Influential Wall Street analysts Lightshed Partners report that NBCUniversal has spent $2.5 Billion on its Peacock streaming service.
And what has it got?
- Peacock subscribers are stuck at around 14 million.
- There were zero subscriber gains for the recent quarter.
- Peacock lags far behind its competitors Netflix (221 million subscribers), Disney+ (138 Mn), HBO Max (77 Mn), Paramount+ (43 Mn) and Discovery+ (24 Mn).
Lightshed called on NBCUniversal to shutter Peacock (“Kill it!”) just two years after its July 2020 launch. (Podcast episode #117, July 28. 10′)
- NBCUniversal promised a cost-disciplined service.
- On the revenue side, it was to be ad-supported like Hulu.
- Peacock’s efficient ad sales operation would be bundled with the company’s linear channels, settop boxes and connected TV’s.
What They Did Right
- Appealing design of the logo and customer interface.
- Memorable Olympics and other Sports coverage.
- The relatively seamless transition between the subscription service and the free OTT feed from your cable service.
What They Did Wrong
- Brand identity is confusing.
- Little original, signature programming.
- What they do have seems under-promoted and difficult to find.
- Heavy reliance on current NBC programming easily found elsewhere.
- And above all… Peacock came late to the streaming party.
Implications for Programmers
- The recent production spending boom was driven by streaming leaders and newcomers who were competing to retain or establish market share.
- Programmers are now returning to their senses: they are taking a harder look at super- high end productions, cancelling shows about which they have doubts, and increasing in their mix the appealing scripted and unscripted programs that are available at mid- and lower price points.
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