NBCUniversal CEO: Peacock SVOD Tops 26 Million Subs

NBCUniversal’s upstart subscription streaming and ad-supported video platform Peacock has reached 26 million subs through Dec. 7, up 4 million since the end of October, CEO Jeff Shell told a virtual investor event.

Speaking Dec. 8 at the virtual UBS Global Investor confab, Shell said that despite the lack of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and separate original programming as drivers of Peacock subs, NBCUniversal has found consumer demand for a hybrid subscription, ad-supported streaming video service.

“Think about [Peacock] as basically a digital broadcast network,” Shell said. “It’s kind of the next-generation broadcast network and backend of our traditional [pay-TV] network.”

NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell

Shell said that in a market that has consumers spending big on Netflix and Disney+, there is room for a less-expensive streaming video business model.

“That plan is clearly true,” he said, adding that Peacock’s major revenue sources include advertising, which includes the marketing of data surrounding subscriber use of the service, including hours per month. He said all three metrics are above company projections.

“And we don’t have any of our exclusive content,” Shell said, alluding to Peacock obtaining from Netflix on Jan. 1, 2021, all streaming rights to “The Office,” one of the SVOD pioneer’s most-popular shows, according to Nielsen.

Shell said the pandemic has reduced the flow of new content to television, coupled with ongoing consumer migration away from linear TV, has resulted in a lack of ratings point required for advertisers. Peacock, including AVOD, is filling the void.

“From a topline perspective, [Peacock] is already have an impact,” Shell said. “The momentum just continues in a strong linear way. We could not be more exited about where we are with Peacock right now.”

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