Is this a harbinger of troubles for other niche streaming platforms to come?
Peloton may not seem like a typical OTT platform when it comes to "streaming." But it does provide live video streaming of spinning and other fitness classes, as well as on-demand content.
In a similar vein, the day before, Discovery Inc. said it was launching a targeted OTT platform for its Food Network brand -- Food Network Kitchen -- which would provide "live interactive cooking,” as well as on-demand programming. No bike required -- but perhaps a burner, a few pans and an oven glove.
If one can imagine a video screen in a kitchen, when a TV subscriber is cooking, perhaps another TV consumer is on a bike trainer, in a living room, in front of another video screen.
Targeted, internet-connected video businesses are extensions of the broader OTT streaming business. Linear TV cooking and fitness platforms are probably only the start.
All this comes alongside the bigger streaming platform wars to come, including from including Disney+, WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock, among others.
But in looking at the landscape of streaming video platforms big and small, Chris Ripley, CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group, in speaking with NBC News, doesn’t see positive signs.
“We think that’s going to be a sea of blood. It’s going to be losses for many years to come for many of those companies that are going to be engaged in a major share battle.”
Peloton is known for internet-connected indoor bikes and subscription cycling classes -- moving more recently into other fitness areas. Entry costs can be high: A top-quality video viewing-equipped Peloton bike costs $2,245 and a treadmill runs $4,295.
Here’s the kicker: Monthly subscription fees are $39 per month for these video classes and content. This isn’t cheap, compared with other streaming services. The Food Network OTT is $6.99 at month.
Now add in bigger services. Netflix carries a $12.99-a-month price tag for its most popular service; Disney+ is at $6.99. Need anything else? How about Hulu + Live TV -- which copies traditional pay TV services -- at $44.95 a month.
Sea of blood? Sea of sweat? Maybe just a sea of money out of consumers' pockets. But rougher seas, for sure.