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NBCU President Predicts Viewers’ Time Spent on Streaming Will Catch Up to Linear by Late 2022

Krishan Bhatia, NBCUniversal’s president and chief business officer for global advertising and partnerships, believes that usage for the company’s digital and linear properties will soon even out. Bhatia predicts that consumers will spend equal amounts of time using NBCU’s digital and linear properties within the next 18 months.

“We led with a 70/30 allocation (linear to digital) in terms of how consumers are spending time with NBCUniversal properties,” Bhatia told TV editor Jason Lynch on Tuesday at Adweek’s NexTech. “We put the yardstick further out 18 months from now, to say we’ll be in a 50/50 environment. You can’t really tell the difference anymore between what’s a linear viewer (and) what’s a streaming viewer. In the end, there are consumers that are presumably in the target for a marketer, and you want to get your messages in front of them.”

Since streaming is still relatively new, Bhatia said he found that marketers haven’t always been on board. It has taken some time, but NBCU has focused on creating a good foundation.

“Every time these new platforms emerge, I think there’s a reluctance by the marketplace in general to embrace it, because it’s inherently more fragmented and more complicated and less measured, etc.,” said Bhatia. “And so I think those are all valid concerns, but we’ve created a foundational layer that now allows us quite frankly, for any consumer interaction with any of our content or even third-party partners that we work with to be incorporated into a seamless way of finding those audiences, building plans against, them delivering against those commitments and ultimately measuring the impact.”

To continue to push digital content, NBC News Group is making investments with the future of the company in mind. The company has announced the addition of over 200 jobs with a focus on digital and streaming.

“As more consumption shifts to streaming, it’s only natural that we shift more of our attention and resources to serving that audience,” said NBC News president Noah Oppenheim.

“This substantial investment in streaming and digital allows us to meet the needs of news consumers in a rapidly-changing digital media industry,” said Cesar Conde, Chairman of NBCU News Group.

Peacock

Peacock is a subscription video streaming service from NBCUniversal that gives access to up to 15,000 hours of content including original shows, blockbuster movies, and classic television series.

It will include news, entertainment, sports, late-night, and reality from various NBCU properties including NBC, Bravo, and E!.

Just like other streaming services, Peacock will have their own original series including reboots of Save By The Bell, Punky Brewster, and Battlestar Galactica. They also have shows like Rutherford Falls (Ed Helms), Dr. Death (Alec Baldwin), and a behind-the-scenes docs-series about Saturday Night Live.

The company has acquired the rights to many classic shows like the entire Dick Wolf library including Law & Order and Chicago Fire, Parks and Recreation, and The Office.

The service will also feature blockbusters and critically-acclaimed films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and content acquired from Hollywood’s biggest studios.

The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics are another key move in NBCU’s streaming success. Peacock is providing continuing streaming coverage of the Olympic Games.

Before the Games began, Peacock was lagging behind other streamers in the United States marketplace. Thanks to the exclusivity of the Olympics, Peacock may be able to catch up with its competitors.

Matt Strauss, Peacock’s chairman, says he believes the Olympics are a “meaningful driver” for Peacock.

Based on NBCU’s prediction, the exclusivity of Olympic coverage, and recent data, it looks like streaming may be the future for NBCU.

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