Has Peacock Found Momentum? It Was No. 2 in Signups for Q4

Kelsey Asbille and Kevin Costner in 'Yellowstone'
(Image credit: Emerson Miller/ Paramount Network)

NBCUniversal's Peacock accounted for 10% of all U.S. subscription streaming service signups across fully-paid and ad-supported tiers in the fourth quarter, according to new research published by Kantar. 

The performance ranked as the market's second best, the research company said. It also increased Peacock's U.S. market penetration from 9% in Q3 to 12% in Q4. 

"It’s specific content that’s most likely to bring in new users (over 1 in 3 new sign ups), particularly Halloween Kills, Yellowstone and The Office in Q4 ’21," said Kantar in a report abstract published Tuesday, noting three Peacock hits during the quarter. 

Most of Peacock's traction keeps coming from viewers using the free ad-supported version of the service. 

NBCU reported 54 million signups for Peacock last summer, but the number of consumers paying for the $4.99 partially ad-supported tier and the $9.99 no-ads iteration has remained well under 20 million. 

Among ad-supported "AVOD" and "FAST" services measured by Kantar, Peacock commanded the top share of new users for the second consecutive quarter, 24% in Q4, leading IMDb TV (21%), Tubi (17%), Roku Channel (17%) and Pluto TV (12%). 

Notably, counting only fully paid tiers, Peacock finished last in Q4 for new signup marketshare, with 2.9% -- down from 4.4% in Q3.

Amazon Prime Video captured the biggest percentage of new fully paid customers at 20.3%. In fact, Amazon has led the market in this category for three straight quarters. 

HBO Max, which led the fourth quarter of 2020 in fully paid signups with 19% of market share, saw its percentage of new full-paid SVOD customers drop to 8% -- this was probably due to the launch of the service's partially ad-supported $9.99-a-month-tier in 2021. 

(Image credit: Kantar)

Perhaps explaining this Peacock paradox, Kantar found that the bulk of new signups tends to be for ad-supported streaming products. FAST tiers grew 4.9% quarter over quarter industrywide, while AVOD tiers expanded their penetration by 3.6%. SVOD penetration grew only by 1.8%. 

The percentage of U.S. households has more than doubled year over year to 18%, Kantar added. 

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!