Peacock Reaches 18 Million Paid Subscribers; Doubling Customer Base This Year Alone
The trajectory of Comcast’s premium streaming service Peacock has been a confusing one for many consumers and industry onlookers since it launched in July 2020. Despite not yet achieving the cultural cache of many of its competitors, company executives have long maintained that the streamer was not only successful, but was, in fact, doing exactly what it was designed to do.
Whether that was bravado, hubris, or foresight, it appears that the confidence that NBCUniversal execs have had in the platform is starting to pay off. At the UBS Investor Conference on Monday, NBCU CEO Jeff Shell announced that Peacock has reached over 18 million paying subscribers, more than doubling its total from the start of 2022 alone. It was just in late October when Shell revealed that the service had surpassed 15 million paying customers, so clearly the forward momentum is continuing with a strong slate as programming additions.
The World Cup, which kicked off in late November, has reportedly been a huge success for Peacock, which airs the Spanish-language telecasts of all of the tournament’s games via Telemundo. These broadcasts are the only live airings of the matches on a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service in the United States. Free streamer Tubi has the English broadcasts on-demand after they finish airing on linear corporate siblings FOX and FS1.
However, last week, it was reported that Peacock had shot up the download charts on multiple platforms thanks primarily due to interest in the tournament. Of course, the key will be keeping these new customers engaged and excited about the service in order to ensure that they don’t unsubscribe when the World Cup ends. To that point, undoubtedly aided by World Cup fever, Shell also noted that paying Peacock customers are averaging over 20 hours of viewing time per month.
The NBCU CEO also reported a fact that Comcast investors will likely be thankful for this holiday season, which is that Peacock’s monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) was nearing $10, despite the fact that the top subscription tier is just $9.99 per month. Thanks to the platform’s dual SVOD and ad-supported models, NBCU has the opportunity to make money via multiple avenues, pushing its revenue higher. That total is noteworthy considering that this fall, Peacock had been offering a deal in which customers could sign up for the ad-supported Premium subscription tier for just $0.99 per month for an entire year, down from the normal $5.99.
In addition to the World Cup broadcasts, Peacock has also made a number of recent additions to flesh out its offerings in an attempt to provide more value to customers beyond NBCUniversal’s currently airing shows, Universal films, and the combined libraries of both.
The service has added local affiliates from 210 markets to its channel options for all Premium Plus subscribers. Similarly, last week, it was reported that Peacock would be adding the five NBC regional sports networks (RSNs) to its lineup by the end of the year. While a Peacock spokesperson confirmed to The Streamable that discussions were ongoing about the option, it would not happen until 2023.
Nonetheless, after years of confusion and dismissal from the majority of the streaming and entertainment industries, it appears that Peacock is finally finding its stride, even if its path to (and from) this point is not the one that many had imagined.
Peacock is a subscription video streaming service from NBCUniversal that includes original shows, blockbuster movies, and classic television series. Peacock is home to “Yellowstone,” and “The Office,” as well as original hits like “Poker Face” and “Bel-Air.” You can also watch live sports including Sunday Night Football, Premier League, and exclusive MLB games. Peacock is also the exclusive home to many WWE events like WrestleMania. Premium Plus subscribers can stream their local NBC feed in all 210 markets.
Peacock includes news, entertainment, sports, late-night, and reality from various NBCU properties including NBC, Bravo, and E!.
Peacock also includes the entire library of Bravo shows and has exclusives like “Below Deck: Down Under.” They also include live and on-demand access to Hallmark channels.
The company has acquired the rights to many classic shows like “Parks and Recreation,” and the entire Dick Wolf library including “Law & Order” and “Chicago Fire.”
The service also features blockbusters and critically-acclaimed films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and content acquired from Hollywood’s biggest studios.