We Wanted To Know Why Peloton Is So Addicting, So We Got Some Answers

On today's episode of BuzzFeed Daily, we broke down the top pop culture headlines AND discussed how Peloton instructors are the new micro-celebrities. You can listen below or scroll down to read more about the interview!

So let's dive right into it! Recently we talked to Tanya Chen about the Peloton instructor-to-influencer pipeline. Here's some of what we learned:

BuzzFeed Daily: It seems like at one point everyone was going out and buying a Peloton. Why do you think Peloton started as sort of a punchline? And how did the tables turn so quickly?

Tanya Chen: I think it was at the end of 2019 that that infamous commercial came out, that's now become a meme. And we thought it would be kind of the end of Peloton or that it would stifle its growth. The reason I think is kind of clear — it's the pandemic, the misfortune of a global pandemic, that Peloton kind of struck some luck with. In 2020, sales for Peloton just like skyrocketed because we were all stuck inside. I think a Wall Street Journal report said that by the end of 2020, there were more than a million users. So, yeah, it's become an absolute rush for them. And I think they really somehow benefited from the pandemic and quarantining, and I actually heard of a friend who got her Peloton delivered faster than some Amazon products have been delivered. So they're really turning things around really fast.

BuzzFeed Daily: So this is possibly the first fitness company to draw talent in for their personal branding before their fitness credibility. So as a result, it's become this unexpected portal into being influencers, and it's creating some big "stars" already. Who are some of your favorites, and what are they doing that's different?

@onepeloton / GIPHY / Via giphy.com

TC: A cult favorite, I think, on the internet largely is Cody Rigsby. I think he's like the breakout star that people even not in Peloton Nation have heard of. Yes, I like him, and I'm generally amused by him and his rants. I don't love the fact that he uses African American vernacular English sometimes, but I think it's mostly harmless. I think he loves pop culture and gossip, and so do I. So that's like a very fun marriage. I tend to gravitate to instructors that are very magnetic, like Robyn and Jess Sims.

BuzzFeed Daily: You mentioned before that a lot of Peloton's meteoric rise could be attributed to the pandemic. So what happens if and when the pandemic is over? When gyms are safe again, does Peloton stay?

@onepeloton / GIPHY / Via giphy.com

TC: I think so. I think the pandemic and Peloton has kind of opened up kind of a new lifestyle that can feel very Black Mirror-ish because we're so sequestered to our homes and now we work out in this regimented way that is so plugged in. I think there are benefits to that — if you're a homebody, it keeps you inside, and if you can create division, it can be OK, and it can be more accessible.

I tend to think it's good to also prioritize socializing and group activities. I take a group fitness class at the local climbing gym, and it reminds me how important those things are. I think like Peloton definitely seems to be following the trend of streaming with TVs and movies at home. But with those trends, I think we need to put some brakes on it and incentivize going to a movie outside of your home or with loved ones are watching television together, when it's safe to do that in a pandemic.

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As always, thanks for listening! And if you ever want to suggest stories or just want to say hi, you can reach us at daily@buzzfeed.com or on Twitter @BuzzFeedDaily.