May 14 - Peloton is hoping to be the Apple of fitness with its sleek black bikes, complete with an oversized high tech screen that lets riders take boutique spin classes from their homes. Bobbi Rebell reports.
SOUNDBITE: SAVANNA STEVENSON, PELOTON BIKE USER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It's going to be time for mommy to put on her shoes and do some exercise- ok?" And with that Savannah Stevenson's three year old daughter Cece is off to her gym class - the sneakers go on- and the countdown is on to join Stephanie Niemen's Peloton spinning class.. right from Stevenson's Greenwich Village New York apartment. The Peloton spinning studio in Chelsea, which is also a TV studio, live streams 12 classes a day complete with shout-outs to its at home students. For startup Peloton it took two years, a Kickstarter campaign- and a lot of cash to get to the launch earlier this month. CEO John Foley: SOUNDBITE: JOHN FOLEY, CEO, PELOTON (ENGLISH) SAYING: "A lot of money. So it's probably $750,000 of audio video equipment. High definition cameras, all the audio equipment." Just below the studio is a control room, where technical directors control everything from the five cameras, to dozens of lighting options and act as DJ's - all while keeping tabs on virtual students like Stevenson. REPORTER BRIDGE: BOBBI REBELL, REUTERS CORRESPONDENT (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Riders may sweat the price of the bike. They run $2,000. But here's the sell. One you buy the bike its $39 bucks a month all inclusive. As much virtual cycling as you want. Compare that to the in-studio experience at $30 a pop and you can see why people might buy in." SOUNDBITE: SAVANNA STEVENSON, PELOTON BIKE USER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "My husband rides it. I ride it. We even bought our babysitter a pair of the clip shoes so that she can ride it while my daughter naps." The bike screen shows riders all their metrics- including heart rate, resistance and cadence- all reflected on the global leaderboard- so riders are competing against everyone else in the class. SOUNDBITE: SAVANNA STEVENSON, PELOTON BIKE USER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I've developed a little nemesis relationship with a rider named Kathy who is apparently located in Idaho. Now of course I don't know Kathy but I know she is in Idaho and I know that I have such a hard time beating her. It's so tough. She is just a killer and I finally beat Kathy and I felt so great about myself!" Foley says they basically break even on the bikes. This is a media/content play: SOUNDBITE: JOHN FOLEY, CEO, PELOTON (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The business model is subscription digital content. So you think about how Amazon charges $150 for an Amazon Kindle Fire even though it costs them $250 to make that tablet. So their business model is subscription digital content, where they sell you the books and the music and the video and all that after the fact. Similarly the name of the game for Peloton is to get these bikes into consumers' homes." Foley says he wants Peloton to be the Apple of fitness- with its sleek black bikes and branded merchandise showcased in its new retail outlets- while maintaining control of their proprietary hardware and software. SOUNDBITE: JOHN FOLEY, CEO, PELOTON (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The difference between Peloton and some of these boutique fitness operators is technology. We have the hardware and the software that is very difficult to replicate. We also have patents around everything so there is some intellectual property protection as well." Peloton has sold over 1200 bikes. They are now sold out and on back order.