Peloton’s Head of Music discusses strategy, partnerships, and at-home workouts

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Peloton’s Head of Music, Gwen Riley, discusses recent partnerships with Beyoncé, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and the Prince estate, among other topics.

The interview was part of the publication’s “At Work” series and is a great read if you want to learn more about Peloton’s music strategy. Riley was part of Disney’s team when they acquired Tapulous (makers of Tap-Tap Revenue) and ended up falling in love with working with music and emerging technologies.

I got to touch all sorts of interactive projects, different types of new and emerging technologies, and really just fell in love with creating new music opportunities on evolving platforms.

During the interview, she touches on what makes Peloton’s music strategy so unique and how it’s not just a simple workout playlist.

Peloton became an interesting part of a digital solution to what a lot of artists have been struggling with. This is exciting because our membership is highly engaged and they’re working out, really listening, and discovering music in a visceral way. It’s not a passive experience. People call it a music-streaming platform, which we absolutely are, but it’s interactive. You have instructors who’ll take you on a guided tour of an artist’s catalog. I can’t think of any other standard DSP platform where not only can you jump into and re-experience an artist’s catalog or discover a new one, but you have an instructor who’s leading you through a workout and making the music come alive. They share stories of being fans and growing up with the music. They talk about interesting facts about the artist, things they remember from their music video, or any number of things that bring that personal connection. Marrying music, narrative, and visuals together with an elevated experiential workout is the future of workouts.

As the interview wrapped up, Samantha Hissong even joked about the possibility of an album becoming a Peloton exclusive for a day or so, and Gwen replied with: “Keep riding that Bike.”

During the interview, Riley and Hissong go in-depth on the Beyoncé partnership, among other things, so it’s a great read. As I said back in July, Peloton’s attention to music goes beyond just motivation. It’s a key part of their strategy in the future.

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