Why Peacock Is Not More Popular How To Fix It


Peacock announced that it added 4 million paid subscribers in the first quarter to end it with more than 13 million paid subs and 28 million monthly active accounts in the U.S. The numbers are an improvement from 24.5 million as of the end of 2021. But those numbers are nowhere close to the kinds of numbers some of the giants in the streaming world pull in. Readers will remember that recently Netflix announced it lost nearly a million subs and yet still has well over 200 million subscribers worldwide.

Its partially by design

Peacock is not set up to be a premium streaming service only. It is very much a combination of a TV Everywhere app and a stand-alone streaming service. This is because millions of customers get Peacock for free because they receive it through their cable subscription through Comcast and other partners.

Little Buzz Around Its Streaming Only Content

Peacock has a variety of streaming exclusives but so far has picked up very little attention from it. For instance, out of 22 original dramas only Bel-Air, the reimagined story of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air produced by Will Smith, received much fanfare. On the comedy front, Rutherford Falls has pushed through 2 seasons but little else has landed in a way that makes a show a cultural phenomena. It doesn’t have its own Stranger Things or The Boys.

Not Enough Exclusive Content Too Much Content Is Still On Hulu

Right now Peacock is not an exclusive destination for the most valuable intellectual property Comcast owns, its hit TV series and major motion pictures. Eventually NBC Universal content will be exclusive to Peacock, but at the moment it is not. In fact, its most popular exclusive at the moment is probably Yellowstone, ironically a Paramount show that found its way to Peacock before the company realized it had such a hit on its hands.  As more hit shows like Saturday Night Live, its late-night shows, and popular dramas become the sole property of Peacock there should be a noticeable shift.  But when people can view a breakout hit like La Brea on Hulu via an existing subscription, why jump onto another service to do so? It obviously needs more than new classics like The Office to drive numbers. Even more confusing, is that there is still an NBC app floating around out there that also has a lot of the TV content from NBC and other Universal Networks.

What Should It Do Next?

Peacock should just keep pushing forward. As it makes more deals with cable providers to give viewers access to the app and furthermore becomes the exclusive streaming destination for their own content there will be a lot more eyes on it. As more highly anticipated movies stream exclusively to the service it will grow as well.

54 million registered users is nothing to blow off. Anyone who registered for free for instance is viewing ads. Peacock needs to become the one and only app for all content from Comcast’s full slate of networks whether it’s a news-based doc from MSNBC or the latest episode of a show from USA Network. It should consider a more exclusive arrangement with the WWE, which sold the WWE Network content to Peacock in 2021 along with access to live premium events like the upcoming Summer Slam.

Adding an option to view local NBC affiliates through the app like Paramount+ does for its $9.99 tier customers could go a long way as well. Either way there has to be a reason to jump on the app. And when people do, maybe they will fall for some of the Peacock original programming.