With gyms and fitness boutiques largely closed due to quarantine and stay-at-home mandates, people have turned to new stay-at-home fitness trends. Fitness brands have been amping up advertising and restructuring their businesses to draw in the people turning their living rooms into home gyms.
Home fitness has been around for decades, but it’s only become more popular and commonplace as the pandemic wreaks havoc on our everyday lives, from the office to the gym. Now, everyone is loading up YouTube yoga, barre via Zoom, and Peloton's on-demand spin classes, trying to stay active as the virus pushes us away from public life.
The fitness industry is changing to adjust to our new lifestyles. So far this year, the sales of exercising equipment and downloads of fitness apps have shot up. Between January and March of 2020, sales of home fitness equipment were up 55%, and lockdowns had barely started. Peloton has raced ahead this year, but competitors like Bowflex and Mirror are competing for dominance in the burgeoning home fitness industry.
|Company||Product / Price||Pros||Cons|
|Peloton||Bikes range from $1,895 to $2,495, plus $39 monthly subscription fee||Cult appeal, wide range of classes||High initial equipment price|
|Echelon||The EX-5s bike is $1,639.98, plus a monthly membership of $69||Lightweight, wide range of classes||High monthly subscription fee|
|Schwinn Fitness||The IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike goes for $899||Low initial price||No screen|
|Bowflex||The VeloCore bike costs $1,699, plus $19.99 per month||Silent ride mode, bike tilts with your movement to mimic a real ride and work arms, back, and core||Price|
|Mirror||$1,495 plus $39 a month||Wide range of classes, space-saving design||High initial and monthly fees|
|Class Pass||Memberships range from $15 to $79 a month||Offers wide range of virtual classes||Must provide your own equipment|
Peloton got a head start on the pandemic home fitness craze
In terms of brand awareness, it isn’t far-fetched to say Peloton has been the one to beat for a while now. Last Christmas, months before the pandemic changed our lives, Peloton was a highly sought after Christmas present. Peloton had a cult following before the pandemic, and it’s only grown. In April, Peloton broke its previous record for the number of people in a live class when its “Live From Home” series debuted. More than 23,000 people tuned in for the first class. Peloton sells a bike to every state every day.
According to our data, Peloton’s Facebook likes have increased by 29% in 2020. But its competitors are speeding up. While Peloton is in the lead with 698,000 FB likes, Mirror's likes have surged by 50% YTD. That said, Mirror is still hundreds of thousands of likes behind Peloton. Schwinn Fitness has the fewest likes at 5,870, but it has grown the most in 2020. Its likes are up by 78%.
Peloton's app ratings count has shot up over 300% this year, reflective of just how many more people hopped on their bikes for a livestream class during the pandemic. Demand for Peloton bikes is through the roof. In the first quarter of 2020, sales were up 66% and subscribers to Peloton’s app were up 94%. Class Pass, on the other hand, has seen its ratings grow just 3% with the closure of gyms and in-person fitness classes, the company's bread and butter.
Class Pass has been delivering its a la carte approach to fitness for nearly a decade. Users can drop in on barre, yoga, spinning, HIIT, and any number of other member studios offerings. Well, they could, back when those studios were fully open. With the onset of COVID-19, Class Pass has pivoted its class offerings to remote-friendly and virtual classes.
Mirror, Mirror on the wall
Mirror is a digital streaming device where users can stream live and on-demand cardio, yoga, barre, boxing, Pilates, strength training, and stretching workouts. Mirror basically brings a personal trainer into your home. Mirror also allows users to communicate with the instructor via a built-in video microphone for a two-way training system.
Mirror has grown significantly during the pandemic, putting it up against Peloton. Its Facebook 'Talking About' count is at 24,800, ahead of Peloton's 18,600. Mirror's mentions have shot up over 200% this year. Peloton's are down 25% over the last six months.
Mirror was developed by former ballet dancer and Harvard alumni Brynn Putnam who, at the end of 2018, said 70% of people work out at home. As of 2020, nearly 100% of people who work out are doing so at home. In 2019, Mirror had $45 million in revenue. For 2020, the company, which has been owned by Lululemon since June, expects to bring in more than $100 million.
Putnam envisions Mirror as a home’s third screen. Since the pandemic began, she’s added meditation classes in partnership with Lululemon. She also launched $40 a session personal training classes, which are streamed to the Mirror from the trainer’s home.
The pandemic has opened up a wider opportunity for fitness brands to move into customers’ homes. However, when it comes to popularity, brand awareness, social media interaction, app usage, and sales, Peloton remains in the lead.
With the pandemic raging on and gyms largely remaining closed, the home fitness industry is growing and changing rapidly. Peloton has a healthy lead on other devices, but consumers are finding the solution that works best for them, which will likely change the industry outlook in the coming months.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online, jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings, and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.