). When you reach a goal in any three, the ring is closed and you get a nifty animation and notification on your phone or watch. It’s simple, intuitive and even fun. Very Apple. And, yes, in my experience at least, it does keep you motivated.

Rings also have made there way to Fitness+ so the entire Apple Fitness and Health app ecosystem has a consistency that helps gym rats and newbies alike get into the game without much learning or setup required in the process.

Then there’s the fact that Apple Fitness+ comes already installed on any new Apple device — well, at least the trial version. That’s a huge advantage.

Fitness gamification.

Peloton has its own competitive weapons too. For instance, you can run it on Android devices (and non Apple TV devices too) giving the NY-based company a wider market opportunity.

Then there’s the Peloton hardware. Bike and Bike+. Tread and Tread+.

Apple doesn’t yet have any fitness hardware. That could very well change. After all, with iOS devices Apple has a fully integrated hardware and software stack that it controls top to bottom. End result? A superior user experience. So it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising if Apple does eventually make at least some kind of spin bike. Maybe an EV too while we’re at it!

Peloton doubling its trial length isn’t the biggest news in the world of home fitness — that’s surely to come in 2021 — but it does demonstrate the Apple Effect. Meantime Peloton acquired Precor giving it a shot of supply chain prowess, and perhaps more importantly, a valuable footprint in potential post-pandemic locations such as hotel gyms; prime opportunities to convert more leads into paying subscribers.

ALSO SEE: Peloton Top 10: Best accessories for your bike

Will Peloton next drop its monthly sub fee to $9.99 to match Apple (and Fitbit)?

I believe we’re witnessing a profound shift from the old school gym model (which will survive after a complete re-think) to a new one powered by streaming, at-home hardware, gamification, and content. That may seem obvious. But looking back in, say, 10 years from now and we’ll likely realize how COVID so significantly transformed this nascent industry.

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