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NBC's Peacock streaming service hits nearly 22 million signups

That's up from 10 million at the end of July, when Peacock had been operating for only two weeks.


Peacock launched nationwide in the US on July 15. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Peacock, the streaming service that Comcast's NBCUniversal launched nationwide in the US in mid-July, has signed up nearly 22 million accounts, Comcast said Thursday. That includes people who registered with Peacock when it rolled out just to Comcast pay TV customers in April as well as new members who've signed up since its national launch July 15. 

By comparison, HBO Max -- the premium cable network's newer, bigger app that rolled out at the end of May -- has signed up 8.6 million accounts in four months. HBO Max, at $15 a month, is pricey compared to Peacock, though; Peacock has a free, limited tier with ads. 

As a metric, signups means people who have registered with the service, regardless of whether they're still using it. 

Competing with the likes of Netflix, Disney Plus and HBO Max, Peacock was the last big new service to roll out in the so-called streaming wars, when a flood of services spilled out from tech and media giants over a roughly nine-month period. More than just jockeying among megacorporations, these battles not only affect who shapes the future of television but also how many services you'll have to use -- and, often, pay for -- to watch your favorite shows. 

Peacock is unique among the new crop of competitors in offering a free tier, which lets anyone in the US watch about two-thirds of the catalog with advertising. It also has paid memberships: You can unlock the full library of shows and movies for a price of $4.99 a month plus ads, and a $9.99-a-month upgrade makes the service mostly ad-free. 

Disney Plus is $7 a month, and HBO Max is $15. Neither has advertising.

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