Posts for 'Peacock'

  • Inside the Stream Podcast: Smart TVs at CES, Peacock Olympics, HBO Max’s Success

    Welcome to this week’s edition of Inside the Stream, the podcast where nScreenMedia’s Chief Analyst Colin Dixon and I take listeners inside the world of streaming video.

    This week Colin leads off with highlights of smart TV innovations announced at CES. Then we discuss why Peacock streaming every moment of every event of the upcoming Winter Olympics is a big win for the service and also a milestone decision for parent NBCUniversal.

    Finally, HBO and HBO Max ended the year with nearly 74 million subscribers, which we both shows clear momentum and how they’re moving past the decision to withdraw from Amazon’s Channels programs earlier this year. HBO Max is one of few subscription services that doesn’t need Amazon’s distribution strength.

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  • Peacock Makes Smart Move Live Streaming Full Winter Olympics

    Yesterday Peacock and NBCUniversal announced that every minute of every live event at the upcoming Winter Olympics from Beijing will be streamed on Peacock. In addition, full replays of all competition will be available on Peacock immediately upon conclusion. Peacock viewers will also have access to the Opening and Closing ceremonies, the studio shows and medal ceremonies.

    The announcements are smart moves and allow Peacock to clearly communicate and promote that all events will be available on the service. It’s a big improvement from last summer’s Olympics, which had incomplete coverage on Peacock and where replays and clips of concluded events sometimes were delayed and/or showed up on YouTube prior to being posted on Peacock itself. The execution fell short of many Peacock viewers’ expectations.

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  • Inside the Stream Podcast: For Comcast and Peacock, It’s Time to Go Big or Go Home

    Welcome to this week’s edition of Inside the Stream, the podcast where nScreenMedia’s Chief Analyst Colin Dixon and I take listeners inside the world of streaming video.

    On Comcast’s Q3 ’21 earnings call, management was vague about how Peacock is performing. In Corporate America, not highlighting numbers is typically a sign that things are not going as well as hoped and/or the numbers are not as impressive, comparably speaking, as those of competitors. A round of speculation about Peacock’s performance and what might happen next has ensued.

    On this week’s podcast, Colin and I try to explain what we think is happening. The hard truth for Peacock is that it came to market very late and that it is competing against well-funded and highly aggressive competitors which are spending heavily on originals and on promotions - a commitment that Comcast/NBCUniversal have not publicly committed to match. Another issue - at least relative to Paramount+/Showtime, which gained 4.3 million subscribers in Q3 - is that Peacock doesn’t include NBC’s linear feed, and also doesn’t specialize in mature content, which has a strong draw. These two benefits (and “Star Trek”) have no doubt helped Paramount+/Showtime. Yet another issue is that popular NBC programming continues to be available in Hulu.

    All of these factors, and others, are limiting Peacock’s appeal. As if that wasn’t enough, Comcast has mixed incentives related to Hulu, because it still has a 30% stake that is getting more valuable by the day, as Netflix stock hits new highs. Comcast is financially disincented from harming Hulu by pulling programming to help Peacock (all of this would have been moot if only Comcast had acquired Hulu when it had the chance back in 2018). Comcast has missed out on billions in additional revenue and value creation.

    In short, Comcast/NBCU are now facing a dilemma with Peacock that can be boiled down to: Go Big or Go Home. Either commit to spending what's required to compete effectively (either at the AVOD or SVOD level), or recognize Peacock is going to keep treading water and will likely never break out. It’s a tough decision, but it reflects the penalty late entrants face, especially when squaring off against competitors like Netflix, Amazon, Disney, HBO Max, etc.

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  • Inside the Stream Podcast: Google Fiber TV is Retired, Linear TV Ratings Fall, SVOD Churn is Stable and Much More

    Welcome to this week’s edition of Inside the Stream, the podcast where nScreenMedia’s Chief Analyst Colin Dixon and I take listeners inside the world of streaming video.

