‘You’ Top Streaming Original, ‘Halloween Kills’ Top Streaming Movie on Whip Media Charts

Netflix’s “You” led the Whip Media chart of top streaming originals and Halloween Kills the chart of top streaming movies among U.S. consumers for the week ended Oct. 17.

Season three of the psychological thriller series “You,” which started streaming Oct. 15, features the continuation of Joe Goldberg’s fraught relationship with Love, who is pregnant with his child in a new suburban home.

Universal Pictures’ Halloween Kills, the latest entrant in the long-running horror series, is available for streaming to Peacock Premium SVOD subscribers as well as in theaters. The sequel to the 2018 reboot from Blumhouse has Jamie Lee Curtis again reprising her original teen (now grandmother role) as Laurie Strode intent on ending the murderous reign of Michael Myers.

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TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV and movie viewership tracking app with 18 million global users. The streaming originals chart rankings are determined by streaming original TV series with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app. The movie rankings are determined by theatrical or streaming movies with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app.

At No. 2 on the streaming originals chart was “Squid Game,” a South Korean series that follows a group of desperate and cash-strapped people competing in a blood-thirsty survival game. It started streaming Sept. 17.

The bronze on the streaming originals chart went to Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building.” Viewers may have been catching up with the series in the week leading up to the finale, which debuted Oct. 19.

Coming in at No. 2 on the streaming movies chart was the Marvel feature Black Widow, starring Scarlett Johansson. It became available at no additional cost to Disney+ subscribers Oct. 6.

Repeating at No. 3 on the streaming movies chart was Netflix’s stand-up comedy special Dave Chappelle: The Closer, which started streaming Oct. 5. The show has created controversy over Chappelle’s comments about trans people.

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Top Streaming Originals Among U.S. Consumers for the Week Ended Oct. 17:

  1. “You” — Netflix (season premiere)
  2. “Squid Game” — Netflix
  3. “Only Murders in the Building” — Hulu
  4. “Ted Lasso” — Apple TV+
  5. “Titans” (2018) — HBO Max
  6. “The Morning Show” — Apple TV+
  7. “On My Block” — Netflix
  8. “Maid” — Netflix
  9. “Another Life” — Netflix (season premiere)
  10. “Doom Patrol” — HBO Max

 

Top Streaming Movies Among U.S. Consumers for the Week Ended Oct. 17:

  1. Halloween Kills — Peacock
  2. Black Widow — Disney+
  3. Dave Chappelle: The Closer — Netflix
  4. The Guilty — Netflix
  5. Halloween (2018) — Fubo TV
  6. Scream 2 — AMC+
  7. Tusk — Showtime
  8. There’s Someone Inside Your House — Netflix
  9. Halloween (1978) — AMC+
  10. Muppets Haunted Mansion — Disney+

Kelly Campbell Named President of Peacock

Kelly Campbell’s sudden departure as president of Hulu now has an explanation.

NBCUniversal Oct. 6 named Campbell president of its SVOD/AVOD streaming platform Peacock, joining the leadership team under Matt Strauss, chairman of direct-to-consumer and international for NBCUniversal, to whom she will report. In this role, Campbell will be responsible for Peacock’s streaming business and work closely with leadership across NBCUniversal television, film, news and sports, on Peacock live and original programming.

Campbell will join the Peacock leadership team starting in November and will be based in the Los Angeles area.

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“On the heels of Peacock’s success in its first year, we are thrilled to bring Kelly’s leadership and expertise to the team as we continue to accelerate Peacock’s vision and strategy,” Strauss said in a statement.

At Hulu, Campbell led the streamer’s live and on-demand businesses. She joined Hulu in 2017 as chief marketing officer, where she played a key role in accelerating the service’s growth and momentum. Prior to Hulu, Campbell spent more than a decade at Google where she held a variety of leadership and marketing roles across the Google Ads and Google Cloud businesses. She began her career in investment banking at JPMorgan Chase.

A respected leader and innovator, Campbell has been recognized as one of Business Insider’s Most Innovative CMOs, the Adweek 50, AdAge’s Women to Watch, Media Play News’ Women in Home Entertainment, FierceCable’s The Fierce 50: Executives Reshaping the Business of Pay-TV, and Forbes’ Most Influential Global CMOs.

She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Vanderbilt University and has a master of business administration degree from Harvard Business School.

