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Peloton races into the video game biz as corona-conomy winners lose momentum

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures
_The Post-Couch era is coming [THEPALMER/E+ via GettyImages]_

The Post-Couch era is coming [THEPALMER/E+ via GettyImages]

Grand Theft Spin Bike... Doesn't roll off the tongue. Peloton is getting into gaming. The spin icon is launching an in-app video game called "Lanebreak" (ETA: early 2022). So far, it's looking like a car wheel on a Guitar Hero chord. The rhythm-based game features a personal avatar, which you can move through tracks and obstacles to score rewards. Think: notching up your resistance to the tune of "Eye of the Tiger," or challenging capspin_america on Level 4.

Turn down the torque... Corona-conomy thrivers are starting to sweat. Netflix reported yesterday that it added 1.5M paid subscribers last quarter — less than the 4M it added in the previous quarter, and waaay less than the 16M it added in the first quarter of 2020 (aka: peak lockdown). Pandemic-thriver Peloton could see a similar slowdown.

  • Peloton saw explosive growth mid-pandemic, as its $2K spin bikes flew off shelves. That could end now that Soul Cycle studios and gyms are back with IRL sweating.
  • Not just Equinox: The at-home competition is fierce for both Peloton and Netflix, as rivals multiplied and grew during the pandemic.
  • A few Peloton competitors: Mirror, Tempo, Zwift, Echelon, and iFit, which is reportedly eyeing an IPO. Netflix competitors: anything that ends with "+."
THE TAKEAWAY

The Post-Couch Era demands innovation... Pandemic thrivers like Peloton and Zoom need to compete with IRL activities — and with a fresh crop of "couch era" rivals that bulked up during lockdown. That competition requires innovation in order to retain and grow customers. That's why Netflix just announced it's also adding video games to its streaming subscriptions, and why Zoom is launching Zoom-as-a-Service.