NBCUniversal (NBCU) streamer Peacock added nine million subscribers in the first quarter of the year and is exploring international expansion.
The Comcast-owned company attributed the growth to the addition of iconic US sitcom The Office as a Peacock exclusive, along with the deal to acquire the WWE Network in a deal worth a reported $1bn.
In total, Peacock now has 42 million members in the US, but the company does not state how many of the new sign-ups are paying members. A significant chunk of that total are either using Peacocks’s free, ad-supported tier, or are accessing the $4.99 tier for free via their pay TV subscription.
The growth rate is also down from Q4 2020, when Peacock added 11 million subscribers. The service will also face stiff competition in the coming months when WarnerMedia launches the ad-supported version of HBO Max. Recent reports claim that the cheaper tier would cost $9.99 per month – the same price as Peacock’s top tier.
In terms of revenue, Peacock is counted within the Media section of the NBCUniversal total revenue. This business made $5bn, up 3.2% from the $3.9bn in Q1 2020.
International expansion & Krypten Ritter drama
Speaking on the company’s earnings call, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said that the company was making “great progress” with Peacock.
The CEO touted the success of Peacock’s strategy as a value-add for its Xfinity services, and said that the company “can see compelling ways we can expand internationally.”
“We’re looking to take advantage of the brand and scales of Sky across our European markets and potentially strike partnerships,” he said, adding that additional details on international expansion would come later in the year.
The news comes as Peacock unveiled an eight-episode supernatural drama featuring Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones).
The show, which Ritter will direct and star in, is adapted from Crypt TV’s Door In The Woods and Girl In The Woods films, and will be written by Casey Moddserno. Crypt TV produces.