Interesting News Stories & Some Thoughts
These are a selection of recent stories that either follow the theme of this blog (sports tech and training) or which might be of related interest to the readership either as athletes or industry professionals. Plus it saves you from hunting around for something interesting to read!
Will Peloton Become an App Company?
The title is not as fanciful as it sounds.
On the back of much lower losses than expected(!), Peloton’s shares surged by over 25% earlier this week. The numbers improved across the board with both hardware sales and subscription revenues outperforming. The downside for the company is that its core business of selling hardware (Bike, Tread, Row) is unprofitable. Doh.
The new CEO remains upbeat and said its $13/month app is the “path to the promised land” and that
The end goal for that strategy is to expand the total addressable market by reaching a user base that historically we’ve not been able to access. And to do it with our core strength, which is all of the content and the user experience that our instructors give life to, and to enable consumers to use that content on competitive hardware and to use it in the home and to use it in the gym and to use it outside, whether it’s strength or yoga or it’s running outside or run a treadmill, whether it’s rowing what have you. [via SGB Media]
Just to put that in context. Peloton charges $44/month for its all-access membership to use its Connected Fitness Equipment but the £13/month app does NOT require Peloton equipment. Peloton clearly must see a huge potential to grow app subscriptions when using 3rd party equipment.
We’ve already seen the new CEO significantly shake up the retail and distribution sides of the company. Don’t expect that to change any time soon. But what we might expect to see is a more rapid expansion to the sports features of its app
Coros Wearables sells direct in UK/Ireland
I’m sure many readers think that partnering a blog like this with a brand like Coros is relatively straightforward. Believe me, it’s not. And when you multiply any difficulties by 10s of companies that you want to work with, you can only imagine the complete complexity of it all. But you might also think that it’s worth it as blogs make squillions of dollars from affiliate sales (hmmm, maybe for Garmin…but no one else!).
I hope I (still) have a good relationship with Coros and that means that I get early access to new devices and software features. However, monetizing that isn’t easy. I have to have separate relationships with the company in different geographic regions. Many companies are like this so imagine what happens when content like an expiring promotional offer needs to be updated and also imagine that a product launch often has different SKU’s/ASINs in different regions.
It’s universally complicated but hopefully, things have got a tad easier for me with Coros. Here’s the setup
- USA – direct with coros
- EU – I can’t work anything out with the distributor so it’s Amazon or nothing
- UK/Ireland – I couldn’t work out anything with the old distributor 2Pure but now Coros has moved on from 2Pure and will sell directly to consumers.
- Rest of the World – Nada or Amazon
Actually, Ben@Coros is one of the best at loading up affiliates/partners with lots of juicy pre-release info that usually answers the most awkward of my questions.
On-Device CIQ Store app
The latest version of the Connect IQ On-Device store has arrived. This version allows the browsing and installation of apps directly from watches/bike computers. This was first reported here 3 months ago.
Garmin Vivomove Trend
This launch was pretty much a non-event. I covered the interesting aspect of it being the first Garmin watch to get QI charging a couple of weeks ago.
Perhaps of an equal level of non-interest was Garmin’s announcement of ECG. Again that’s been trailed repeatedly here and elsewhere over the last year.
Facebook SmartWatch – Again
I take the occasional delight in predicting the eventual demise of industry giants. Garmin will fall to Google and Apple; Google will fall to Microsoft’s AI; Facebook will fall as Apple cut its ad revenues and it focuses on the dead-end street of the Metaverse; Microsoft will fall as its non-cloud businesses falter. Seems like they’re all going to fail by my logic.
Last year it was strongly rumoured that Facebook/Meta was ditching all investment in everything apart from the Metaverse. Thus it seemed highly plausible that its previously rumoured smartwatch would also progress no further. Now, according to Kuba Wojciechowski, Facebook appears to be continuing with its design plans and the latest prototypes feature an updated rear sensor array.
As for me, I have zero trust in Facebook with my data, so I wouldn’t give them any more of it, even if they produce the world’s best smartwatch…which they won’t.
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