NBCUniversal parent company Comcast is proudly displaying its plumage, as new streaming service Peacock has reached 10 million signups. Comcast’s feathers were ruffled at the same time, however, as the broadcast giant lost 427,000 video subscribers in its second quarter, fueling a nearly 12% dip in revenues.
For Comcast and other Pay TV providers, it’s a sign of the times – people are increasingly relying on content streaming over the internet rather than via cable or satellite. Comcast sees this as the silver lining in its long-term prospects given that the company controls around 40% of the broadband internet market in the U.S.
“I’m pretty excited that as the world’s transitioning, broadband is at the center of making a lot of that possible and now we can bolt on a lot of content and interfaces and hopefully we can do that in a way that customers can really enjoy,” said Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast.
NBCUniversal launched Peacock back in April, initially only with Comcast Xfinity customers. With the nationwide launch, it’s likely that the majority of Peacock’s 10 million signups are for the free, ad-supported version. The Hollywood Reporter suggested earlier this year that Peacock’s launch could signal a “gold rush” for ad-supported streaming content. Reviews have been fairly positive, but Peacock has been held back by a lack of support for Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, no 4K HDR option, and a dearth of original programming.
Even so, consumers can’t argue with free. Interpret’s New Media Measure® shows that 29% of cord cutters (individuals who’ve cancelled live TV service in the past two years) and 27% of Comcast Xfinity subscribers watch ad-supported TV content. Interpret believes that ad-supported streaming is an area that’s primed for further growth.