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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

At-home workout companies are turning fitness instructors into stars.

What's new: Tonal, which makes a wall-mounted, strength training device, said its machines will start streaming live classes in October. 

  • Tonal CEO Aly Orady also tells Axios that the company plans to open a studio in New York City.
  • “More sound stages equal more capacity," he says. "In going live, we need more time zones and can [also] tap a whole new market of coaches."

What's happening: Instructors play a key role in user engagement, which ultimately drives better margins.

  • For example: Peloton products had a 12% gross margin in its fiscal fourth quarter, compared with a 63% gross margin for subscription.

Who's who: Peloton's Cody Rigsby ascended to instructor fame amid the pandemic, and he just landed a spot on "Dancing with the Stars."

The big picture: Whether it's connected bikes, mirrors or weight systems, delivering classes through at-home workout equipment comes with the potential of reaching many more people than traditional studio classes.

The intrigue: While Peloton doesn't disclose what it pays instructors, CEO John Foley has acknowledged to Axios' Dan Primack that it's significantly more than they'd be making by teaching smaller, in-person classes.

Go deeper

57 mins ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

COP26 head warns Glasgow summit will be "harder than Paris"

Alok Sharma, U.K. COP26 president, in Milan on Sept. 30, 2021. Photo: Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

U.K. COP26 President Alok Sharma told reporters Tuesday that the upcoming talks in Glasgow, widely viewed as the last chance to avoid some of the worst consequences of global warming, will be extremely difficult.

Driving the news: Sharma sought to temper expectations and note that the agenda features some of the toughest items that negotiators have punted on at previous summits.