How 'The Office' Is Already Paying Off for Peacock

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How ‘The Office’ Is Already Paying Off for Peacock

Emphasis on the “paying” part

“The Office” already appears to be paying off for Peacock, especially the decision to put the majority of the former NBC comedy’s episodes behind the new NBCUniversal streaming service’s paywall.

According to data from data firm Antenna, “The Office” drove the highest amount of sign-ups for one of Peacock’s two paid subscription offerings in the service’s short history. That was about 3.9 times the amount who signed up compared to the average December weekend.

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Peacock makes the first two seasons available for free subscribers, while Seasons 3-9 are behind the paywall.

Not only that, through the first two weeks after the Jan. 1 debut of the show on the service, Peacock saw a 9% increase in the number of subscribers for its commercial-free tier compared to the month of December. Peacock offers both an ad-supported paid option for $4.99 a month, while the commercial-free plan runs $9.99 a month.

Overall, Peacock has 33 million sign-ups, including those who choose the free option, as of the end of 2020. NBCU does not break out how many of those 33 million are paying subscribers. To give an idea of Peacock’s growth, in late October, Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts revealed the platform was nearing 22 million sign-ups. Prior to that update, in mid-September, Comcast said the platform had just topped 15 million sign-ups after hitting 10 million sign-ups at the end of July.

“The Office” was among the most popular shows on Netflix, which gave the Steve Carrell-led sitcom renewed life among those who had never watched the show during its nine-season run on NBC through 2013.

Since Nielsen began measuring viewing on streaming services in August, “The Office” has not finished lower than fifth on Nielsen’s weekly Top 10 list and has averaged more than 1 billion minutes viewed for five weeks running. (As with all streaming measurements, it’s impossible to determine how that translates into traditional viewers-per-episode on broadcast TV.)

Additionally, “The Office” has appeared on Netflix’s self-curated Top 10 list for TV shows 178 times, the most of any show last year, according to data from Realgood, a streaming service search engine.

Now Peacock is starting to turn that popularity into subscribers.

Tim Baysinger