Despite some financial setbacks in 2021, NBCUniversal’s streaming platform, Peacock, is hoping to make a comeback. Although they are home to fan-favorite series, The Office, and have also picked up the WWE Network, the streaming platform’s numbers are much lower than that of their competition. Out of all of their patrons, nine million are stand-alone subscribers, while a whopping seven million others get the streamer through Comcast’s various bundle deals.
Despite these figures, Comcast CEO, Brian Roberts, plans to sink more money into Peacock over the next year. Spreading the spending out over two sets of investments, Comcast will start with $3 billion before moving on to dropping $5 billion on the streamer. While these seem like giant numbers, it was revealed that Peacock plans to move forward with an even larger deposit in 2023. Could we be looking at something in the 11 figure range? It’s certainly possible.
One group that may be seeing some cash back from Peacock’s content are those that purchase ad space. In a statement released speaking to the spendings of Peacock, Roberts said that the consumer traffic on the platform has been “extremely valuable” for those that are advertising. Peacock Premium requires customers to spend $5 a month in order to access their content with ads and $10 without. Meanwhile, Peacock offers a basic tier for free that comes with plenty of commercials while those accessing the content through a bundle purchase are also paying nothing extra for the service.
Peacock premiered during the beginning days of the COVID-19 pandemic. One would think this was a great thing considering how many people were at home during the lockdown. At the time, however, the newbie streamer didn’t have their own originals or live sports which gave them a disadvantage to competitors such as Disney+ and Apple TV+.
The delayed Tokyo Olympics also slowed down the platform by leaps and bounds as they were counting on that programming to drive up viewership. Then, finally, when the action in Tokyo kicked off, the streaming service was overly picky about what they would televise which drove many viewers away. Learning from their past mistakes, Peacock plans to give full coverage to the upcoming winter games in Beijing.
The streaming service is also looking towards feature-length films over scripted series to bring them back into the game. Roberts said that in the United States, annually, viewers are clocking in 600 billion hours in video viewing which is quite a climb from the 350 billion hours 30 years ago in the 1990s. Because of this, Peacock is hoping to make a comeback with their abundance of fan-favorite feature films.
Meanwhile, Peacock’s home network, NBCU, is doing just fine. The data shows that 60 million U.S. households are tuning into NBCU for at least 10 hours every month. With these numbers, NBCU is launching itself far above the competition.
In a world dominated by Netflix, it’s certainly hard for other services to break through, especially without their own original content to draw viewers in and keep them around. It will stand to be seen whether or not Peacock can keep up with the competition and meet their projection goals by 2024 or if, no matter how much money is spent, the service won’t be able to fully take off.