October 29, 2020
NBCUniversal’s subscription streaming video service Peacock reached 22 million subscribers through Oct. 29. The tally increased by 7 million subs in the past month thanks to an app distribution agreement with Roku hammered out in mid-September. Total Peacock subs now top Comcast’s legacy cable business.
Launched on July 15, the SVOD/AVOD platform represents the media company’s attempt to compete against Netflix, Disney+ and other OTT video platforms, in addition to safeguarding against ongoing erosion of the pay-TV ecosystem.
“We are exceeding our expectations on all engagement metrics in only a few months,” Brian Roberts, CEO of parent Comcast Corp., said in a statement. Speaking later on the fiscal call, Roberts said Peacock’s AVOD component and NBCUniversal annual content spend has helped lure sign-ups.
“[AVOD] has significantly reduce marketing expenses compared with other streaming services,” he said.
Indeed, driven by a renewed strategic focus on broadband, aggregation and streaming, Comcast added a record 633,000 high-speed Internet customers in the quarter and 556,000 total net new customer relationships.
“We’re growing our entertainment platforms with the addition of Flex [for broadband-only subscribers], which has a significant positive impact on broadband churn and customer lifetime value,” Roberts said.
The subscriber growth continues to offset ongoing declines in Comcast’s legacy cable business. The segment saw another steep drop in pay-TV subs, losing 273,000 subs in the quarter — widening almost 14% from a loss of 222,000 subs in the previous-year period. Through nine months of the fiscal year, Comcast Cable tallied 19.2 million subs, down 1.2 million subs from the same period last year.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, we believe we are extremely well positioned to provide … integrated experiences for our customers and to deliver … long-term growth and returns for our shareholders,” Roberts said.