Comcast CFO: Splitting Universal’s Pay 1 Window With Rival Streamers More Profitable

Universal Pictures’ decision to split the 18-month Pay 1 window between its sister Peacock streaming service, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video is generating more revenue than prior post-theatrical/retail home entertainment iterations, Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh told an investor group.

Speaking Sept. 14 at the virtual Banc of America Securities 2021 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference, Cavanagh said the decision to incorporate Peacock rivals in the Pay 1 window underscores NBCUniversal’s singular approach to movie distribution in the digital age.

Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh

“Our road to streaming is going to be our own road,” Cavanagh said. “We’ll do what makes sense to us.”

In addition to feeding the growing Peacock asset and mining incremental revenue through premium VOD with original studio movies on an accelerated timeline, Universal has revenue-sharing agreements with AMC Theatres and Regal that allow it to release titles into digital retail channels as early as 17 days after their box office debut, depending upon opening weekend ticket sales.

Universal earlier this month announced it would release horror movie Halloween Kills, the sequel to the 2018 reboot that re-introduced Jamie Lee Curtis to the franchise, in theaters and on the Peacock on Oct. 15.

“We are firm believers that theatrical is important, but innovation around windowing is going to be part of what makes us successful over time,” Cavanagh said.

After Peacock’s exclusive four-month Pay 1 window, Netflix and Amazon split separate four-month periods followed by a four-month return to Peacock.

“The monies we received from third parties for that 18-month window — despite the fact we are keeping the first four months of that window — is actually more than what it had been prior to this new deal that we did,” Cavanagh said.

He said the strategy enables Universal to better leverage its theatrical content through Peacock while enabling competitive channels to mine incremental fiscal benefits for the studio.

“We think it is a long-term opportunity for us to keep the asset in our own libraries, while also giving us optionality for down the road,” Cavanagh said. “I think we served a lot of our different strategic purposes in the new windowing we did.”

Animated Series ‘The Croods: Family Tree’ Debuting on Hulu and Peacock Sept. 23

The DreamWorks Animation series “The Croods: Family Tree” will premiere on both the Peacock and Hulu streaming services Sept. 23.

Based on the films The Croods and The Croods: A New Age, the series continues the ever-evolving story of the Croods and the Bettermans as they learn to live together on the most idyllic farm in prehistory. The journey from sparring rivals to unlikely friends is fraught with hilarious misadventures as the two families slowly overcome their differences to turn a tree house divided into a tree home united.

Kelly Marie Tran returns as the voice of Dawn alongside new addition Amy Landecker as Ugga. The voice cast also includes Kiff VandenHeuvel as Grug, Ally Dixon as Eep, AJ Locascio as Thunk, Dee Bradley Baker as Sandy, Artemis Pebdani as Gran, Darin Brooks as Guy, Matthew Waterson as Phil, and Amy Rosoff as Hope.

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Peacock Ups Will Gonzalez to Chief Data Officer

NBCUniversal Aug. 24 announced that Will Gonzalez has been promoted to EVP and chief data officer of direct-to-consumer. In this role, Gonzalez will be responsible for Peacock’s global data strategy, leading a team that builds data products to help personalize the customer experience and helps provide critical data-driven insights that enable Peacock’s product and content decisions.

Will Gonzalez

“Will’s incredible passion, charismatic leadership, and vast expertise were foundational to our success in launching and scaling Peacock in the U.S. in its first year,” Gidon Katz, president of direct-to-consumer at NBCUniversal, said in a statement. “With a focus on our international growth and expansion, we are thrilled to broaden Will’s role and team, which play an essential role in shaping our global streaming strategy.”

As a member of the Peacock launch team, Gonzalez served as SVP of decision sciences. In this expanded role, Gonzalez will continue growing a team of data scientists, data engineers, data governance and applied analytics professionals. This team has established a data-driven culture in the U.S. and will now extend expertise in these areas across the global direct-to-consumer operations. Gonzalez will also partner closely with chief data officer John Lee to implement the company’s enterprise-wide consumer identity and data strategy.

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Gonzalez joined NBCUniversal in 2017 as SVP of enterprise business intelligence; in this role, he led, managed and developed the data product management team within the enterprise business intelligence division to enable greater utilization of data assets across multiple business units. Prior to NBCUniversal, Gonzalez held various leadership roles in consumer data and marketing tech initiatives at Sony, and began his career in digital product strategy at The New York Times.

