April 25, 2022
NBCUniversal’s hybrid subscription streaming, ad-supported VOD platform Peacock is projected to reach 64.3 million U.S. viewers by the end of the year, up 25% from 51.5 million in 2021, according to new data from eMarketer.
Launched on July 15, 2020, Peacock has been slowly received by streamers out of the gate. The platform ended 2021 with just 9 million subscribers, while boasting 54 million signups and 20+ million average users.
Peacock still lags far behind Netflix, which will have more than 170 million U.S. viewers this year, as well as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+ and HBO Max, all of which have well over 80 million subscribers. Peacock will still rank ahead of ESPN+ and Apple TV+ in viewership.
While Netflix executives are for the first time contemplating a move to ad-supported streaming, Peacock has embraced AVOD from the start. Of the 24.5 million active accounts held by Peacock subscribers at the end of 2021, just over 33% were free users, according to eMarketer. The majority of paid Peacock subscribers are also ad-supported content consumers.
“[Peacock] benefits from a combination of linear and on-demand content as well as live sports broadcasts like the Olympics and ‘Sunday Night Football,'” Sara Lebow, analyst with eMarketer, wrote in a blog post. “It has also drawn viewership with big titles available for exclusive streaming like ‘The Office’ and The Boss Baby 2.”
Lebow claims Peacock will reach 20% of internet users by the end of this year. That figure will expand to more than 25% by 2026, for a total of 84.2 million viewers.