As the markets closed on Tuesday night, Peloton was worth $28.48bn. 24 hours later, it was worth $24.33bn, with $4.15bn knocked off its market cap by a day of two bad news stories for the fitness tech firm, concerning safety and privacy.
Story one: Peloton is recalling its Tread and Tread+ treadmills and telling owners of either device to “immediately stop using it”. The announcement was made with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just days after Peloton criticised the CPSC’s call for such as recall as “inaccurate and misleading”.
This relates to injuries suffered by children and pets – 39 incidents according to the CPSC in its original warning – as well as one child’s death. “CPSC staff believes the Peloton Tread+ poses serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death,” it had warned, citing the potential for them to be pulled under the devices by the treadmills’ rear rollers.
Peloton CEO John Foley apologised for his company’s initial response to the warning. But as the apology was published, another story was breaking that was also very bad news for Peloton.
TechCrunch broke the story, based on a security researcher’s claim that Peloton’s API was leaky. “The exposed API let him — and anyone else on the internet — access a Peloton user’s age, gender, city, weight, workout statistics and, if it was the user’s birthday, details that are hidden when users’ profile pages are set to private,” claimed its report.
The vulnerability has now been fixed, with TechCrunch holding publication of its story until that had been done, but the news – complete with a national security angle in President Biden’s ownership of a Peloton – contributed to Peloton’s 14.6% share price wobble.
None of this is directly music related, but Peloton is an increasingly important partner for music companies: cited alongside Facebook and TikTok as key drivers for Warner Music’s growth in its latest financials, for example. Treadmill safety is a very specific issue for fitness tech, but leaky APIs are a risk for any digital music (or music-related) service to manage.
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