Peloton has unveiled a year-long partnership with livestream competition program Verzuz, and the joint effort’s “Peloton Verzuz classes” are already underway.
Peloton – which spent north of $60 million on litigation and settlement costs in 2020, following an ugly copyright infringement lawsuit with 14 music publishers – announced its Verzuz partnership in a blog post as well as a video (featuring the program’s founders, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz).
The move represents the latest in a long line of direct deals for Peloton, which quietly inked a contract with Beyoncé in November of 2020, about a month before producing three Elvis remixes, from Chromeo (“Clean Up Your Own Backyard”), Big Boi (“Catchin’ on Fast”), and Dillon Francis (“Do the Vega”).
In terms of the Peloton Verzuz classes, however, the exercise-equipment company indicated that fitness enthusiasts will be able to exercise “to the tune of head-to-head musical celebrations featuring iconic past Verzuz match-ups” on the Peloton app. Fans are also encouraged to add the names of their favorite Verzuz competitors to their Peloton profiles, and the entity will then “tally up the total number of Peloton Members who showed up for each artist with Tags, and see where our community stands.”
The first of the music-themed classes took place yesterday evening, whereas the next Verzuz workout (a half-hour ride with Peloton instructors Cody Rigsby and Emma Lovewell) is set for tomorrow night at 7:30 PM EST. A third class will follow at noon on Thursday, April 1st, and the New York City-based business intends to reveal “all the details for Peloton Verzuz classes to come” sometime down the line.
With the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines continuing and many exercisers (presumably) set to return to health clubs and gyms, it’ll be interesting to see the additional steps Peloton takes to maintain its substantial market presence and bolster its community – particularly because these moves will likely involve music-industry deals.
The nine-year-old company’s stock (PTON on NASDAQ) finished today at $107.17 per share – down substantially from a 52-week high of $171.09, but up more than four times from the same period in 2020.
Worth noting in conclusion is that short-form video-sharing app (and prominent TikTok competitor) Triller acquired Verzuz and added Swizz Beatz and Timbaland to its executive roster three weeks ago. And on the heels of a much-publicized licensing dispute with Universal Music Group (which reportedly owns a stake in Triller), the platform last week quietly licensed the largest music publishers in the world.