Comcast: Peacock Ended 2021 With Just 9 Million Paid Subs, $1.7 Billion Loss

NBCUniversal’s subscription/ad-supported streaming platform Peacock ended the fourth quarter and fiscal year (ended Dec. 31, 2021) with 24.5 million monthly average users (MAUs), and just 9 million paid subscribers Comcast disclosed Jan. 27 on the media giant’s fiscal call.

Peacock in 2021 generated an operating loss of $1.7 billion on revenue of $778 million, more than double the operating loss of $663 million on revenue of $118 million in 2020.

Comcast hasn’t disclosed actual numbers for the streaming platform since reporting 54 million signups and 20+ million MAUs in Q2 2021. The streaming service first launched in April 2020, going nationwide later that summer.

By comparison, Netflix ended 2021 with 222 million paid subs, while rivals Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video have reported paid sub tallies of 111 million and 175 million, respectively. HBO Max and HBO ended 2021 with a combined 73.8 million paid subs. Paramount+ and Showtime Anytime ended the most-recent fiscal period with 42 million combined paid subs.

NBCUniversal is looking to jumpstart consumer interest in Peacock by offering access to the entire 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on the streaming service (subscription only), beginning Feb. 3. Peacock is also streaming select NBC NFL postseason games, in addition to WWE wrestling and European soccer.

Comcast chairman/CEO Brian Roberts didn’t seem too worried (at least publicly) about the subscriber numbers.

“That [sub number] is without much focus on paid subscriber growth,” Roberts said on the call. “We have another seven million highly engaged bundle subscribers from Xfinity and other top distributors who use Peacock every single month and currently receive Peacock Premium and no extra cost.”

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