Peacock Reaches 24.5 Million Active Accounts and 9 Million Paid Accounts as of Q4 2021
In their Q4 2021 Earnings Release, Comcast revealed that Peacock now has 24.5 million Monthly Active Accounts as of the end of 2021. During the quarter, they launched Peacock in U.K. and Ireland in November. The company last announced that they had 54 million sign-ups and 20 million Monthly Active Accounts at the end of July.
The company reported 9 million paid subscribers. Those accounts show lower churn and higher engagement. The company said 80% of Peacock users prefer an AVOD version of the service over the SVOD tier. There are 7 million users who get the premium service for free as part of a bundle.
Peacock is not remotely profitable. While it made $778 million in revenue, the service lost $1.7 billion in 2021. The company announced Peacock expects to lose $2.5 billion in 2022. Company leaders say they’ll spend $3 billion on Peacock content this year.
During last quarter’s earnings call, Comcast failed to reveal specific details about Peacock’s performance. NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell reported that Peacock had added “a few million more” monthly active users but had lost $520 million in the quarter.
Peacock does have some tailwinds moving forward. The 2022 Winter Olympics kick off on February 4 with every event available on Peacock’s Premium tier. The streamer has already promised big improvements after the 2020 Summer Olympic events were a challenge to access and navigate.
The 2020 Games were a big driver for Peacock subscriptions. So, maybe the streamer will get the boost it needs. However, retaining subscribers may be the real challenge. Peacock’s new subscribers may or may not stick around after the Games conclude. One major factor is the content available, and the Comcast streamer is straggling behind its competitors.
Peacock also benefits from the phenomenon that is “Yellowstone.” Although the show airs on Paramount Network, older seasons are available exclusively on Peacock. As the series continues to grow in audience, that means more people turning to the NBCU streamer to binge the early episodes.
In Q4, Peacock began taking action to make improvements and continue to grow. Peacock brought in a new president, Kelly Campbell, who was previously the president of Hulu. While welcoming Campbell to the team, NBCUniversal Chairman Matt Strauss said, “On the heels of Peacock’s success in its first year, we are thrilled to bring Kelly’s leadership and expertise to the team as we continue to accelerate Peacock’s vision and strategy.”
In December, Peacock reached an agreement, in which most Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Illumination, and DreamWorks Animation titles will debut on the streaming service 45 days after their theatrical premieres. This officially went into action this year. With several new releases landing on Peacock, this could end up driving subscriptions.
While Peacock may have made some of the right moves in Q4, there’s still work to be done. Though all streaming services are subject to subscriber churn, Peacock is suffering more than its competitors, according to a study from Kantar Entertainment on Demand. Even the streaming service’s free tier is losing subscribers. The service also just pulled the plug on “Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol” after one season. Peacock had high hopes for the adaptation of a book from the author of “The DaVinci Code.”
If Comcast wants to keep Peacock in the streaming race, changes will need to be made. The streaming service’s catalog features shows like “Saturday Night Live” and “The Office.” However, as far as original content goes, Peacock has yet to have a major hit. They will launch their dramatic adaptation of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, titled “Bel-Air” after the Super Bowl.
While some subscribers are interested in long-running NBC titles, newer, fresher content could help by drawing in more subscribers and giving them a reason to stick around.