NBCU’s Linda Yaccarino: No Turning Back from Streaming

Linda Yaccarino One22
LInda Yaccarino at NBCU's One22 presentation

Streaming video is here to stay, according to a top executive at one of the largest traditional media companies.

“When we look at the total video business, streaming has exploded in the last few years, and people are not going back,” Linda Yaccarino, chairman for global advertising sales and partnerships at Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit, said.

NBCU launched Peacock, its streaming service, in 2020, joining a race started by Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus.

Also: NBCU Recognizes More Measurement Companies as Nielsen Alternatives

From the beginning a key difference between Peacock and other direct-to-consumer video products was that Peacock would be ad-supported, carrying a light load of commercials in formats that would be targeted and innovative to make the consumer experience better than the cluttered view they get from traditional TV. 

Other streaming services, including HBO Max, Discovery Plus and Paramount Plus now tout ad-supported tiers, and ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) services like Fox’s Tubi and Paramount’s Pluto TV are growing fact.

“As consumer prices have gone up — be it your gas, your groceries or your subscription services — it’s no surprise that ad-supported streaming has exceeded subscription streaming in the number of hours watched in the U.S.,” Yaccarino said Tuesday (March 22), speaking at NBCU’s One22 presentation of the company’s latest ad-tech developments.

To monetize Peacock and help NBCU sell ad campaigns that work across platforms, NBCU has been investing millions of dollars in data and ad tech. 

Also: NBCU Expands Programmatic Buying on Peacock Via DSPs

“Last year at One21, we introduced you to our vision of the future — across broadband, content aggregation and streaming,“ she said. “We showed you the One Platform we built to get us there, a completely new model for our industry that combines premium content and unified technology. This year, we’re going to show you what we’ve built since then.” ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.