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Beyonce partners with Peloton

By | Published on Wednesday 11 November 2020


Beyonce has announced a new multi-year partnership with interactive fitness company Peloton, initially focussing on the upcoming ‘homecoming’ season at historically black colleges and universities – aka HBCUs – in the US. This will see Beyonce front a series of homecoming-themed workouts, and give away ten two year Peloton memberships to students at those colleges.

“Peloton and I both believe that the power of music can help uplift, motivate and inspire those on their fitness journeys”, says Beyonce. “I’ve been a Peloton member for several years, and I’m excited to partner with a company that helps people, young and old, be the best versions of themselves, in an innovative and adaptable way”.

Peloton’s Head Of Music, Gwen Bethel, Riley adds: “Beyonce’s commitment to empowerment and artistic expression is an inspiration to the entire Peloton community. It is a privilege to be able to work closely with her and her extraordinary team to broaden access to our platform and collaborate on incredible offerings we think our members will love”.

This news is good for Peloton because, well, number one, it’s only bloody Beyonce, but also, until earlier this year the company was locked in a high profile and bitter legal battle with some American music publishers. And partnerships like this, at the very least, help communicate that the fitness firm is on better terms with the music community, whose tracks and songs accompany its fitness videos.

In that lawsuit, originally filed in 2019 by fourteen music publishers, it was alleged that some of those videos contained unlicensed music controlled by the plaintiffs. Following the music publisher lawsuit, Peloton then countersued mainly on competition law grounds. It alleged that it had previously had good relationships with most of the publishers involved in the legal dispute and was negotiating licensing deals with many of them.

Those relationships only fell apart, it then claimed, because of interference by America’s National Music Publishers Association. The NMPA hit back, arguing that Peloton knew that it had no grounds to defend the copyright infringement claims, so was desperately trying to conjure up a bogus competition law complaint instead.

The competition lawsuit was dismissed in January this year, on the grounds that the publishers involved in the case only controlled a relatively small selection of songs in the wider catalogue available, so Peloton had plenty more to choose from.

After that, in February, it was announced that the two sides had reached a settlement on the copyright dispute, which included entering “into a joint collaboration agreement and will work together to further optimise Peloton’s music licensing systems and processes”.

Beyonce is signed to Sony/ATV for her publishing, which was not involved in the litigation, so she was never directly part of all that. But still, a better overall relationship with the music industry makes partnerships like this much easier to promote. Plus, says Peloton, Beyonce is consistently the most requested artist in Peloton workouts. So that’s nice for everyone, isn’t it?