Peacock tops $500 million in ad commitments

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NBC’s Peacock streaming service says it’s racked up $500 million in advertising commitments during 2021-2022 upfront talks.

Peacock, which launched in 2020, was a relative latecomer to the streaming game and also took the strategy of offering a free, ad supported tier with limited content but allowing subscribers able to pay unlock more titles and, if they’re willing fork over a little more dough, remove ads as well.

Ahead of its launch last year, NBC said it secured $100 million in ad commitments and that jump to $500 million seems to have helped fuel the company’s overall digital advertising revenue outlook to the $1.5 billion mark.

That figure puts revenue at about 20% higher than 2019, the last period that pre-pandemic data sales could be compared to.

Other streaming services, such as Hulu and Paramount+ offer a lower cost tier that contains “limited” advertising or a higher price point with little to none (some programming cannot be shown ad free due to contractual or cost restrictions).

Peacock’s second tier is also available to most Comcast Xfinity customers at no cost. Other streaming platforms, such as HBO Max, Disney+, Hulu and Netflix, have deals with cable or wireless carriers to bundle the streamer with existing service plans indefinitely or for a year or so at no extra cost.

Although the exact terms of these arrangements are hard to determine, it’s possible the streamers are charging the carrier a vastly discounted rate to include the service — but there’s also a huge incentive for streaming platforms to boost their subscriber counts is the streaming wars continue in full force.

It’s possible that the way NBCUniversal structured Peacock means that it has more ad inventory to sell, though exact data is tough to come by since it’s often not broken down that specifically.

NBC is also busy selling advertising for the 2022 Olympics in Beijing along with Super Bowl LVI. NBC had previously swapped Super Bowl rights, which typically rotate between the big four networks, with CBS so that it could bundle ad sales between the two sporting events in the same year.

Reports say prices for Super Bowl LVI are as high as $6 million per 30 seconds.