NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock reached 42 million subscribers in the first quarter, Comcast announced during its earnings call on Thursday.
About a third of those subscribers are monthly active accounts, said NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell, which is “about a third” of Hulu’s progress since its debut 13 years ago.
Peacock, which launched in April 2020, reported 33 million sign-ups in Q4. Its addition of nine million subscribers in Q1 is more than HBO Max’s 2.7 million and Netflix’s four million subscriber adds in the quarter combined.
Comcast didn’t mention, however, how many subscribers are paying for Peacock. The cable giant bundles Peacock’s paid tier for Xfinity and Cox customers. The service generated $91 million in revenue in the quarter.
Peacock users are watching nearly 20% more programming hours each month compared to NBC’s linear networks as cord cutting continues. The streaming service clocked in one billion hours watched in the quarter, which was “nearly double our plan,” said Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts.
Peacock benefited from gaining the exclusive streaming rights to “The Office” and the WWE Network.“The Office” moved from Netflix to Peacock in early 2021, but only the first two seasons are available on its free, ad-supported tier. Peacock also offers subscription options with more content for $4.99, and an ad-free tier for $9.99.
Peacock also added the WWE Network to its library in March, with customers able to watch pay-per-view fights for $4.99, compared to the WWE Network’s $9.99 price point.
Comcast is optimistic about Peacock’s growth in the coming months. The streamer will debut original programming, including four daily shows exclusive to the service. NBC is also the home of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
Overall at NBCU, media ad revenue dropped 3.4% due to declining ratings and sports volume during the pandemic. Plus, ad revenue from Peacock, which didn’t launch until Q2 2020, wasn’t included in the results.