Peacock Has Its Best Quarter Yet, Adds 4 Million Paid Subscribers

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Bolstered by signups occurring in February tied to its exclusive coverage of the Super Bowl and Winter Olympics, NBCUniversal's Peacock had its best growth quarter yet, adding 4 million paid users. 

With the influx, the two-year-old streaming service -- which combines ad-supported, partially ad-supported and premium all-subscription tiers -- now has 13 million paid memberships. And it now has 28 million monthly active accounts. 

“The noise in the rest of the streaming business just validates where we’re going,” NBCU chief Jeff Shell said Thursday during parent company Comcast's first-quarter earnings call. 

Shell urged investors to see Peacock as an adjunct to still-successful broadcast and cable programming businesses, not as a replacement for them. 

“We’ve said from the beginning when we launched Peacock that we’re taking a different approach from other people in the streaming business. We don’t view Peacock as a separate and distinct business," Shell added. "We think of it as an extension of our existing TV business. And we manage it that way, that’s how we set up our business. That’s how we program it, that’s how we sell advertising across both linear and Peacock. I think that that strategy is working."

Also driven by highly promoted scripted shows including Bel Air, Will Smith's modernized (and dramatized) take on '90s series The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Peacock generated $472 million in Q1. But it's still losing lots of money -- Comcast reported EBITDA losses of $456 million for the quarter. 

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!