Peloton's First Post-Lockdown 'Live' Class Sparks Record Ridership As Gym Bankruptcies Grow

Anyone who rides a Peloton knows that a single live class in pre-corona times would have drawn several hundred folks, and in some cases, thousands of riders across the country. But since people are canceling their gym memberships and opting for a Peloton exercise bike during the coronavirus pandemic, a record number of riders attended the first live class this week since the company suspended live rides on April 6.

Bloomberg reports that Peloton saw upwards of 23,000 riders across the country attend a single live class on Wednesday. By Thursday, the class had 55,000 participants. And on Friday, more than 85,000.

"The coronavirus pandemic has hit gyms and real-world cycling classes hard, but it's been an opportunity for Peloton to sign up new customers as millions around the globe shelter in place. Just as Netflix Inc. is setting records for video streaming with 182.8 million subscribers, Peloton's business seems built for a world where people need to work out at home," Bloomberg noted.

Peloton said Friday that members worldwide had breached the 2 million mark. "This is the first time that Peloton has filmed classes outside of its two studios after the temporary suspension of streaming live classes from its studios in New York and London," the company said.

A surge in new members has been seen during the pandemic as many cancel gym memberships and hop on a bike:

"There is no shortage of indications that many gym-goers are looking to buy Peloton products to stay fit during the current phase of social distancing, and given the stickiness of the offering, many buyers are likely to be enduring subscribers. Additionally, once we return to normal, the pandemic will likely prompt a segment of the population to rethink their fitness routine," writes Wedbush analyst James Hardiman.

Consumer behavior trends are rapidly shifting in the pandemic and will continue to disrupt the economy for years to come.

Peloton has sparked a bankruptcy wave among gyms. We noted last week that 24 Hour Fitness is preparing to restructure.

From the darkness of the pandemic, the American economy is rapidly evolving as social distancing forces people to do more things at home rather than in a public setting.