Peacock Is “Opposite of Quibi,” Says NBCU CEO

Peacock Xfinity Preview - Press Materials - COMCAST Publicity - H 2020
Courtesy of Comcast

Comcast's NBCUniversal has said it hopes the streaming service will attract 30 million to 35 million monthly active accounts by 2024.

NBCUniversal streaming service Peacock has reached more than 22 million sign-ups and is the "opposite of Quibi” because of its broad-based offering of familiar content, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said on Thursday.

Short-form mobile-first service Quibi, led by Jefffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, recently said it was closing down.

Speaking on Comcast’s third-quarter earnings call, he cited such hit shows as dramas from Dick Wolf and others, which ensure a "deep library of familiar stuff."

Shell said the streamer was "way ahead” in terms of sign-ups, regular usage and engagement compared with internal forecasts.

Comcast, led by chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, had said at the end of July said that Peacock had reached 10 million sign-ups, with Roberts saying back then that the streamer's early momentum "exceeded our high expectations."

NBCU has said it hopes Peacock will attract 30 million to 35 million monthly active accounts by 2024. Management previously mentioned that in Comcast's broadband-only homes Peacock is already the no. 2 app behind Netflix, while in homes with the Xfinity X1 TV service platform it is no. 3 behind Netflix and YouTube, but "closing in" on the second spot.

NBCU recently rejigged and streamlined key parts of its operations to cut costs and update structures for the digital age. For example, a recently launched TV and Streaming unit, which combined those businesses under Mark Lazarus, unveiled a restructuring designed to shift resources and investment from linear to streaming. Roberts said recently that with the new structure, the company can more flexibly decide where content it produces should go. "Sometimes we are going to put it on cable and Peacock, or just Peacock" – all dependent on the content, he said.