Zwift, the popular virtual cycling and running platform, has hinted at the possibility of increasing its subscription price for the first time in five years. According to an article published by Bloomberg, Zwift CEO, Eric Min, has stated that the current subscription charge of $15 a month is “not sustainable” for much longer.

Since the pandemic, Zwift has been growing rapidly in popularity, attracting a large and dedicated following of cyclists and runners from around the world. With its immersive virtual worlds, live leaderboards, and social features, Zwift has become a staple of indoor training for many athletes.

However, maintaining and developing such a comprehensive platform comes at a cost, and Zwift’s CEO has suggested that the company may need to adjust its pricing in order to continue delivering the level of quality that users have come to expect. One option being explored is locking users into annual memberships, which would provide Zwift with a more predictable and stable source of revenue.

Zwift has received significant investment from backers including KKR & Co., Permira Holdings, and Amazon’s Alexa Fund, which has added up to a market value of more than $1 billion according to Bloomberg. The CEO also mentioned the possibility of taking the company public eventually.

Despite its growth, Zwift is not yet profitable per Bloomberg, and underwent a restructuring last year that led to job cuts, in line with the wave of layoffs and cost-cutting hitting US tech and e-commerce firms. The company didn’t confirm the number of positions that were eliminated, but stated that it currently employs between 500 and 600 people.

Zwift is often compared to Peloton, and it’s not hard to see why. Both are in-home fitness companies offering a wide range of workout options from the comfort of your own home. However, it’s important to note that despite some overlap in their offerings, the two companies have distinct target markets and strategies.

While both offer indoor cycling and running options, Peloton has positioned itself as a premium fitness brand, offering a more high-end experience with a sleek, integrated touchscreen bike and a wide range of workout classes. On the other hand, Zwift is more focused on the avid cyclist/triathlete and runner, offering a more budget-friendly option with a wider range of workouts, training plans, group rides, races, and the ability to use your own equipment.

Currently, Zwift charges $15 a month for its subscription per user, while Peloton’s monthly fee is $44 per household. Even if Zwift were to increase its price by 30%, it would still be less than half of what Peloton charges if you are a single user. But if you have more than one user per household, Peloton can quickly become the more attractive option.

A subscription price increase is always a tough pill to swallow, but with the current economic environment, we have seen many companies increase prices. TrainerRoad just last month announced a price increase for legacy users. Wahoo X increased its annual membership from $129 to $149.

What’s your take on a possible price hike? share your thoughts in the comments

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  • I will use another platform. $15 a month is already too much. A steal at $15 a month. Almost no support for Apple TV resulting in 720p and minimal graphics. No support for apple si devices running at 1080p. Glitchy and updates that cause mor issues than they fix. A company that does not listen to its user base… zwift is a joke

  • At $15/month ($180/year), they are already priced above most competitors. I’d have to see the new price increase before deciding. I love Zwift but didn’t use it at all June-Sept 2022 so if they go annual contract but offer a “pause subscription” option (extending end date) I would consider it. Depending on cost of course

  • To be clear Trainerroad is not increasing pricing for legacy customers. Legacy customers can keep the same price they have. Or offer to have their subscription increase to current prices.

    • Legacy users will have to take action to opt out of the price increase. If they don’t see the email and don’t opt out, their prices will automatically go up. So essentially, it’s a price increase… unless you opt out.

  • $180 a month is not a steal by any stretch.
    If they are not profitable it’s likely because they are spending so much on marketing and branding.
    Given they’re not publicly traded we have no idea how many users there are or any breakdown of their expenses. But it seems they’re doing something wrong if they’re still not able to turn a profit after this many years of revenue growth.

  • Perhaps they could turn a profit if they didn’t offer so many routes. I am not complaining about the number of routes being offered, mind you. However, developing, and then maintaining, those sites comes at a cost.

  • I wonder if it’s not profitable because of the money invested needs to recoup and the amount is so big they have to show stakeholders a return.

    I’m hoping the Chinese can clone a platform and we can use a reasonable virtual trainer again. Corporate profits are to blame for all inflation

  • I think that if the there is a price increase they will grow a lot slower may even lose a significant amount of customers.

  • They haven’t raised their prices in over 5 years? What’s the rush to raise the price now?

    And what do people get for their money? The errors are numerous. The UI flaws are a constant distraction. Updates that break things is unfortunate. Their ‘new home page’ is still a hot mess, and unfairly ‘punishes’ people who have lots of custom workouts.

    Issues that I think they should implement: They should offer a ‘spectator less’ ride option to cut down the overhead. I’m getting ‘disconnected’ and now ‘connection unstable’ messages numerous times in rides. Adding a Family Plan and Annual Billing would be a great idea.

    Basically Zwift appears to need a top/bottom rewrite, and their pricing needs a few more options, in my mind.

    It’s a great product, but not unique anymore. If they raise prices too high, they will strangle themselves. And looking at Strava, if they handle it badly, they could pay a bigger penalty for pissing off subscribers than they would reap through the increased prices.

  • I ride on Zwift 6 days a week after I was hit by a car about 3 years ago. That event almost cost me my life, so I’m very grateful for all that Zwift has done for people like me who no longer ride on the road. If you break it down, it costs just under .60 cents a day which, in my opinion is not very much. And so if the price goes up I just won’t buy a can of soda pop. Let’s be realistic about today’s economy and how hard it is to stay in business. I support Zwift’s proposed price increase.