Disney and Warners have all made it quite clear that their futures are riding on the success of Disney+ and HBOMax and are going all in on those streaming video on demand (SVOD) services being the future for their companies.
Comcast and NBCUniversal on the other hand? Even as the old distribution and revenue models are drying up, they’re sticking to what they know works and so their upcoming Peacock streaming service will only be taking some tepid steps into the SVOD future it seems – relying mostly on keeping costs down.
Variety reports that Comcast expects to pump just $2 billion into NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service in aggregate over 2020 and 2021. CFO Mike Cavanagh, appearing at the UBS Global TMT Conference in New York City on Monday, says the spending earmarked for the streaming initiative will only consist of around 1% of Comcast annual revenue at most.
The partially ad-supported Peacock will launch in April 2020 with Comcast pay-TV subscribers to have access for no additional charge while the service will also be available for a fee to non-Comcast television subscribers.
Comcast is expecting its biggest differentiator to be its advertising model, saying their research has found that 80% of consumers are interested in watching a premium VOD service that has a ‘reasonable amount’ of advertising:
“We think we’ve got a pretty special opportunity, when you think about the relatively underserved segment of premium content [that is] ad-supported. Consumer demand is there, with all the pay-for SVOD services that are proliferating.”
The company is also projecting it will not be profitable for the first five years. Comcast has set an investor meeting for January 16th where full details on Peacock are expected to be revealed ahead of its April 2020 launch.
“Peacock” will be the streaming home of many popular sitcoms of the past few decades including “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation,” “30 Rock,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Cheers,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Frasier,” “Married With Children,” “The King of Queens,” “Saturday Night Live” and “Will & Grace”. It will also be home to some original content and some of the libraries of Universal Pictures, Focus Features and DreamWorks Animation.