    Rather than focus on just one story this week as we usually do, today we do segments on 5 different stories that caught our attention. First we pick up on last week’s podcast about the dustup between YouTube TV and NBCUniversal. The companies avoided going over the cliff together and managed to extend their relationship. But it is a harbinger of more fights between networks and virtual (and traditional) pay-TV operators as the size of the pie continues to shrink due to cord-cutting.

    Then Colin and I have a spirited debate about Google’s Fiber TV, which is being retired, and the broader question of whether Google Fiber’s 1 gigabit per second broadband service is a worthwhile product offering (Colin thinks it is and I think it isn’t, and I haven’t since it launched way back in February, 2010, see “Google’s Fiber-to-the-Home Experiment Could Cost $750 Million or More.” Also see "Google Fiber is Out of Synch With Realities of Typical Consumer Technology Adoption" from July, 2012 and "No Surprise, Google Fiber is Falling Short of Expectations" from August, 2016.)

    From there we discuss the steep drop in L7 TV ratings that has continued in the first week of this Fall season. But even at these depressed levels, I assert that the most popular broadcast TV shows like “NCIS” still draw audiences that may likely be bigger than the first 7 days following the drop of a popular show on a big SVOD service like Netflix. Related, we discuss new Kantar data on SVOD churn in Q2. For more insight, have a look at my post from November, 2019, “Will Spinning Video Subscriptions Become a Thing?”

    Finally, there’s a game of musical chairs happening in our industry and this week’s move by Kelly Campbell from president of Hulu to president of Peacock is just the latest example. We discuss why these executives’ shuffling matters to all of us as consumers.

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  • Inside the Stream Podcast: Why Peacock’s Olympics Coverage Has Been a Big Missed Opportunity

    Welcome to this week’s edition of Inside the Stream, the podcast where nScreenMedia’s Chief Analyst Colin Dixon and I take listeners inside the world of streaming video.

    Colin leads off the discussion this week, explaining why he believes that Peacock’s Olympics coverage has been a missed opportunity for the fledgling streamer. In particular, Colin notes that even for paying Peacock subscribers, marquee events are not only not available live, they are not even being made available immediately upon their conclusion (note I’m deferring to Colin on this, because as a former Boy Scout, I preemptively chose to record ALL Olympics events in YouTube TV, so I’m not watching anything on Peacock).

    Colin is highlighting a crucial point - that for non-pay-TV households, which have multiplied by millions since the 2016 Rio Games, especially among younger viewers - Peacock has fallen short of its potential to meet viewers’ expectations and fully resonate. We have a spirited debate about why this has happened, and what to expect going forward.

    Notwithstanding all of this, Comcast reported robust Peacock sign-ups yesterday in its Q2 ’20 earnings, up 20 million to 54 million (though still no word on how many are actually paying). It was also a strong quarter for both broadband and pay-TV. But we discuss what role pay-TV is going to play for Comcast in the wake of last week’s announcement to add Hulu with Live TV for broadband/Flex users (and my forecast that YouTube TV availability is likely just ahead).

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  • 5 Reasons Going to the Movies is Facing an Irreversible Demise

    Yesterday’s news that Universal Pictures will release certain of its 2022 movies on Peacock no more than four months after their theatrical premiere was just the latest move by the owner of both a studio and a streaming service (in this case Comcast) to accelerate the demise of going to a theater to see a movie.

    Universal’s move shouldn’t have surprised anyone. Back in April, 2020, in the early days of the pandemic, Universal decided to release “Trolls World Tour” as a digital rental to mitigate the closure of theaters. That touched off a highly public war of words with AMC Theaters’ head Adam Aron, who threatened to no longer carry Universal’s movies. Aron and NBCU head Jeff Shell ultimately buried the hatchet, signing a new deal that compressed the theatrical window from 90 days to 17. Aron may have gotten the last laugh when AMC’s stock unexpectedly got caught up in the meme frenzy and the company raised over $1.2 billion by issuing new shares over the past few months.

