Peacock Has A Lot Of New Subscribers, But It's Unknown How Many Are Paying

NBC Universal's new streaming service is discussed during earnings call.

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According to Comcast's Q3 earnings, young-buck streaming platform Peacock currently boasts nearly 22 million users since launching six months ago in April. However, as with all earning reports, there is always some chicanery to pad numbers that must be squinted at and scrutinized: 22 million is certainly a large user base, but the report does not indicate how many of those signups were for Peacock's free, ad-supported plan and how many were for its more premium paid tiers.

Still, those numbers--and the accompanying $6.7 billion from NBCUniversal in the same quarter--are nothing to sneeze at. NBC Universal Chief Jeff Shell reportedly said in an accompanying Comcast earnings call, "The fact that we have such a deep library of family stuff, it's kind of the opposite of Quibi." It's a timely bit of corporate shade aimed at the recent high-profile shuttering of an ostensible and now-ousted competitor: Quibi shut down last week.

Elsewhere in the report, the company indicated that theater closures due to COVID has resulted in a 25% revenue decline "which more than offset higher content licensing and home entertainment revenue." Theme parks were also down, unsurprisingly, 80.9%. However, Comcast seems poised to offset these downturns due to a forward-thinking (though long embattled) new deal with AMC that was reached over the summer that allows its films to hit streaming services just 17 days after they've been released in theaters.

Again, such reports should always be taken with a grain of salt, but later in the call, Shell indicated that 30 Rock, Dick Wolf shows (all flavors of Law and Order), NBC News, sports, and series like Mr. Mercedes and Yellowstone are among the most popular so far on Peacock. If you're reading this and scratching your head over what exactly Peacock is still, you can check out our review.

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