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Peacock Proves a To Be A Better Library Than Content Producer

Peacock’s most popular original title? Curious George

Steve Anderson

Comcast’s second quarter earnings report offered exciting news for streaming fans as it detailed what’s going on in Peacock right now. Based on the latest figures turned in, the news also comes with several surprises as to what’s proving popular on the platform right now. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that Peacock’s original content is struggling to keep pace with earlier-released archive content.

Peacock’s position in the streaming market, as revealed by Parrot Analytics, is surprisingly high. Right now, the platform is currently fifth behind Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max. Better yet, Peacock actually isn’t that far behind HBO Max, either; another 1.5% of the market for Peacock and suddenly it is sitting in fourth place.

Peacock’s dashboard is currently showing a major warning light, however: Peacock falters on originals. Right now, Peacock has just 1.4% of the US demand for original content. This means that Peacock is leaning on its catalog titles to keep users’ interest.

With that in mind, Peacock’s catalog titles are in heavy demand; Saturday Night Live is a big draw, with the long-running sketch comedy show running at about 56 times the demand for the average show on Peacock. That’s with good reason — Peacock asserts it currently has 46 seasons of the long-running NBC staple available to view. That would include, by necessity, the original stuff from the late 1970s that has always been difficult to find.

SNL is something of an anomaly here, though, as the second-most demanded title on Peacock. The Voice has just under 30 times the demand of the average show on Peacock.

In comparison, Peacock’s most highly-demanded original title — amazingly enough, Curious George — is only running at just under 10 times the demand for the average show on Peacock.

Five out of 10 of the most-demanded original shows on Peacock have less than three times the demand for the average show. Peacock also boasts the lowest demand for original titles out of all the other major streaming platforms. Curious George and its 10 times demand, pales in comparison to Netflix and Stranger Things, which currently runs at just over 42 times the demand for a normal show on Netflix. Peacock’s closest competitor here is Shudder, whose Creepshow runs at about 10.5 times normal demand.

There’s a brisk demand for former NBC content. The various streaming deals over the years for longtime comedy staples Friends and Seinfeld prove that much. Looking at Peacock’s own titles does likewise. The fact that there’s now a place where every season of Saturday Night Live can be viewed at any time is likely drawing some to Peacock who might not ordinarily have gone there. Even almost 50 years after its initial premiere it is still difficult, if not impossible, to find SNL on DVD.

Catalog titles built video stores, and they’ll be a big part of streaming even now. But catalog titles only have so much value. Without new content coming in to keep the service fresh, the service’s value declines as customers consume the backlog. That’s where the whole concept of “churn” kicks in. Preventing churn may be as simple as new and original content, a point where Peacock’s plumage doesn’t shine near so brightly.

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