In recent weeks, Peloton customers have noticed a decline in the music selection offered on their pricey home fitness machines, which cost $2,000 to $4,000 a piece—and now they’re venting online.
Last month, the company was hit with a $150 million lawsuit by the National Music Publisher’s Association (NMPA) alleging Peloton hadn’t paid royalties for hundreds of songs it streams to its devices. The songs are played on Peloton’s stationary bikes and treadmills as part of preset workout class playlists, and the NMPA suit claims that Peloton did not obtain “synch license” for videos that sync with the timing of the music.
Since the lawsuit was filed, many users have observed a decline in the quality of the playlists, as the Verge reported today. “Random songs are plopped in the middle of an otherwise consistently themed playlist,” a Peloton user named Ally told the Verge, complaining that the workouts just don’t “flow like they used to.”
A search on the Peloton subreddit shows many more bereaved customers disappointed that their $468 annual membership no longer provides a seamless stream of high-octane hits. Several specifically mention that songs seem to come from Now That’s What I Call Music! compilations.
Earlier this week, a redditor asked the community how they could give feedback on the recent music downgrades. “I just took a 20 minute ride and it had 2 Pink songs and 2 ‘Now that’s What I Call Music’ tracks,” they wrote. “Honestly my user experience is being affected by the music recently.”
“I’m enjoying rides much less than before,” another redditor responded. “Peloton needs to get serious about upping their music game.”
Someone else asked if anyone had seen any good playlists since “the purge.” “I didn’t think the music lawsuit would affect me but it did,” the redditor wrote. “The music now seems a little blah and forgettable/unrecognizable which makes it less enjoyable for me.”
Another dissatisfied customer wrote, “I bought this bike because I like to ride to good music and now I’m forced to ride to terrible tunes.”
Someone else suggested the instructors are trying to spin the changing song selection. “Had anyone noticed it’s like the instructors are trying to convince you it’s good when we both know it’s not as good?” the redditor posted. “They seem to make a lot of comments like, ‘This is a band you’ve never heard of, but it’s awesome!’ and ‘Whoever knew____ could sound like this?’ It’s awkward.”
In a letter sent to customers last month and shared with Gizmodo today, CEO John Foley acknowledged that Peloton has “decided to remove classes that feature songs” identified in the lawsuit and customers “may notice this in the near term.”
“Peloton has agreements in place with all of what are known as the ‘major’ publishers, record labels and performing rights organizations,” Foley assured customers. “These agreements provide licenses to a broad catalog of music that our instructors can choose from to program great classes for you.”
Hopefully, the company can work these issues out so their troves of luxury fitness enthusiasts wont have to endure workouts consisting of multiple Pink songs for much longer.