Gonzalez is is based in New York and reports to Gidon Katz, president of direct-to-consumer.

Universal Studios, Peacock Greenlight ‘Field of Dreams’ Series

Universal Studios and NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming platform are partnering for a series based on the studio’s 1989 Field of Dreams movie, starring Kevin Costner, who plays an Iowa farmer seeking to exorcise the ghosts of the scandalized 1919 World Series between the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds. Several White Sox players were alleged to have intentionally lost games for money from gamblers.

Seeking to “reimagine the mixture of family, baseball, Iowa and magic” that made the original Oscar-nominated movie, co-starring James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta and Amy Madigan, a box office hit ($84 million in global ticket sales), NBCUniversal didn’t reveal casting decisions, except that the showrunner would be Michael Shur (Peacock’s “Rutherford Falls,” “The Good Place,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”).

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“Through the years, Field of Dreams has remained a fan favorite, maintaining its rightful position in the zeitgeist,” Lisa Katz, president of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said in an Aug. 16 statement. “It’s whimsical and grounded, a space where Mike Schur excels, and we’re looking forward to bringing a new version of this classic to Peacock.”

Erin Underhill, president of Universal Television, said Shur’s love of the American pastime, makes him a perfect fit to “revisit this beloved film that evokes nostalgia and visceral emotion in so many of its fans.”

Universal Studios and Peacock are also working on streaming series based on Seth McFarlane’s ‘R’-rated “Ted” movies, starring Mark Wahlberg.

Major League Baseball, which held its first nationally televised “Field of Dreams” baseball game in Iowa on Aug. 12, announced another commemorative game would be played on the same Dyersville, Iowa, cornfield in 2022 featuring the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds. Fox Sports said the game was its highest-rated baseball game in 16 years.

Peacock ended the most-recent fiscal period with about 20 million paid subscribers.

Data: Tokyo Olympics a Boon for Peacock App Downloads

While the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics was a ratings bummer for NBCUniversal, the quadrennial sporting event was a gold medalist for the media company’s Peacock streaming service.

New data from Sensor Tower reportedly found that the hybrid SVOD/AVOD platform generated 1.7 million new app downloads during the 17-day Games period from July 23 to Aug. 8. For the month of July, the Peacock app was downloaded 3 million times — up 81% from 2 million app downloads in the previous-year period. An app download does not necessarily translate into a paid subscription.

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By comparison, the Peacock app was downloaded 1.6 million times in June and April, respectively, and downloaded 1.3 million times in May. Last month, Comcast disclosed the platform had 54 million sign-ups through July 29 and 20 million paid subscribers through June 30.

Regardless of the traction, Peacock still lags significantly behind Netflix, Hulu and Disney+, which have 74 million, 38 million and 38 million North American subs, respectively.

Peacock Tops 54 Million Sign-Ups, 20 Million Paid Subs Driven by Tokyo Olympics; Expanding SVOD to Sky in Europe

NBCUniversal’s hybrid Peacock SVOD/AVOD streaming platform ended the second quarter (through June 30) and year-to-date with 54 million sign-ups and 20 million subscribers. It was the largest subscriber growth for the year-old Peacock service.

The growth was driven in part by the ongoing 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics as well as expedited access to Boss Baby: Family Business and original series “Dr. Death,” according to Comcast Corp. chairman/CEO Brian Roberts.

“This is 50% higher than our last report,” Roberts said on the fiscal call, adding that the current third quarter has been “particularly” strong in consumer awareness of the Peacock brand.

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“We are unlikely to replicate such [subscription] performance [going forward], but we remain optimistic,” he said.

Roberts said that later this year, Sky, the European-based satellite TV platform would include Peacock to its 20 million subscribers at no additional cost.

“The benefits of this launch are tremendous,” he said, adding that the expanded Peacock marketing would enhance advertising and brand opportunities worldwide.

“The decision to make Peacock the anchor tenet on the X1 and Flex platforms for its domestic launch [in 2020], is a key driver of brand awareness, scale, consumption, promotion,” Roberts said. “We see a similar opportunity with Sky.”

Finally, Roberts said the Tokyo Games would be profitable for NBCUniversal despite the absence of spectators in the competition venues and reduced prime-time TV viewers through the first days of the quadrennial event.

