Peacock has 16 million subscribers but still lost over $1 billion last year

·2 min read
Will Forte as MacGruber
Will Forte as MacGruber

Peacock is not just the streaming service that sounds most like a canned 30 Rock joke—it is also the streaming service that is costing Comcast a lot of money. During their fourth-quarter earning call on Thursday, as reported by Vulture, Peacock execs revealed that the streaming service has about 16 million full access subscribers, but still lost over $1 billion last year.

About nine million of those subscribers are people who pay monthly. The other seven million are people who get Peacock via cable or wireless bundles, and don’t actually pay an extra fee for it.

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Peacock also has a completely free tier, which has more ads and and limits the streamers’ content catalogue. If Comcast adds those people in, the full active subscriber base if 24.5 million, which, according to Vulture, is up about 25 percent from what the company reported in summer 2021.

Comcast plans to double its investment on Peacock content this year, spending $3 billion on original programming and library acquisitions. Peacock’s new 2022 content lineup already includes Bel-Air, coming this February, their Tiger King series Joe vs. Carole, and the Jennifer Lopez rom-com Marry Me.

It’s also not clear when Comcast execs might want to pull currently airing NBC shows off of Hulu to air exclusively on Peacock. Hulu has way more subscribers than Peacock, so it seems they want to keep the shows where they get more eyeballs, for now. (As a Bravo fan, this writer does hope Comcast execs would start putting new episodes of Housewives and Below Deck on Peacock and free her from the terrible tyranny of the Bravo app)

Peacock is also probably hoping that the upcoming Winter Olympics will give the app a boost, but it didn’t help that much last summer during the Tokyo Olympics. And according to a poll released by Variety, the Beijing Olympics aren’t going to be a big draw for the streamer.