Peloton appears to be preparing to completely overhaul their app strategy sometime at the beginning of 2023. This includes new pricing models, where the classes you have access to might depend on what price you pay. In almost every recent public appearance, Peloton CEO Barry McCarthy has talked about his plans to relaunch the Peloton Digital app in 2023.
In this month’s Q1 2023 earnings call McCarthy discussed upcoming plans for the Peloton app and digital-only pricing, alluding to a relaunch in 2023. As McCarthy explained, this is a significant piece of Peloton’s push to hit 100 million members.
Currently the Peloton App costs $12.99 per month for members who are digital subscribers only – in other words, those who do not own a hardware device such as the Bike, Tread, Guide, or the upcoming Row. This is the same price it has been since the price was lowered from $19.49 in December 2019. According to McCarthy Peloton has never achieved much more than one million App-only users.
McCarthy has previously expressed that he feels Peloton has not focused enough on their App-only segment, and that they were too focused on encouraging customers to make a hardware purchase. Moving forward, he’d like that to change – so essentially Peloton does not care whether you have a subscription with hardware or a subscription just through the app.
With this mindset shift will come new pricing and strategies that will launch in 2023. McCarthy stated on the last earnings call:
“Our strategy is to relaunch the digital app in the New Year. It will be a different price value opportunity than it is currently. There’ll be a tiered pricing associated with our content strategy – a new content strategy. We’re chasing the 100 million digital app users. The current product has never really grown bigger than a million.”
One piece of this is a “freemium” model. Freemium basically means that some features of the app would be completely free, while other features (and classes) would remain behind a paywall. McCarthy first began discussing a potential freemium vision earlier this year, both through an investor presentation and an interview with Bloomberg. He also confirmed in the Q4 2022 earnings call in August that Peloton was heading in that direction, stating:
“And with respect to the digital app strategy, I had previously told investors that I wanted us to pursue a freemium strategy, we are going to implement that. There’ll be various price points and you’ll have access to different kinds of content depending on how much you pay for the digital app.”
When McCarthy was asked a follow-up question about the strategy not all classes being available to all members (also known as “gated content”), he replied:
“I’m going to hold off on talking about the digital strategy until we roll it out, other than to say that it will have a premium component and there will be a gated component.”
Peloton has already begun to explore gated content. For example, scenic content was previously available to app users before Peloton removed their access in 2021 as part of their scenic content relaunch. In advance of the launch of their rowing modality, Peloton has said that the majority of rowing classes will be locked to Peloton Row owners.
In addition, Peloton could offer an annual membership option for the app-only subscription, presumably giving a slight discount to members who are willing to make a longer term commitment. We’ve previously reported rumors of this potential pricing model.
McCarthy provided insight into this overall strategy shift related to the app & pricing, stating:
“The overarching strategy here is to gain access to competitive connected business hardware platforms. About half the users, paid users of our digital app, at one time or another use are connected business content on someone else’s hardware. We’ve never actually marketed that use case. We’re going to lean into it. The digital app has kind of come at the end of our marketing funnel. We’re going to move it up to the top with a premium offer and try to lean into that growth opportunity.”
This indicates that significant changes are coming to the Peloton App in 2023. As always, we will continue sharing new information as it becomes available.
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