It turns out, believe it or not, that “The Office” is a pretty popular show. Comcast stated in its Q1 2021 earnings report that the acclaimed sitcom was a key factor in boosting NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service during the company’s most recent fiscal quarter.
Peacock, which launched nationally in July 2020, surpassed 42 million sign-ups during the fiscal quarter, meaning that the streaming service courted around 9 million new users since the company’s last earnings report. As before, there’s a caveat to the latest statistic: Peacock is one of the few major streaming services that has a free ad-supported tier, as well as two premium tiers that cost $4.99 per month and $9.99 per month. Comcast did not specify how many of Peacock’s users were subscribed to each of the streaming service’s subscription tiers and it is unclear how much ad revenue Comcast has reaped from the bump in users. The company noted that “about a third” of Peacock accounts were monthly active users.
Peacock is still far from profitable for Comcast: The company stated that stated that Peacock brought in $91 million in revenue during the fiscal quarter but lost $277 million in adjusted EBITDA. Regardless, Wall Street took kindly to Comcast’s latest earnings report as the company’s stock was up around 4.25 percent at press time.
Comcast stated that “The Office” and WWE Network, the latter of which recently began exclusively streaming on Peacock in the United States, were key boosters for the platform. The company did not specify how many users watched “The Office” or WWE Network on Peacock during the latest fiscal quarter. Peacock, like most streaming services, does not regularly release verifiable viewership data.
The enduring popularity of “The Office” — which was one of Netflix’s most popular shows before it transitioned to Peacock in early 2021 — helps explain why NBCUniversal locked all but its first two seasons behind a paywall that required users to subscribe to one of Peacock’s premium tiers.
As for Peacock’s other content, the streaming service has taken strides to flesh out its live news and sports programming since launch, which are relatively undermined genres at competing streaming services. Peacock also released several original titles during Q1, including comedies such as “Punky Brewster” and “Rutherford Falls.”