    Of course, Universal is following a playbook being run by other cross-owned studios/streaming services. Disney has simultaneously released a number of its movies in theaters and on Disney+, experimenting with the premium rental model. ViacomCBS is compressing the theatrical window for Paramount movies to get them onto Paramount+ as quickly as possible. And of course WarnerMedia set off a firestorm back in December, ’20 when it abruptly announced all of its 2021 Warner Bros.’ slate would be simultaneously released on HBO Max (that decision was reversed for the 2022 slate).

    Taken together, it’s pretty clear that studios are delicately, yet aggressively, prioritizing their streaming services over theatrical, irrespective of whatever soothing assurances studio executives continue to offer about the importance of the theater experience to assuage chain owners. But in reality, the studios’ moves are just one of at least 5 reasons why going to the movies is facing an irreversible demise as streaming upends every corner of the media and entertainment industry.

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  • Comcast: Over 50% of Flex Viewing is on Free, Ad-Supported Apps

    Over 50% of the viewing on Comcast’s Flex streaming TV device is free, ad-supported, according to an update Comcast shared this morning. Comcast didn’t identify viewing shares by specific services, but said four services - Peacock, Xumo, Pluto and Tubi - were “routinely among the most viewed apps on the platform.”

    Comcast offers the Flex box for no extra charge to its 31 million Xfinity broadband users and said it had over three million Flex boxes deployed as of March. Flex users also get free access to Peacock Premium, the $4.99 per month ad-supported tier that includes all Peacock content, including all seasons of “The Office” which is Peacock’s most valuable content and gets significant promotion in the app. Comcast also noted its “content forward design that puts free programming front and center.”

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  • Report: SVOD Market Fragments Following New Service Launches

    The U.S. SVOD market has undergone significant fragmentation over the past two years as new services have launched, according to the Q1 2021 Growth Report from Antenna, an SVOD insights provider. In Q1 ’19, Netflix and Hulu together accounted for over three-quarters (78%) of all SVOD subscriptions. But two years later, in Q1 ’21, their combined share fell to just over half (51%), with Disney taking 17%, HBO Max 11%, Paramount+ 7%, Starz 6%, Showtime 4% and discovery+, Peacock and Apple TV+ all at 2%.

    Antenna didn’t report Amazon Prime Video numbers. Amazon said in its Q1 ’21 earnings report that 175 million Prime members have streamed TV shows and movies in the past year, though it didn’t provide any breakdown of U.S. share vs. rest of world.

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  • NBCUniversal Announces First-Party Data Hub and ID

    At its ONE21 developer conference this morning, NBCUniversal announced plans to launch its NBCU Audience insights Hub, which will contain all of its first-party audience data. The “proprietary data clean room” will give authorized partners permission to run restricted queries across their and NBCU’s audience data without exposing users’ personally identifiable information.

    Using the NBCU data, partners will be able to discover overlaps in their audiences to drive better targeting and cross-platform campaign planning. Partners will gain access to NBCU’s linear TV APIs and certified reach measurement models to improve efficiency and effectiveness. NBCU plans to add to its measurement capabilities so that partners can do their own self-service multi-platform attribution. The clean room framework is being powered by Snowflake and VideoAmp is the first measurement partner to be integrated.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #546: Comcast Has Nearly 10 Million More Broadband Subscribers Than Video Subscribers

    Welcome to the 546th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Comcast reported its Q4 and full year 2020 this week and as usual, the divergence between residential video and broadband subscribers was stark. Remarkably, Comcast now has nearly 10 million more residential broadband subscribers (28.3 million) than residential video subscribers (18.9 million). The pandemic furthered the divergence, with 1.9 million broadband subscribers added in 2020 (up 47% vs. 2019) while video subscribers declined by 1.3 million (nearly double the 671K lost in 2019).

