Peacock subscribers improved to 42 million signs-ups, increasing from 33 million at the end of 2020, and 22 million sign-ups Comcast reported at the end of Q3.
While it is unclear just how many paying subscribers Peacock has, but a report earlier this year pegged about 1/3rd of signups as subscribers.
The service’s major content move this year was absorbing the WWE Network in March, along with adding “The Office” at the start of the year.
You may remember that January’s addition of “The Office” was Peacock’s biggest all-time driver of subscriptions. The service has attempted to squeeze even more juice from that show, by offering limited windows of unlimited free viewing, or “Superfan Episodes” with never-before-seen/deleted scenes, bloopers, featurettes, and interviews.
Peacock is finally starting to roll out some exclusive content that provides an added incentive to join the service, including sitcoms “Rutherford Falls” and “Girls5eva.” Comcast is trying to recreate a winning formula by turning to trusted comedy vets Michael Schur (“The Office,” “Parks and Recreation”) and the team of Tina Fey and Robert Carlock (“30 Rock,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) to create those shows. Although awareness of these shows is starting to improve, the enduring popularity of “The Office” still dwarfs them, according to Google Search Trends.
Given NBC’s long history with sitcoms, the new comedy strategy may make sense. A beloved comedy can become “comfort food” TV, always on in the background or cheering us up after a rough day. The question remains whether a streaming sitcom can have the same effect. Nearly every popular streaming comedy is something that initially released on linear TV, relying on nostalgia for the time we first saw the show. We haven’t yet seen a streaming-exclusive comedy break into the cultural conversation. (The closest example of that might be Tim Robinson’s ultra-memeable “I Think You Should Leave.”)
While WarnerMedia has enjoyed great success by releasing films in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously, Peacock won’t get the same treatment from Comcast. The upcoming “Fast & The Furious” sequel will only be available in theaters, though it would surely drive massive Peacock adoption if it were also available on the streamer.
Aside from its sitcoms, Peacock’s biggest bet to land subscribers remains the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, but there is growing concern the games may not even happen, especially with the incredible spike in COVID-19 infections in places like India.