Peacock Ups Paid Subscribers to 18 Million, Double From Beginning of Year

NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming video platform has upped its paid premium/plus subscriber base to 18 million as of Dec. 5 — double the tally from the beginning of the year, according to CEO Jeff Shell. Peacock is also available a free fully ad-supported service.

Shell, speaking at the UBS Global TMT confab in New York City, said Peacock has added 3 million subs since the end of the most-recent fiscal period, which ended Sept. 30. While the tally pales in comparison to rival upstart SVOD services HBO Max, Disney+ and Paramount+, Shell said the addition is not immaterial.

Jeff Shell

“That’s real subscribers paying us real American dollars, not some of the bundled wholesale stuff that you see outside from other people,” Shell said in reference to the Disney+ bundle that includes ESPN+ and Hulu, and separately, the Paramount+/Showtime combo.

The executive said the average paid subscriber consumes 20 hours monthly of Peacock content.

“We’re seeing [average revenue per user] that’s approaching $10 for each of those paid subscribers. Once again, real dollars … that results in a business that on a run rate basis is doing over $2 billion of revenue already in 2.5 years. So very, very encouraging,” Shell said.

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The executive said the subscriber uptick is partially due to the ongoing World Cup soccer tournament in Qatar, the transfer of Hulu content to Peacock, and a pipeline of theatrical movies, including sci-fi thriller Nope and Halloween Ends, among others.

“[Reality shows] ‘Below Deck’ and ‘The Real Housewives’… all of that content goes immediately on to Peacock starting this fall. It used to go to Hulu. Now it goes on Peacock,” Shell said.

The CEO said the addition of more NBC, Bravo and USA content to the Peacock platform, taken from Hulu and other competing platforms, has been more than incremental in terms of subscriber growth.

“Not just a nice little kicker. It’s been above our expectations,” Shell said.

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