    Broadband has been Comcast’s core strategy for a while now, and we discuss how Peacock is one of the beneficiaries. Peacock now has 33 million sign-ups and is well ahead of plan. Peacock has also made some strong content moves with “The Office,” “Modern Family,” the WWE Network and some sports coming over from NBCSN which is being closed down.

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  • Peacock Obtains WWE Network Streaming Rights in U.S.

    Peacock has obtained exclusive streaming rights to WWE Network in the U.S. in a multi-year deal, the companies announced today. WWE Network will be added to Peacock Premium on March 18th.

    The exact details of the migration plan for WWE Network subscribers weren’t shared. WWE Network has 1.1 million domestic subscribers who pay $9.99 per month. They would be saving half of that because Peacock Premium is $4.99 per month, with ads. Plus these subscribers would also get access to the full Peacock Premium library which is over 30K hours of content.

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  • Peacock Makes Savvy Move Tiering Access to “The Office”

    Peacock announced a savvy move yesterday, tiering access to “The Office” when it moves to Peacock on January 1st from its current home on Netflix. Peacock said that seasons 1-2 will be available for free, with ads, but that seasons 3-9 will only be accessible on its Peacock Premium (with ads, $5/month) and Peacock Premium Plus (without ads, $10/month) tiers. Paying subscribers will also get access to longer “Superfan Episodes” which are extended cuts with previously unseen footage, starting with season 5.

    The tiered approach makes a ton of sense. Signing up for free is a no-brainer for existing fans who want continued access and will follow “The Office” from Netflix to Peacock. That will help drive up the number of Peacock signups which last week stood at 26 million. For now, this is the only metric Peacock is publicly reporting; it hasn’t yet revealed how many paying subscribers there are.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #536: Smart TVs Grow, Peacock Gets 22 Million Signups, TVision Skepticism

    I’m pleased to present the 536th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.  

    Smart TVs have been a big beneficiary of the pandemic-driven viewership shifts as Conviva’s Q3 State of Streaming report showed this week. Colin and I explore what’s driving smart TVs and connected TVs and what’s ahead.

    NBCUniversal announced continued growth for its Peacock streaming service this week, now with 22 million signups. We’re both impressed and in the wake of Quibi’s demise, are reminded how important free is for attracting initial users.

    Finally T-Mobile announced its TVision pay-TV service this week. Colin is skeptical and summarizes all the reasons why.
     
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  • Report: Disney Curtailed Hulu’s International Expansion on Valuation Concerns

    Bloomberg reported Friday that Disney has curtailed Hulu’s international expansion because Disney does not want to significantly increase Hulu’s valuation which would trigger a higher eventual payout to minority owner Comcast. Hulu’s valuation in early 2024 will set the payout Disney owes Comcast for its one-third share in Hulu under a deal struck in May, 2019. Comcast’s Hulu stake is worth at least $5.8 billion under the deal.

    Bloomberg said that Hulu’s late 2019 proposal to Disney to expand internationally was initially supported, but then in August 2020 Disney switched gears and decided to embrace Star as the international brand for its non-U.S. entertainment service. Disney acquired Star, the India media company, as part of its $71 billion Fox deal. Bloomberg also cited Disney’s concerns about extending Hulu’s losses, Covid’s negative impact on Disney’s various businesses, and its commitment of resources to Disney+’s international expansion as other reasons it decided not to support Hulu’s international expansion.

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  • Peacock Gets 10 Million Sign-ups; Broadband Shines for Comcast

    NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock signed up 10 million users since launching for Comcast’s subscribers in April and nationally in July, Comcast announced today in its Q2 earnings release. On its earnings call Comcast noted that the 10 million figure represents sign-ups, not monthly active accounts or users, and that it was still too early to report on these latter metrics which are critical for ad-supported businesses. However, Comcast said use and engagement times were running ahead of expectations so far. CEO Brian Roberts said “Peacock exceeded our high expectations.”

