Since its debut in April 2020, NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock has reached 54 million total signups. It has generated more than 20 million monthly active users during the last quarter, the company confirmed during its second-quarter 2021 earnings call. Now, the streamer is preparing to begin its international rollout this year. In Europe, for example, the service is going to launch as a free addition on Sky’s satellite TV platform, giving it a base of 20 million households, Brian Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of Comcast, confirmed.
It is still unknown how many consumers are actually paying for one of the streaming platform’s two premium tiers since NBCUniversal did not break those out. In May, The Wall Street Journal reported that the service had only 10 million paying subscribers. Earlier this month, an even more recent Bloomberg report said Peacock had about 14 million monthly users, with about 3 million of those paying for the service.
During the call, Roberts and Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal, told investors that the company saw no pressing need to grow larger. “This company is well-positioned, and I really feel that way,” Roberts assured. “We can achieve our success at Peacock without anything additional, and I think this quarter proved it,” Shell added.
● THE PEACOCK CATALOG
As Peacock’s Olympic coverage debuted a year later than originally scheduled, Parrot Analytics has analyzed its performance in the US streaming market, revealing relatively strong demand for the Peacock catalog but tepid demand for Peacock Originals.
Peacock’s US share of demand for on-platform content in Q2 2021 was 8.4% - putting it in fifth place overall, just above Paramount+ (7.9%) and slightly behind HBO Max (9.8%). The streamer is successfully leveraging its large library of legacy content and shows still airing on linear TV. However, highly in-demand exclusive content, particularly platform originals, is generally what drives new subscribers to sign up for a service. According to Parrot, Peacock has yet to take off, accounting for just 1.4% of the US digital original demand share in Q2 2021.
Looking at the most in-demand series available on Peacock in the past quarter, it is clear that this platform’s strength comes from its linear original offerings, mostly former and current NBC shows. In particular, “Saturday Night Live” was in a league of its own with 56x the average series demand. The second most in-demand show available on Peacock this quarter was “The Voice,” generating 30x the demand of the average series.
Regarding Peacock Originals, the most in-demand title in Q2 2021 was “Curious George,” averaging 9.9x the average series demand for the quarter. Peacock’s originals are moving in the right direction – “Girls5eva” and “Rutherford Falls” both reached post-release demand peaks higher than any other Peacock original so far this year when they dropped earlier in the quarter. However, original content from this platform still has yet to find success comparable to other streamers.