Deeper Dive—Peacock metrics are still hard to come by

Peacock
(NBCUniversal)

Peacock, NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, keeps racking up the sign-ups but still isn’t revealing much about how many people are using the service and how often.

During Comcast’s third-quarter earnings call, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell was asked about active users, time spent on the platform and how the base splits between free and subscription. Shell didn’t provide those numbers but he did say the majority of Peacock’s revenue comes from advertising, suggesting that Peacock’s $5/month Premium and $10/month ad-free tiers are still catching on.

Peacock currently tracks sign-ups – it just reached 22 million – along with monthly active accounts and engagement levels.

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“Those 22 million obviously serve as the top of the funnel and we’re way ahead on the other two of what we projected to be, and that obviously then translates to revenue,” said Shell, who added that Peacock is only just starting to see the effects of its recent distribution agreement with Roku.

Despite being way ahead of projections on monthly active accounts and engagement levels, NBCU still isn’t talking directly about those data points. Shell did say that Premier League soccer, NBC News, licensed content like “Yellowstone” and “Mr. Mercedes,” and library content is resonating with Peacock users. He even got in a shot at Quibi, a fellow AVOD service that threw in the towel last week. But he didn’t reveal much about what Peacock sign-ups are doing after they provide their email addresses.

Peacock has been available to Comcast subscribers – who were all given free access to Peacock Premium, which provides access to original content but still contains ads – since April. The service went nationwide in July. Besides the growing sign-ups total, Comcast has said that Peacock is one of the top three streaming services on both Comcast X1 and Flex. We also know that Comcast has intentionally leaned into Peacock’s free tier, which CEO Brian Roberts said has helped the service grow quickly with a very low cost per acquisition and significantly less marketing spend than other new streaming services.

That focus on free has seemingly already caused a casualty. NBCU canceled “Brave New World,” Peacock’s flagship scripted original series, just a few months after its debut, which could be another sign that the paid premium tiers are still finding their way.

Peacock will eventually begin breaking out its monthly active user and engagement metrics, officially entering it into the MAU races with Pluto TV, Xumo, Tubi, Roku and others. For now, though, all we’re getting is sign-ups and subtle hints about how the fledgling streamer is flying so far.

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