Remember when fitness company Peloton struck gold back in 2020? Its line of enormously expensive exercise bikes and streamed subscription workouts suddenly became enormously popular when everyone was stuck at home due to a once-in-a-generation pandemic.

But it turns out that once said once-in-a-generation pandemic is over (or over enough for the world to largely ignore), the business is no longer quite so hot. The company has been struggling financially and was forced to make over 5,000 layoffs in 2022 as it struggled to recapture the moment’s magic. 

Now Deepwater Asset Management’s annual forecast for 2024 reckons that Apple is likely to acquire the company at some point in the year.

“Apple will look to bolster their workout segment in 2024 by adding fitness equipment to compliment the Watch and fitness tracking software,” the company writes in its prediction list. 

That may feel a touch unlikely, but the company’s 2023 predictions largely came true, with seven out of its eight forecasts coming good.

What would Apple get out of a Peloton buyout? A lot of loyal customers whose money-to-sense ratio seems a bit out of whack. Or to put it more charitably, around three million well-off users to move over to Apple Fitness Plus who may be in the market for an Apple Watch to make the most of it.

“Peloton has a loyal subscriber base of about 3 million users that will add about $1.7B to Apple’s subscription revenue, additionally this fits well into Apple’s continued investment in health and wellness,” Deepwater’s prediction continues.

Apple may not want to be in the business of manufacturing heavy, expensive-to-ship exercise bikes, of course. But it could always fold the hardware business and keep the streaming exercises.  

That said, with Peloton shares recovering since 2022 when this rumour was last doing the rounds, it does feel a bit like Apple missed its moment to buy the company on the cheap. It’s not that Apple can’t afford it (you likely can’t imagine many things that Apple can’t afford), but it would have still made more sense two years ago.

Another interesting prediction in Deepwater’s mix: “Reddit will be acquired for their data.” 

That’s an interesting idea, as the social news and discussion website has been perenially unprofitable since it was first founded, but AI’s sudden rise could suddenly see its value skyrocket. 

“A company with a LLM will buy Reddit to train its model from,” Deepwater predicts. Which no doubt its user base will be thrilled about, should it come to pass.

Image: Andrew Valdivia / Unsplash