Financial carnage continues to rip through the streaming service market, particularly NBCUniversal’s “Peacock” streaming service. In fact, that streaming platform managed to lose more than half a billion dollars in the three months of summer and is set to lose nearly three billion dollars in 2023.
In fact, for the third quarter, which went from June through August, Peacock lost $565 million. Though a slight improvement from the third quarter of 2022, in which Peacock managed to lose $614 million, that’s still a major loss for the struggling streaming service.
That brutal third-quarter result brought Peacock’s total 2023 loss to $1.92 billion. With Peacock expected to lose a whopping $880 million for the fourth quarter, that means Peacock is expected to lose somewhere in the range of $2.8 billion in 2023.
The news was not all bad for Peacock, however. It managed to win another 4 million streaming customers in the third quarter, bringing its total up to 28 million. It also managed to bring revenues up to $840 million, a 64 percent increase from the same period in 2023.
Comcast Corp. president Mike Cavanagh framed the results as a success for the company, saying, “We continue to be pleased with our progress in the few short years since we’ve pivoted our streaming strategy as a result of the ownership changes at Hulu.”
In any case, Peacock’s profitability problem comes alongside other networks struggling with lower revenues from advertising. AMC Networks, for example, reported a year ago that it saw advertising revenue drop by 10 percent despite seeing streaming subscribers grow to 11.1 million from 10.8 million over the third quarter.
AMC Networks CEO Christina Spade, commenting on the situation, also framed that quarter’s results as a success and said, “AMC Networks is in the midst of an important transformation, with streaming growth momentum and new opportunities that are enabling us to transition to a consumer-focused, multi-platform premium content company with a strategic mix of proven and new, digital distribution revenue streams.”
Spade also vowed to concentrate on “strategically operating within the digital marketplace that is taking shape for the future,” suggesting that AMC Networks is following the path of others in investing heavily in streaming despite the increasingly severe headwinds those segments face.
Further emphasizing that focus, Spade added, “Our strong content engagement is driving positive momentum throughout 2022. Our focus to transform to a consumer-focused multiplatform premium content company is taking hold with strong digital distribution growth. We have 11.1 million paid subscribers as of the end of the third quarter, representing 44 percent growth from the prior year and streaming revenue growth of 41 percent. Our ability to break through the competition with our highly-engaging content, as we further reconstitute our revenue mix, positions us well for long-term success and value creation.”
However, that didn’t hide the fact that the company’s domestic advertising revenue for the period fell 10 percent to $180 million, which AMC claimed was “due to lower linear ratings, softer scatter and direct response markets and fewer original hours in the third quarter, partially offset by digital and advanced advertising revenue growth.”
Featured image credit: By HanSangYoon – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38621881
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