Peacock ended 2020 with 33 million sign-ups, according to the latest quarterly figures provided by Comcast. Considering the service launched mid-way through the year, the number of those now signed up to the service indicates Peacock is doing well. However, there is a caveat to the number, due to the way Peacock operates.
Peacock originally launched in beta and was only available to select Comcast Xfinity customers. However, by July the service launched nationwide with everyone in the U.S. able to sign up and start streaming. Since then, the service has continually attracted more users. At the end of the third quarter of 2020, Comcast reported 22 million sign-ups for Peacock, in spite of the service only having fully launched in the quarter before.
Comcast has now released its fourth quarter and end of year results, confirming Peacock had accumulated 33 million sign-ups as of December 31, 2020. As a result, Peacock added an additional 11 million sign-ups in the fourth quarter alone.
The confirmation of Peacock’s 33 million sign-ups comes shortly after AT&T released its latest quarter results confirming there were more than 41 million HBO Max subscribers in the U.S. at the close of 2020. AT&T’s announcement also confirmed 27,000 additional subscribers had left AT&T TV Now during the same period.
Sign-ups not the whole story
While HBO Max announced 41 million subscribers, the Peacock picture is a little different. Unlike HBO Max, Peacock not only offers two paid subscriptions, but also a free tier. Although the free option is limited in content, it still does allow those signed up to stream shows and movies without paying.
Due to this, there is a caveat to Peacock’s 33 million as it remains to be seen how many of the sign-ups are actually paying customers. Furthermore, it also remains to be seen how many of them are still actively using the service. For example, completely canceling a Peacock subscription is not the easiest thing to do. While there are few issues when canceling a paid Peacock Premium plan, this simply downgrades the plan to the free tier, essentially keeping the sign-up activated. Users have routinely reported to Streaming Better the difficulties they’ve faced when attempting to cancel their free subscription.
Regardless of how many are using the service, and paying for it, the latest numbers released by Comcast do highly indicate that the general interest in Peacock is high, and certainly on par with other services, including HBO Max.