Comcast’s Peacock streaming service is on pace to lose $2.8 billion this year, according to Comcast President Mike Cavanaugh. And that’s actually good news.
That’s because the cable giant originally expected $3 billion in losses before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the year, Cavanaugh noted on an earnings conference call on Thursday. In the third quarter alone, Peacock lost $565 million, narrower than its year-ago loss of $614 million.
The staggering losses are a graphic illustration of the struggles that most streaming services face, and why we’re seeing so many price hikes. The cost to produce and license content has only gone up, and consumers are feeling the effects. Peacock raised its prices in July, raising the price of its ad-supported tier by $1 to $5.99 a month, and its ad-free premium tier by $2 to $11.99 a month.
Cavanaugh said he believes 2023 marks the peak year of losses for Peacock, and expects to see things “steadily improve.”
The price hike hasn’t slowed down Peacock’s growth. The service added 4 million subscribers in the period, bringing its total base to 28 million. Despite its losses, it brought in $830 million revenue, up from $506 million a year ago. The service features streaming phenom Suits, as well as John Wick spin-off The Continental and Twisted Metal.
Still, Peacock’s financial challenges are indicative of a number of different smaller services, from Paramount+ to Disney+. Both Paramount and Disney will report their quarterly results in the coming week, so we’ll get a glimpse of whether they’ve been able to turn things around.