Tech Giants Have Wellness In Their Crosshairs, What Does That Mean For Disruptors Like Peloton?

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  • Samsung has launched Samsung Health, boasting 5,000 hours of fitness content available across its connected ecosystem of mobiles, wearables and smart TVs
  • Virgin TV has rolled out a dedicated wellness channel in the UK airing daily yoga and fitness classes
  • Peloton has launched an app on Apple TV, following hook up with Amazon Fire and Android TV, as well as announcing partnerships with BT Sport and ESPN to stream an All-Star Ride event with global sports stars 

NEW YORK, United States — In what appears to be driven by the at-home fitness revolution that has bloomed under lockdown, television stations and digital streaming services are muscling in on the wellness market with new services and innovations.

At the beginning of June, Virgin TV launched a new dedicated wellness channel in the UK. Its “Get Moving” channel, with British icon and two-time Olympic gold-winning decathlete Daley Thompson as the poster boy, is beaming daily yoga and fitness classes into people’s living rooms across the country. 

Meanwhile, South Korea’s Samsung Electronics has launched Samsung Health, a “comprehensive in-home fitness and wellness platform”, connected across its mobiles, wearables and smart TVs. The service boasts 5,000 hours of content from barre3, Calm, Fitplan, Jillian Michaels Fitness, obé fitness and Echelon. 

“The whole intention of Samsung Health is to motivate our consumers to live healthier lives by meeting them wherever they are, across Samsung platforms,” explained Won-Jin Lee, Executive Vice President of Service Business. “Given the current climate, we hope that the launch of Samsung Health makes it easier for our consumers to prioritise their physical and mental wellbeing on a daily basis.” 

With fit-tech giant Peloton also announcing its app would finally be available via Apple TV, enabling users to access its workouts on the big screen via Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD, it begs the question — As global tech giants zoom in on wellness, in the long-term is this creating more opportunities or challenges for at-home fitness brands like Peloton?

Tech Giants Have Wellness In Their Crosshairs, What Does That Mean For Disruptors Like Peloton?

Image: Samsung

Peloton leading from the front
Despite the ever-increasing digital options for consumers, Peloton’s international managing director Kevin Cornils is confident that the brand isn’t threatened by the competition. 

“No one is doing what we’re doing, anywhere in the world — combining the best software, hardware, content and experience in one place,” he told Welltodo. 

“We created the category and we’re confident about the quality and uniqueness of the Peloton experience. We spend a lot of time thinking about how we can continue to innovate and deliver the best possible experience for our members globally rather than focussing on the competition. 

“The launch of our app on Apple TV is one example of this, as we want to ensure that our members can access our wide-ranging content library from whatever screen they choose.” 

In fact, he argues the partnership with Apple TV has strengthened Peloton’s grip on the digital fitness market. Having launched its app on Amazon Fire TV in December last year and on Android TV this April, its membership and value have been booming as a result, with its share price nearly doubling in value since early March. 

“The latest launch on Apple TV makes our content even more accessible,” Cornils continued. 

“Both new and existing Peloton members can now view our best-in-class, studio-style workouts on the biggest screen in the home, enabling them to better experience our floor-based disciplines and turn their living room into an exercise room.” 

Furthering the New York-based company’s reach into homes around the world, Peloton has also been running virtual head-to-heads with global sports stars including NBA all-stars, Super Bowl champions and tennis grand slam winners, performed on Peloton bikes and hosted by media partners including BT Sport and ESPN. 

The first-ever Peloton All-Star Ride, featuring golfers Rory McIlroy and Bubba Watson, two-time Australian Open winning tennis player Victoria Azarenka and four-time Olympic gold-winning swimmer Matt Grevers, was streamed in support of the Food Bank for New York City, with Peloton donating one million meals to the cause. 

Tech Giants Have Wellness In Their Crosshairs, What Does That Mean For Disruptors Like Peloton?

Image: Peloton

Digital fitness revolution
While the fitness industry at large has been rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also created opportunities for brands to reach an audience that has rapidly shifted online. As a result, Cornils predicts the quality and variety of digital fitness content will continue to blossom. 

“Like many businesses, we’ve had to adapt but it’s been fantastic to see our community coming together on the leaderboard and continuing their workouts at home,” said Cornils.

“Technology has always underlined everything we do and it’s a big differentiator for us. Looking ahead [for the industry]I think there will be more focus on the breadth and diversity of content. At Peloton, we produce broadcast-quality content from state-of-the-art studios and we’re continually introducing new content formats to keep our members engaged.” 

While Cornils hinted that innovations driven by member feedback were in the pipeline, he wouldn’t reveal his hand just yet. “Our R&D team is always working on ideas and this year we’ve introduced lots of new features, such as Tags, which allow members to showcase their identities by adding Tags to their profile. For example, #PelotonUK and #UKLadiesPeloton. 

“But ultimately, our true north star is ensuring that members have the best experience possible — whatever innovations we may have on the horizon.” 

Peloton on Apple Watch, iPhone and iPad
In a separate statement on the launch on Apple TV, Peloton indicated it would be doubling down on its partnership with Apple to build on its current global community of 2.6 million members. 

“Peloton continues building more opportunities for Apple customers, as the company maintains its lead in the connected fitness space,” the statement read. “The launch of the Peloton App on Apple TV builds on the exciting ways that Apple customers can experience Peloton, including the recent introduction of the Peloton App on Apple Watch, as well as the app’s availability on iPhone and iPad. 

“Looking forward, Peloton will continue building on Apple’s platforms and deliver new ways for members who are Apple users to experience its superior workout content.” 

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