NBCUniversal Peacock has 15 million subs, Comcast CEO Roberts says

Signage for the NBCUniversal Inc. Peacock streaming service is displayed on a laptop computer in an arranged photograph taken in the Brooklyn Borough of New York, U.S., on Friday, April 17, 2020.

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NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock has 15 million sign-ups, a 50% increase in six weeks, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said Tuesday at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference 

Peacock is Comcast’s plan to monetize broadband-only subscribers through video. Peacock Premium costs $4.99 for non-Comcast and Cox subscribers and $9.99 per month without ads. It has hundreds of movies and TV shows, including past episodes of NBC staples such as “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock.” Former NBCUniversal Chairman Steve Burke said last year he expects Peacock can make about $5 per month for every free Peacock subscriber in advertising revenue.

Streaming services have gained popularity during pandemic quarantines as most external entertainment options have shut down. Comcast reported it had 10 million sign-ups on July 30, just a few weeks after launching nationally and about three months after debuting for some Comcast and Cox customers.

Peacock has both a free service, supported by advertising, and a paid version, which includes more content. Comcast Xfinity customers and some Cox cable customers get free access to Peacock Premium as part of their cable TV or broadband subscriptions. The 15 million signups account for any customer that has signed up for the service — free or paid. Roberts didn’t disclose how many signups were free vs. paid subscribers.

NBCUniversal has a goal of reaching 30 million to 35 million active Peacock accounts by 2024, the company said earlier this year. 

Roberts also said during the Communacopia Conference that Comcast is indifferent to whether a customer wants to pay for cable TV or just broadband Internet with a Comcast Flex streaming box. Video margins have dwindled in recent years as cable packages have swelled in price while consumers have rejected the inflated cost of the bundle.

Disclosure: Comcast’s NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.

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