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #523: Peacock Impressions

    I’m pleased to present the 523rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. As always we wish our listeners all the best and hope everyone is staying well.

    Peacock launched nationally this week and Colin and I are both impressed. The user experience and value proposition to advertisers are both strong. As more library and original content is added, it’s only going to get better. However, Peacock’s distribution is currently limited without deals with Amazon Fire TV and Roku, which is why Comcast’s own Flex device is critical. Peacock is also entering a highly competitive SVOD/AVOD market; it is poised to play a lot of different roles for NBCU and Comcast.

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  • Peacock is Poised to Play Many Roles for NBCU and Comcast

    Peacock launched broadly yesterday, though as a Comcast Xfinity broadband subscriber, I’ve had access to it for several months using my Flex device. I’ve spent a bunch of time with it and have been quite impressed. That the Peacock team put it together during the pandemic is quite a feat.

    Some of the highlights to me are the very strong UI, the comfort food of popular programs like ’30 Rock,” “Parks and Rec,” “SNL,” and others, plus plenty of movies, the modest ad load of 5 minutes max per hour and the “Channels” which are about 30 virtual linear networks sorted into a traditional program grid.

    As I’ve spent time with Peacock and followed the pre-launch coverage it’s become apparent how many different roles Peacock is poised to play for NBCU and its parent Comcast. Here’s a quick rundown:

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #497: Initial Peacock Impressions

    I’m pleased to present the 497th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week Colin and I share our initial impressions of Peacock, NBCU’s new streaming service. Our impressions are based on watching the investor day presentations yesterday. We break down our discussion into covering Peacock’s economics, release plan and user experience. Again these are all our first impressions and not meant to be an exhaustive analysis.

    Perhaps the most interesting thing to me is that Peacock’s Premium tier viewer monetization is below its two nearest ad-supported comparables, Hulu and CBS All Access. Both charge $6 per month while Peacock is $5 per month. Peacock is also ensuring maximum ad load of just 5 minutes per hour, which it forecast would amount to $6-7 per viewer, compared to the $7-10 per viewer Hulu is currently generating.

    Peacock’s pricing and financial projections remind me why I still believe Comcast should have bought the remaining 70% of Hulu it didn’t own, as I wrote in May, 2018. It feels like an even bigger missed opportunity now. It probably would have cost Comcast around $12-$14 billion to do so, a fraction of the  $39 billion it paid to acquire Sky - and it would have been more strategic.
     
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  • Getting Ready for This Afternoon’s Peacock Investor Day

    This afternoon at 4pm ET, Comcast will host an Investor Meeting to share details about NBCUniversal’s upcoming Peacock streaming service. It is a session comparable to what Disney and Apple did last year for Disney+ and Apple TV+ respectively (and what AT&T/WarnerMedia will do for HBO Max). So we all get to learn all the official information about Peacock: pricing, availability, content, overall strategy/fit with existing businesses, marketing, etc.

    Following the format of other investor days, we will hear from senior NBCU and Peacock executives, and likely someone from Comcast. Matt Strauss, an old friend of mine, who was moved over from Comcast to become Chairman of Peacock and NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises late last year, will no doubt be the maestro of this afternoon’s session.  All the dribs and drabs of information that have been shared by the company previously will be reconciled with all of the rumors and speculation that have gurgled up from around the web.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #495: The Top 10 Video Stories of 2019

    I’m pleased to present the 495th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    In today’s podcast, our final one for 2019, Colin and I share our top 10 video stories of the year. Whether you agree or disagree with our top 10 (or the ordering), no doubt we can all agree it’s been quite an eventful year for the industry. But as busy as 2019 has been, 2020 is setting up to be a year of even more innovation and change.

    As always, Colin and I have had a ton of fun discussing all of the industry’s happenings each week, and we hope you enjoyed following along throughout the year.

    Listen in to learn more!

     
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