Peacock reaches 9 million paid subscribers

The streaming service from NBCUniversal continues to grow, but it has a lot of catching up to do.

Angela Lang/CNET

The Peacock streaming service reached 24.5 million monthly active accounts at the end of 2021, with slightly more than a third of them subscribers, Comcast said in an earnings call Thursday. 

Over 9 million are paid subscribers, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said on a call to investors, according to Variety. Telecommunications giant Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal, the media conglomerate that owns Peacock.

Some subscribers get Peacock thrown in at no extra cost with another subscription. "We have another 7 million highly engaged bundle subscribers from Xfinity and other top distributors who use Peacock every single month and currently receive Peacock Premium at no extra cost," Roberts said, according to Variety.

The streaming service draws on current and past shows from NBC, like The Office, Parks and Recreation, and the back catalog and new episodes of Saturday Night Live. It also hosts shows from other NBCUniversal channels, like Bravo's Project Runway. It has a slate of originals (such as The Amber Ruffin Show and We Are Lady Parts) and licenses others (like Yellowstone). The service streams live sports, like Sunday Night Football, WWE, Premier League soccer and the upcoming Olympics in Beijing. It'll be one option for viewing the 2022 Super Bowl.

Peacock offers free and premium tiers of access. With a free subscription, you can view select episodes, get curated highlights of major sporting events and watch channels organized around a theme. Premium access costs $5 a month with ads or $10 a month without.

Still, Peacock has a lot of catching up to do in the race for streaming subscribers. Netflix has 221 million paid subscribers, while Disney Plus hit 118 million paid subscribers as of early October 2021.