Peacock lags behind competitors, gains just 2M subs for Q2


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Compared to streaming rivals, Peacock has been slow to spread its wings. The streaming service reported its second quarterly results on Thursday, revealing an addition of only two million subscribers, bringing its total to 24 million—an increase of 9% compared to the 22 million from the previous quarter.

When we look at competitors – like Netflix’s significant gain of 5.9 million subs during the same quarter — Peacock is at the rear end of the flock. And although Disney+ lost four million subscribers in Q2 2023, its total continues to be astronomically ahead at 157.8 million. To be fair, Peacock nearly doubled its subscriber base from the year prior, when it had 13 million users, which is adequate growth for a three-year-old streamer. The recent incline in new users was mainly thanks to free customers converting into paying subs, according to the company.

As of January, Peacock no longer offers its free tier to new customers. Last month, Peacock stopped including its ad-supported plan, Peacock Premium, at no additional cost for Xfinity customers.

Additionally, Peacock revenue jumped 85% year to year to $820 million. However, the company also reported streaming losses. Peacock lost $651 million in Q2, compared to a loss of $704 million in Q1, and $467 million in the second quarter of 2022.

With this in mind, Comcast has a long way to go before its streaming business will be profitable. But we’re curious to see how successful its slow and steady approach will be in the long run.

Last week, Peacock notified existing customers that it’s getting a price hike on August 17, marking the first time the streamer has increased its subscription prices since its 2020 launch. Peacock’s Premium plan will go from $4.99 to $5.99 per month, whereas the ad-free Premium Plus tier will get a $2 increase to come in at $11.99 per month.

The company believes that its content lineup is strong enough to justify the price increase. Peacock touts over 5,000 hours of live sports content, including Big Ten games, the Women’s World Cup, Sunday Night Football, Premier League, as well as an exclusive NFL playoff game that will air next year.

Notably, Comcast President Michael J. Cavanagh noted during the earnings call that the company would consider looking at NBA rights.

“Obviously the NBA’s coming up, that’s a fantastic property,” Cavanagh said. “We don’t necessarily need it, given the portfolio we have, but given its strength and our historical involvement in the sport, it’s something I’d like to see us take a look at.”

Peacock also touts its slate of original titles, such as “Poker Face,” “Mrs. Davis,” “The Continental,” “Bel-Air” and “Bupkis,” among many others. It will also be the streaming home of the highly popular “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” starting next week, on August 3.

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