Peloton is implementing a more standardized process for periodic removal of classes from the on-demand library, otherwise known as class purges. We spoke with Peloton about this upcoming new process in order to find out more details about what members should expect in the future.
Moving forward Peloton will refer to this process as “Class Library Maintenance.” The majority of removals will occur on Fridays – not necessarily every Friday, but they will likely be more frequent than they have been previously. There is not a specifically scheduled time on Friday the class removals will take place. The first removal is scheduled to take place on Friday, April 28, 2023.
Update – You can read details about what was removed on April 28th here.
In the past, Peloton’s class purges have been randomly timed and were typically months apart. Because they occurred more sporadically, they typically resulted in approximately 10-20% of instructors’ libraries being removed.
The largest purge happened in 2019, when Peloton removed nearly 65% of the on-demand library following the music licensing lawsuit from the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA). Since then, purges have happened approximately twice per year. Purges have happened for a variety of reasons, but the most common seem to be music licensing issues and the removal of older content. Large purges in August 2021 and February 2021 also saw hundreds of classes removed. There have also been occasional smaller purges, such as the removal of short duration strength content in March 2022. The most recent purge occurred in December of 2022 when Peloton removed more than 500 classes from the on-demand library that contained music by Kanye West (note that this was somewhat of a one-off situation, as Peloton announced they would no longer play music by Kanye West on their platform.
Now that Peloton will more regularly remove older classes from the library, we anticipate a more minimal impact with each purge.
Peloton noted that – like any media company – their production and processes improve over time, and they also release fresh content every day. Thus, just like Netflix and other streaming/media companies, Peloton is implementing more processes around the removals, as they can’t retain all of their content forever. However, they have noted that – unlike Netflix – they will not create a public list of classes that will be removed soon.
There will be a range of factors that determine which classes will be removed – including the age of the class and how popular it still is – however, there are no blanket guidelines. Currently, the oldest batch of classes on the Peloton platform date back to April 2019. There are a small number of classes that are even older. Members can likely expect the oldest classes on the Peloton platform will be removed on a rolling basis.
However, if a class is still extremely popular or part of a program, it is more likely to remain in the on demand library. If a class is removed that was in a program – which has happened in the past – it may be reinstated.
It is worth noting that it is not an algorithm that determines which classes are to be removed. Members of Peloton’s content team are tasked with reviewing the classes and determining which ones should be removed. This means that there will be exceptions and allowances for classes that are relatively old but remain popular.
One specific example of this is Robin Arzón’s Greatest Showman Ride. This was recorded back in 2018, but is still available on the platform and remains one of the more popular classes. We specifically asked if this class would be impacted, but Peloton stated it will remain the on demand library after the first class removals after April 28th.
We anticipate that the first class library maintenance on April 28 will result in the removal of some classes that were filmed in or around April 2019 – but we will share updates as they become available. Given these class removals & class purges are now expected on a more regular basis, we likely won’t create a breakdown of the removals every time, but depending on what the impact is of this first purge, might create one in the coming days for this first Class Library Maintenance
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