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Peloton... for making home workouts work: The Drum editorial team’s best of 2020

In Q4, Peloton had become almost too successful

It’s that time again, when we look back at the agencies, the brands, the organizations, movements and trends that have shaped the past year. In 2020 – a year so many of us would like to forget – our industry of problem solvers proved time and again that they have what it takes to muck in, help out, ask questions, shape cultures and change the world. It is them that we celebrate in our New Year Honors.

Last holiday season, leading connected stationary bike and treadmill maker Peloton was a laughingstock. Its now-notorious holiday ad was immediately labeled tone deaf and quickly became lampooned by Ryan Reynolds’s Aviation Gin.

A year later, it’s Peloton that’s laughing thanks to record revenue, a surge of subscriptions and a new, multi-year partnership with Beyoncé.

In Q4, Peloton had become almost too successful with supply chain issues causing shipment delays. Still, its revenue numbers certainly got investors’ blood pumping. The company reported its Q1 2021 fiscal results in November. Among the highlights: a 232% sales surge, a 2021 revenue outlook of $3.9bn and an expectation that this holiday season will result in its first billion-dollar sales quarter.

It’s clear that demand for home fitness solutions amid lockdown has had people pedaling and running towards Peloton’s popular subscription-based workouts. The classes, which cost $39 a month, have drawn 3.6 million members. The company boasted there 77.8m workouts in Q1 alone.

To keep the momentum going, the company appears to be making all the right moves, slashing prices for its original stationary bike to $1,895 and rolling out Bike+, which offers a rotating touchscreen, four speaker sound system and Apple Watch pairing for $2,495. Tread will be available for $2,485 in March. Tread+ is $4,295.

As if all this wasn’t enough, the company brought in Queen B to curate playlists and promote the product for years to come. She said in a statement: ”I’ve been a Peloton member for several years and I’m excited to partner with a company that helps people, young and old, be the best versions of themselves in an innovative and adaptable way.”

Karina Kogan, senior vice-president and head of global product marketing at Peloton, told The Drum: ”We’ve always believed that if you outfitted consumers with the right mix of hardware, software, content and community, they could get the best workouts right from the convenience of their homes. Covid definitely accelerated people’s willingness to stray from very traditional environments, like gyms and studios, and to give Peloton’s more innovative connected fitness platform a try. But the unparalleled value of the Peloton platform is something we have been communicating in our marketing from day one and continue to reinforce. The incredible thing about the Peloton membership and its value for the whole household is that it’s always growing as we constantly add new features and content disciplines.”

Although there’s plenty of competition on the horizon from Nautilus, NordicTrack, Mirror (now owned by Lululemon) and even old school gyms once they open at full capacity, Peloton is now clearly in the lead of the stationary bike and treadmill race.

Updated: Peloton continued its massive momentum with the acquisition of Precor right before the new year. Precor is known for providing equipment to hotels and gyms. It also offers more manufacturing capacity.

We’ll be celebrating all our favorite things about 2020 on thedrum.com between now and early January. Keep an eye on our New Year Honors hub to read more.

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