Peacock has climbed to 15 million paid subscribers, according to NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell. This marks a modest increase compared to a few months ago when the latest official subscriber number was confirmed. However, it is still fairly low when drawing comparisons with some of the other major subscription services.
Peacock takes a slightly different approach to its subscription options and this approach has the potential to either help or harm paid subscriptions. Essentially, Peacock includes a free tier which unlocks access to a limited selection of content. While this can act as a gateway to a paid subscription, it can also result in less people actually upgrading their account to one of the Premium plans. In contrast, many other services tend to focus either on paid subscriptions or on offering free access.
During a recent Squawk On The Street episode, Jeff Shell told co-host David Faber that the number of paid Peacock subscribers stood at more than 15 million, as of this quarter. During the interview, Shell also went on to explain that there are currently 30 million active accounts, defined as accounts that are watching Peacock on a monthly basis.
To put the current number of paid subscribers into perspective, Comcast, the parent company of both NBCU and Peacock, released its Q2 2022 financial results in July, confirming that Peacock had 13 million paid subscribers. However, this represented minimal growth considering the company ended the first quarter with 13 million subscribers as well. Based on the latest numbers, Peacock has attracted 2 million more subscribers in the third quarter of 2022.
Compared to other streaming services, Peacock seems to have had a harder time of substantially increasing its paid subscriber base. This is in spite of the service placing a big emphasis on live sports, including NFL, English Premier League, WWE, and the Olympics. On that note, Shell also argued that Peacock is the best sports offering of any streaming service.
Access to live sports is likely to be one of the main driving forces behind Peacock premium subscriptions, considering most of the live sports content is locked behind the service’s premium plans. For those wanting ad-free access, the cost of a paid Premium Plus plan is $9.99 per month, while those that are happy to sit through the ads can unlock the standard Peacock Premium plan for as little as $4.99 per month.