Comcast Has Lost $520 Million On Peacock

It seems like only yesterday that ditching cable in favor of subscribing to a handful of streaming services looked to be the future of consuming entertainment at home, but now it feels like we're all drowning in a sea of brand names and plus signs. Netflix is still the undisputed champion of the streaming wars, but the Walt Disney Company is starting to creep up considering they own Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu. According to Forbes, Disney is boasting over 173 million subscribers across the three services as of July 3, converting to $4.3 billion in revenue. There's also a chance they're doing even better, as Disney will release its next earnings report on November 10.

Amazon has yet to release its Q3 earnings nor did they include Prime subscriptions in the Q2 report, but considering Jeff Bezos has more money than God, the megacorporation will always have somewhere to pull funds from if subscriptions ever dip. Since an Amazon Prime subscription comes with both prioritized shipping and the streaming service, their subscriber numbers are greatly skewed compared to their competitors. However, Bezos wrote in the company's Q1 report that "over 175 million Prime members have streamed shows and movies in the past year, and streaming hours are up more than 70% year over year."

Comparatively, HBO Max has 69.4 million subscribers with a revenue of $8.4 billion, and Comcast reported a $520 million loss with Peacock, and they didn't report their Q3 new subscription numbers.

What Does This Loss Mean?

Seeing such a staggering number at a loss may make people assume the service is failing, but that isn't necessarily the case. Companies like Netflix and Uber got their start operating at massive losses, practicing what is known as a growth-before-profit ideology. As first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell stated, "Everything on Peacock is heading in the right direction, and there is really nothing from a trajectory perspective that is any different from what it was last quarter." He continued, "All metrics are pointed up: our usage continues to be great, our mix of users."

The CEO also noted that Peacock's marketing plans have shifted, now advertising the service in more ways than just for subscriptions. According to Shell, the plan "is going spectacularly well." Despite the loss, Peacock is actually ahead of where NBCUniversal had anticipated being at this point, and as Shell continued, "every month, every quarter, it gets further ahead." Comcast CEO Brian Roberts noted that the day-and-date premiere of "Halloween Kills" was the top non-live event in Peacock's history and that the hit series "La Brea" is the service's best performing new show.

Peacock is sure to attract even more subscribers with their recently announced November programming lineup.