Parrot Analytics: Peacock Users Prefer Catalog Content to Originals

Research firm Parrot Analytics July 29 released an analysis of the Peacock streaming service showing relatively strong demand for catalog content but tepid interest in its original programming.

Looking at Peacock’s performance in the U.S. streaming market, Parrot Analytics found the streamer’s U.S. share of demand for on-platform content in the second quarter of 2021 (April through June) was 8.4%, putting it in fifth place overall, just above Paramount+ (7.9%) and slightly behind HBO Max (9.8%). Hulu led with 21.4%, followed by Netflix at 18%.

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Peacock, with more than 20 million subscribers, appears to be successfully leveraging its large library of legacy content and shows still airing on linear TV. However, under the assumption that highly in-demand exclusive content, particularly platform originals, are generally what drive new subscribers to sign up for a service, Parrot found that Peacock has yet to take off, accounting for just 1.4% of the U.S. digital original demand share in Q2 2021.

Parrot’s report suggested relying on a large library of non-exclusive content could be a risky strategy, but Comcast streaming exclusive coverage of the Tokyo Olympics on Peacock could entice many viewers who decide to keep the service for its in-demand library of catalog movies and TV shows, as well as linear content, mostly old and current NBC shows.

Among the most in-demand shows on Peacock in the past quarter were “Saturday Night Live,” which drew 56 times the demand of an average TV series, according to Parrot’s proprietary demand expressions metric that calculates online viewer interest in a show. The second most in-demand show available on Peacock this quarter was “The Voice” with about 30 times average demand.

The most in-demand digital original from Peacock in Q2 2021 was “Curious George,” averaging 9.9 times the average series demand. Other originals such as “Girls5eva” and “Rutherford Falls” both reached post-release demand peaks higher than any other Peacock original so far this year when they become available earlier in Q2.

However, comparing Peacock’s original content to the top original series from other streamers, Parrot determined the platform has yet to create a tentpole original that captures as much audience attention as its competitors’ top series. “Curious George” and “Rutherford Falls” had less demand this quarter than even the top original from Shudder, a niche streamer specializing in horror that scored with “Creepshow” at 10.5 times average demand.

Netflix, Disney+, Hulu Take on Peacock in Tokyo Olympics Ad Competition

On the first prime time competitions broadcast July 24 of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics on NBC, Netflix made a quiet entry into the TV commercial competition.

The 30-second spot highlighting original content aired during broadcast of Team USA’s first medals at the Games, when male and female swimmers snatched six medals, including the country’s first Gold by Chase Kalisz in the men’s 400-meter individual medley.

Disney+ and Hulu carried ad spots on the second primetime broadcast on July 25.

The price for a 30-second prime-time commercial at the Tokyo Games reportedly exceeds $1 million.

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The Netflix spot was the only SVOD promo to go up against NBCUniversal’s non-stop run of commercials for Peacock, the hybrid SVOD/AVOD platform launched a year ago. The Games NBC Sports host Mike Tirico shrewdly called out Peacock screen shots that viewers could toggle to watch ongoing competition in other sports (women’s softball) as well as VOD recaps of the men’s cycling road race.

Netflix ended the most-recent fiscal period with almost 210 million global subscribers. It also lost 430,000 net subs in North America.

NBCUniversal is pulling out the stops in an effort to jumpstart Peacock, which reported 42 million sign-ups through the first quarter (ended March 31), but reportedly just 10 million paying subscribers — suggesting the service needs an Olympian boost.

Peacock is featuring live coverage of some the Games’ biggest events, including gymnastics, track & field, and the U.S. Men’s Basketball Team’s pursuit of their fourth straight gold. In addition, Peacock will feature new daily live shows, original programming, Olympics channels and curated highlights of NBC Olympics’ coverage. All of Peacock’s Tokyo Olympics programming will be available to stream for free, with exception of USA Men’s Basketball live coverage that will only be available to Peacock Premium subscribers.

Regardless, the Games’ appeal to U.S. TV viewers could be declining. The network’s broadcast of the opening ceremony reportedly drew 16.7 million viewers, the smallest U.S. TV audience for the event in the past 33 years. At the same time, streaming viewership increased to 17 million across all digital platforms, including NBCOlympics.com.