I’m a bit torn, here, as part of me thinks that Zwift is aimed at the casual market (fitness, social rides) and very increasingly at the eSports / racing market.
For casual / social riding, they’re leagues ahead of anything else on the market; they’ve hit a critical mass in the off season of thousands of users, half a dozen worlds, tons of courses, and so on.
For racing, Zwift seems to have stumbled onto something that people are really gravitating to, even though the events have been pretty much self-organizing and the tools (if you can call them that) that Zwift provide are basically non-existant. They just got several million USD to develop eRacing and if they can get their crap together, they can basically corner the market. I have hope for that.
As mentioned above, though, Zwift as a training platform is laughable, and really only used by those who don’t know any better. Now that I’ve spent a couple years with TR, and have read some criticisms of Zwift “workouts”, I realize just how bad they are.
That being said, though, maybe Zwift is looking to improve on that and become an all-in-one platform: social, casual, racing, and training. That would make sense from a long shot business plan, especially because Zwift is probably aware how inconsistent their training plan is.
From a business point of view, I can see a Zwift / Xert merger making sense. Personally, I think the whole breakthrough / no FTP test bits are gimmicky, and Xert wasn’t for me, but I could see people new to indoor cycling being attracted to it.
So, maybe smoke and rumors, but I could see it happening, and it would be good for Zwift.