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Peacock Exceeds Internal Projections with 1 Billion Hours Watched

Ben Bowman

In today’s earnings call, Comcast gave a glimpse into the performance of its young streamer, Peacock. The first quarter of the year brought 9 million new subscriptions, thanks primarily to the additions of the WWE and “The Office.”

But the company reported that some of their Peacock users are exceptionally engaged. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said, “Monthly users of the service are consuming nearly 20% more programming hours each month than our traditional audience on NBC. And we just crossed 1 billion total hours watched, nearly double our plan when we launched.”

Company leaders also laid out a runway for more Peacock subscriptions in the near future. With two Olympics in the next seven months, there’s an opportunity for the service to offer a wide array of exclusive, time-sensitive programming that no other streamer can match. NBCUniversal also had more than 30 shows in development that have been delayed because of the coronavirus, though it’s unclear how many of those may be Peacock exclusives.

While Peacock exclusives have yet to ramp up in a significant way, NBCUniversal may have more of a platform-agnostic view than other companies with streaming operations. NBCUniversal CEO Jeffrey Shell explains, “We want to build our television business to match what consumers are doing. Consumers are watching content across a variety of different platforms, not just linear not just streaming, but lots of different ways. And our spending really should be looked at in that context, not just what we’re discretely spending on Peacock, but what we’re spending across our whole portfolio. And when you look at that, we match up pretty well versus our competitors.”

For now, roughly two-thirds of Peacock accounts are ad-supported. It would be easy to see how more users would be willing to pay for the service when it expands its exclusive offerings and its Olympic programming. Until the torch is lit, Peacock is slowly rolling out its other original programming, like the comedies “Rutherford Falls” and “Girls5eva.”

Related: 15 Best Shows to Binge on Peacock