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This article was published on September 15, 2020

Apple’s Fitness+ takes aim at Peloton — and that’s a good thing

I'm getting sweaty just thinking about it

Apple’s Fitness+ takes aim at Peloton — and that’s a good thing
Callum Booth
Story by

Callum Booth

Managing Editor

Callum is the Managing Editor of TNW. He covers the full spectrum of technology, looks after editorial newsletters, and makes the occasional Callum is the Managing Editor of TNW. He covers the full spectrum of technology, looks after editorial newsletters, and makes the occasional odd video.

At its event today, Apple fired a warning shot to the booming at-home fitness content industry with the announcement of Fitness+.

Effectively, this is a subscription service built for Apple devices. Users watch and follow fitness videos on their Apple screen of choice — so far, so standard. The extra juice comes from the syncing the workout with the Apple Watch the training individual is wearing.

This is a strong move from Apple — especially with the cheaper SE on the market — and creators of fitness contents are within their rights to feel worried.

More on that later though, let’s talk about Fitness+ itself for a moment.

The best way to think of it is a streaming service, but filled with, well, fitness videos. These include things like HIIT, cycling, rowing, strength, yoga, and many more.

apple fitness+
Looks very similar to Apple TV, right?

This will work how you’d expect: you have a range of difficulties, ranging from beginner to advanced, and a recommendation system that kicks in once you start exercising.

In regards to the syncing with the Apple Watch, Fitness+ will display your health stats as you work out. It looks pretty clear:

apple watch fitness+
I’ll be honest, I’m very excited to try this out.

If you’d like more specific details on Fitness+ itself, you can go and read more about it here. Now, I’d like to talk about what this means in a broader sense.

This, in my mind, is a hugely clever move from Apple.

The pandemic has led to a lot more people exercising from home. Many people have given up their gym subscriptions and have been cycling through fitness videos on YouTube. There are a lot of folks looking for some structure with their at-home workouts.

Before today’s announcement, Peloton has been one of the main beneficiaries of this.

The company is famous for its at-home bike workouts, but has expanded to more regular fitness sessions with its $30 month subscription service. It goes without saying that Fitness+ is going to eat into its user base, something the stock market recognized quite quickly:

I really don’t think it’s all doom and gloom for the company. Far from it in fact. First off, its stock has bounced back nicely already:

Secondly, this is the best thing that could’ve happened to Peloton.

It goes without saying that Apple will quickly surpass Peloton’s size and user base. And yes, Apple is going to chew up a lot of Peloton’s market share. But, by wading into the at-home workout content market with Fitness+, Apple is automatically shining a light on the businesses already operating in it.

And Peloton will be the biggest beneficiary of this.

There will always be people who hate Apple because it’s Apple. They may like the company’s ideas, but they’ll be damned if they’re gonna give them any money. So they look for alternatives. This is where Peloton will shine.

The best way to think about it is this: with Fitness+ Apple is validating the entire industry of at-home, streamed workouts. It’s suddenly alerted millions of people to its possibilities.

Yes, its entry into the market will hamper the potential number of users Pelton could have, but it will undoubtedly increase the amount of users the service picks up. In other words, Peloton will end up with a smaller market share, but more subscribers.

Genuinely, I’m enthralled about this battle. Not only am I excited to see what happens with the market, I also can’t wait to give Fitness+ a go. And that’s what we call a win-win.

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