NBCUniversal presented its streaming platform Peacock to advertisers as the fastest growing and most ad-friendly streaming service on the market at a conference yesterday (May 2). It is the platform with the most live sports, the only service with live cable news every morning, and it has a slew of original hits, Kelly Campbell, Peacock president, said at the conference.
“Peacock has emerged as the most complete U.S. streaming service on the market with an undisputed value proposition both for our audiences and our partners,” Campbell said.
The pitch to advertisers took place at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s NewFronts conference, in which companies introduce their new programming efforts to media buyers. Along with NBCUniversal, companies including YouTube, Snap, Meta and TikTok have presentation slots.
As the streaming industry matures, platforms are increasingly focused on turning a profit, which many services, including Peacock, still have yet to accomplish. Many companies promised investors they would make money by 2024, and as that deadline approaches, they have raised their prices and expanded their advertising offerings. Peacock stopped bundling its premium service to Xfinity customers, the company announced last month. Last year, Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and Amazon Prime all raised their prices between 10 and 38 percent. Netflix and Disney both built ad-supported tiers. Warner Bros. Discovery is focusing on profit rather than subscriber additions, CEO David Zaslav said last year. But as platforms find their footing in the evolving market, their offerings are increasingly sounding the same.
Last month, Zaslav unveiled Warner Bros.’s new streaming service called Max, which will combine the titles of HBO Max and Discovery+. The company will expand on sports and news in the coming months, but it already had the strongest content library, he said. Max will be “the one service with the most complete breath of stories,” said JB Perrette, president and CEO of global streaming and games. In Peacock’s presentation yesterday, Peter Blacker, executive vice president of streaming and data products, said his company has the “most complete streaming service” with its “breadth of content”—a near-verbatim claim. Disney has a similar pitch. So does Paramount+.
The similarities between how these streaming services are advertising themselves suggest advertisers are looking for platforms that have wide-ranging content to satisfy many audiences. Original content can help streaming services compete in the crowded market, according to Ampere Analysis, and unique advertising formats can woo media buyers.
What Peacock can offer
Peacock will lean more into “fresh but familiar” content, rather than “dark and depressing” films and television shows, said Susan Rovner, NBCUniversal’s chairman of entertainment for television and streaming. Blacker also introduced Must ShopTV, in which viewers can purchase the products they see on television in real time. For example, a viewer watching Top Chef on Peacock could buy the knife a contestant is using as they watch the episode.
Peacock began offering NBCUniversal-original shows in 2020 when it launched. It hosts 162 original titles, with 22 series renewed for additional seasons, including Bel-Air, Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin and Poker Face. Peacock’s library has more original titles than Apple TV+, which has 124, but less than Netflix, which offers more than 1,500.
Of Peacock’s offerings, its most talked about program on social media last year was the 2022 Winter Olympics, according to Diesel Labs, a company that measures content trends on social media. The top five most-discussed shows on Peacock come from four different genres, which speaks to the platform’s breadth. Along with the Olympics, viewers engaged with content about Love Island, Wrestlemania 38, Halloween Ends and Yellowstone, according to a Diesel Labs report shared with Observer. But given that the Olympics was the most talked about program, Peacock could have a gap in engagement every non-Olympics year, the report said.
NBCUniversal’s Saturday Night Live, which is available on Peacock, made it on Diesel Labs’s list of top 10 shows by audience attention, but Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max dominated that category.