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New Analysis: Tokyo Olympics Gave Peacock Greatest Paid Sign-up Boost Since Launch

Aubrey Chorpenning

Until the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games began, NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock was lagging behind its competitors. The company’s bosses and the industry’s analysts predicted that the streaming service's exclusive coverage of the Games would help drive paid subscriptions and keep the streamer in the race for subscribers.

New data from Antenna shows that the Olympics has been Peacock’s biggest paid sign-up driver yet.

Prior to the Olympics, WWE’s Wrestlemania 37 and The Boss Baby: Family Business were available to stream on Peacock. These titles drove sign-ups more than other content on Peacock to that point. That is, until the Olympics got underway. When the Games began, Peacock saw 108% more paid sign-ups as compared to Wrestlemania 37.

In Peacock’s first month, the company earned a 6% share of premium sign-ups. In July 2021, during the Olympic Games, the service received a 21% share of sign-ups.

As consumers signed up for a Peacock subscription to tune into the Olympics, the vast majority of those new subscribers chose the service’s Premium tier, which costs $4.99 per month and is ad-supported. More than 80% of July’s sign-ups were for the Premium subscription. In June, 75% of new sign-ups were for the Premium tier.

The Games finally gave Peacock the boost it apparently needed. Now, Peacock is left with the task of keeping its paid subscribers around for the long term.

Antenna’s research shows that retention following the Olympics looks promising. Peacock subscribers who signed up to watch The Office were 11 points more loyal to the service than the benchmark. CBS All Access/Paramount+ saw similar results following Super Bowl LV with those who signed up for the Super Bowl being five points more loyal than others, according to research data.

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