December 13, 2021
Charter Communications is giving Peacock some room to run after agreeing to offer NBCUniversal's premium streaming service for no added cost to millions of its pay-TV and broadband customers.
But the offer, focused on an ad-supported tier of Peacock's service that regularly sells for $4.99 per month, won't carry on forever. Starting today, Charter is making Peacock available for no extra cost for 12 months to most of its Spectrum TV subs, and for 90 days for Charter's broadband customers.
Charter customers can get Peacock on a wide range of supported streaming platforms, including web browsers, iOS and Android mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV devise and Fire tablets, Apple TV boxes, Android TV devices, certain Xbox consoles, Sony PlayStation 4 consoles, and Samsung, Vizio and LG Electronics smart TVs. Charter intends to distribute the Peacock app via its Spectrum Guide, but hasn't announced when it expects to complete the integration.
The move will enable Peacock to quickly broaden its user base, putting it in front of a Charter base that stood at 15.28 million residential pay-TV customers and 27.96 million broadband at the end of Q3 2021.
Charter customers privy to the new offer will be able to access Peacock on various streaming platforms supported by the service. Charter also plans to integrate the Peacock app on its own video platform.
(Source: Ascannio | Alamy Stock Photo)
NBC vs. Netflix
Peacock had 54 million "signups" at the end of Q2 2021, and "added a few million more subs" in Q3, NBCU CEO Jeff Shell said on Comcast's third quarter earnings call. But Peacock has yet to break out how many of those sign-ups are for the free Peacock service with a limited library, the ad-supported Peacock Premium ($4.99 per month) tier or the ad-free Peacock Premium Plus ($9.99 per month) service.
Peacock Premium is already bundled in for no added cost at Comcast and Cox Communications and, as of November 16, with Sky TV and NOW customers in the UK and Ireland.
The Charter distribution deal will help Peacock generate some additional scale as the service competes for attention among a batch of premium, general entertainment streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu and Paramount+.
The trick, of course, will be for Peacock to retain those new Charter customers once their respective free periods end.
But the integration fits in with Charter's strategy to work more closely with programmers that have launched direct-to-consumer services.
Charter, which has already integrated apps such as Netflix, HBO Max and YouTube onto its own video platform, is in position to be a reaggregator of streaming products under a "store" model, Charter Chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge told CNBC last month.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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