Peacock, Comcast’s NBCUniversal streaming service, ended the second quarter with 13 million paying subscribers, parent company Comcast reported this morning. In the first quarter, there were 13 million paying customers out of 28 million monthly active accounts. This means that Peacock’s paid subscriber base, at the end of June, was at a standstill with zero growth.
Additionally, Comcast disclosed that Peacock’s losses widened to $467 million (EBITDA), from an adjusted EBITDA loss of $363 million in 2021. Investors reacted negatively and Comcast shares declined. 6% in pre-market trade.
Although there were losses and its subscriber base stalled, Peacock contributed to an 8% year-over-year increase in distribution revenue.
The company was quick to remind shareholders that the streaming service, which also has a free, ad-supported tier, had a “very strong first quarter, fueled by a variety of extraordinary programming,” wrote Comcast in its letter to shareholders.
In April, during the company’s first quarter earnings call, Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts warned that the company did not expect a significant level of quarter-over-quarter growth. The 4 million paid subscriber additions in the first quarter of 2022 were largely thanks to Super Bowl LVI and the Beijing Winter Olympics which aired on the service.
Sport is an easy way to earn money for the service with live coverage offers like Sunday night football, Roland Garros tennis tournament, Premier League and more. It is also the streaming home of the WWE Network. All of its live sports coverage is available to Peacock Premium subscribers.
However, Peacock understands that the majority of its customers opt for the ad-supported plan.
John Jelley, SVP Product and UX at Peacock announced during this year’s NewFront presentation that the streamer will have new ad formats to bolster business opportunities with its marketing partners. This includes In-Scene ads, which pair products with content during post-production, and a “frame ad”, where a brand will get a frame around the content the customer wants to watch.
On today’s earnings call, the company said: ‘On Peacock we had the advantages of being in the market we entered and we believe we have chosen the right business strategy, which is kind of an extension, not a new business that will be based on two revenue streams, subscription advertising, and I think everyone has been going in that direction of validating that business model.
While Peacock is a streaming service, Comcast likes to think it’s more than that. The company stands out by emphasizing its connected television (CTV) strategy.
Publicity is another important goal. “When it comes to general, linear and Peacock advertising, we are one of the largest advertisers with over $10 billion in advertising,” Comcast added.
But the streaming service hasn’t given up on convincing its non-paying subscribers to upgrade to the Premium plan, priced at $4.99 or $9.99 per month. A few months ago, Peacock confirmed a summer trial that rewards paying subscribers with $15 movie tickets through Fandango or $7 rentals from Vudu once a month.
While it’s unclear whether the added benefits will incentivize subscriptions, we’ve hypothesized that customers on the basic free plan are unlikely to be willing to pay for the ad-free tier just for a movie. free per month. A spokesperson for NBCUniversal told TechCrunch the feedback was positive.
Peacock continued to focus on improving its customer experience with a new interface and menu options. It also has a new “Catch Up with Key Plays” feature, which allows English Premier League fans to watch highlights without having to leave the in-game viewing experience.
Peacock hopes the service’s new content will also help drive subscriber growth.
In his letter to shareholders today, Roberts said, “We await our recent premieres and anticipated slate of content and live events from our media companies and studios, including Jurassic World: Dominion, Minions : The Rise of Gru, Nope, Sunday Night Football and The World Cup, to make meaningful contributions later this year, including to our subscriber growth at Peacock.
According to the company, “Bel-Air,” the reboot of “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” was the most successful original show in the streaming service’s two-year history, despite the viewership score of 71. % on Rotten Tomatoes. It also became the home of Bravo shows such as “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and “Top Chef.”
While NBC and Peacock will air this year’s Emmys, the fledgling service only received three nominations for “Glow in the Dark Queen of the Universe” and “The Tease.” NBC has received 28 Emmy Award nominations in total. By comparison, HBO/HBO Max had 140 nominations, Netflix nabbed 105, and Hulu had 58 nominations.
His most recent comedy-thriller series “The Resort” hit the platform today, but is already not having the best reviews. Starring William Jackson of “The Good Place” and Cristin Milioti of “Palm Springs,” the mysterious love story was called “weak” and confusing by The Hollywood Reporter and CBR called it “unsatisfying.” It’s obviously not the reviews that would convince new subscribers to go watch the show, but since those are just opinions, it’s probably best to see it for yourself.
Yesterday, Peacock placed a direct order to ‘Those About to Die’, a gladiator drama directed by ‘Moonfall’ and ‘Independence Day’ director Roland Emmerich, and based on the non-fiction book written by Daniel Mannix . The production budget was approximately $140 million, by deadline.
In May, Peacock announced a deal with Lionsgate exploring original films. Separately, the streamer announced three upcoming original movies slated to premiere in 2023, which include “Shooting Stars,” based on LeBron’s background as a high school basketball player; “Rent This” and “The Killer”.