Nearly 22 million have signed up to Peacock in the U.S. The number is all the more substantial considering how new the service is. However, it is also open to some interpretation, when comparing to subscriber numbers for other streaming services.
Officially, the NBCUniversal streaming service launched in July. However, it had been previously available to select Comcast customers since April, as part of a beta launch. Although only available nationwide in mid-July, by the end of the same month, Comcast announced its second quarter results, confirming the service has accumulated 10 million sign-ups.
Today, Comcast announced its third quarter results and once again provided an update on Peacock. In the three months since the 10 million sign-up milestone had been reached, Peacock has not only passed the 20 million marker, but currently sits at “nearly 22 million.” Comcast explained that the updated number has “exceeded our expectations.”
Subscribers versus sign-ups
Unlike other streaming services, Peacock is slightly more complicated due to its tier structure. For example, Peacock is available in three different flavors with the entry-level option completely free. The other two are variations of the same plan, but with and without ads.
With multiple tiers in play, and including a free option, it is difficult to put the 22 million sign-up milestone into context. For example, it is unclear how many of those 22 million are paying for the service and how many have simply signed up just because it was free. Adding further confusion to the situation is that some Xfinity customers can get the ad-supported Peacock Premium paid plan for free. Therefore, while they are technically on a paid plan, they are not paying for the service.
With Comcast not providing clearer figures on exactly who is paying and not paying for the service, or even how many are accessing the paid plans (regardless of whether they are being billed), it is difficult to draw comparisons on subscriber numbers with other newer services, like Disney+ and HBO Max.
Regardless of how the 22 million breaks down between paid and free users, what is clear is that the level of general interest in Peacock is impressive. What’s more, with the service having recently gained access to the Roku platform, it is likely Comcast’s fourth quarter results will show another increase in Peacock sign-ups.