Peacock Hits 18 Million Subscribers

By Jessica Lerner 

Peacock has hit 18 million subscribers, up from the 15 million subscribers the streamer had at the end of its third quarter.

“That’s real subscribers, paying us real American dollars,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at the UBS media conference Monday, citing the decision to remove some of the company’s programming rights from Hulu, which NBCUniversal owns with Disney, as a reason for the subscriber growth.

He also noted that the entry of Netflix and other rival streaming services into the advertising market was evidence that NBCUniversal made the right choice in pursuing an ad-supported streaming revenue model.


“We were late coming into streaming, but we clearly chose the right business model,” he said.

To make Peacock profitable, Shell said the streamer helps offset the rapid declines in linear TV income brought on by cord-cutting and a deteriorating advertising environment.

“We believe in the premium video ad-supported, dual revenue stream—essential broadcast and cable on streaming—driven by key programming,” Shell said of NBCU’s business strategy for its flagship. streaming platform.

Another source of revenue will come from the “big check” Disney will most likely write parent company Comcast if the House of Mouse buys Comcast’s 33% stake in Hulu as early as January 2024.

“We have a put; they have a call,” he said. “We think [Hulu] is worth a lot of money because it’s sold on a full control basis as if you were auctioning it off. And I think [there are] no indications that anything else is going to happen [other] than Disney writing us a big check for the asset in 2024.”