Peloton hit with $150M suit over unlicensed music

The exercise bike maker allegedly used over 1,000 songs without publishers' permission.

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Peloton's use of music in its streaming classes has resulted in a $150 million lawsuit from publishers.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

A group of music publishers is suing Peloton for using unlicensed songs for its streaming exercise classes.

The National Music Publishers' Association is seeking $150 million in damages, alleging that the maker of smart exercise bikes used more than 1,000 songs without permission.

Peloton's videos, according to the suit, use unlicensed music from Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran, Wiz Khalifa, Thomas Rhett, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Florida Georgia Line, Drake, Gwen Stefani and others.

"It is frankly unimaginable that a company of this size and sophistication would think it could exploit music in this way without the proper licenses for this long, and we look forward to getting music creators what they deserve," said David Israelite, NMPA's president and CEO, in a release.

The on-demand exercise classes cost Peloton owners $39 per month on top of the initial investment (the bike costs $2,245).

"We just received the complaint yesterday, and we are evaluating it. Peloton has great respect for songwriters and artists," a Peloton spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

"In fact, we have partnered with each of the major music publishers, record labels and performing rights organizations, and many leading independents. We have also invested heavily to build a best-in-breed reporting and licensing system to support our partners and provide our members with a world-class fitness experience."

First published at 3:57 a.m. PT.
Updated at 7:43 a.m. PT: Adds Peloton statement.

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