Entertainment

Peacock Tops 30 Million Subscribers, Streaming Loss to Peak at $2.8 Billion

Peacock is closing out 2023 with some good news: The Comcast-owned streaming service has reached 30 million paid subscribers.

Additionally, according to Comcast CEO Mike Cavanagh, the platform saw $2.8 billion in losses this year (coming in under the $3 billion projected by the company back in January), and Cavanagh expects that figure to be the peak losses for Peacock as we head into 2024.

Cavanagh boasted about Peacock’s growth over its first three years during the UBS Global Media and Communications conference Monday, saying: “To be at 30 million paying subscribers for Peacock now, switching gears to that, at roughly $10 monthly ARPU, and having done that in only three years.”

Most recently, Comcast reported that Peacock had topped 28 million paid subscribers as of the end of Q3, which was revealed during their quarterly financial report in late October.

“We’re focused on domestic, we can take the content that doesn’t go into Peacock and monetize it outside of the United States,” Cavanagh said Monday. “I think for us, that’s not the ambition, we’ll figure out how to make sure our international joint ventures and partnerships and the like solve for the problem of what it means not to have a global service of our own, and that can change over time. But our primary focus is figure out domestic and make sure that we continue to have the reach and relevance between linear and digital as we look several years down the road. I think that will set us up for plenty of good, both sustainability of what we currently are, which is a pretty powerful thing, and good optionality for the future. And I think the fact that when you roll it all together, we make money. We disclose what we quote, lose in Peacock for clarity, and it’s going to peak this year at $2.8 billion of losses. But don’t forget the counter narrative of, what would it all look like if we weren’t trying at Peacock? You’d be asking a different set of questions, which is where are the linear businesses going if you’re not trying to figure out a future for the powerful platforms you have?”

When it comes to potential M&A opportunities for Comcast and its NBCUniversal assets, Cavanagh says “the bar is really high.” “I really like the organic hand we have against all the businesses that are the growth businesses we have, we don’t need to do anything inorganic acquisition-wise to make any of what I described happen, so therefore the bar has to be really high on that front.”

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