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Is Peacock Flying or Falling?

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

It seems pretty rosy over at NBCUniversal, who say they are very proud with how streaming app Peacock is doing, according to this article:

“Everything on Peacock is heading in the right direction, and there is really nothing from a trajectory perspective that is any different from what it was last quarter,” [NBCUniversal CEO Jeff] Shell said. “All metrics are pointed up: our usage continues to be great, our mix of users.”

Of course, there are a couple of wrinkles. One of them is that for this third-quarter report, Shell did not reveal how many new sign-ups there were, making the growth of Peacock a big question mark.

And there is the, ahem, slightly larger wrinkle: the streamer lost over half a billion dollars.

Now, the parent company of Peacock is Comcast, who can lose half a billion dollars without breaking too much of a sweat, but it certainly seems like a red flag for those wondering who will survive and who won’t during this protracted streaming war.

While Peacock can boast of a successful day-and-date launch of Halloween Kills, one issue may be that there is not a enough eye-catching content that is available yet. There is The Office, of course, but that is not going to secure viewers forever, no matter how rabid.

But unlike shows being thrown onto broadcast TV, Peacock allows the company to utilize viewer metrics and figure out what is working and what isn’t. And that is much easier if they’re using AI.

By using something like Resonance AI, Peacock would be able to see what inside their content is actually resonating with viewers and determine what new content has a chance of replicating those same kinds of reactions.

Maybe even more importantly, considering how quickly we switch from one streamer to another if we don’t find what we want, AI can enhance recommendation engines. By using those same metrics that look at what’s inside the content, Peacock can surface the shows and movies that will have a greater appeal to each audience based on what they have already watched.

NBCUniversal may very well be happy with how things are going, and there is still time to make their mark. But if they continue to lose money and cannot grow their audience, they need to think about the future; and the future is AI.

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