Industry News

Are The Office and Friends bets paying off for Peacock and HBO Max?

22 February, 2021

In mid-2020, Friends moved to HBO Max exclusively. On January 1st, 2021, The Office made a similar move, leaving Netflix to stream solely on Peacock. The shows, whose moves cost a combined $1 billion roughly, were designed as anchors for the new streaming platforms: they would bring subscribers in and keep them subscribed.

Neither WarnerMedia nor NBCUniversal has given hard insights into how much Friends or The Office have driven subscriptions or retention, but new data from research firm Antenna provides some interesting context about the latter show. Here are the basics: The Office arriving on Peacock drove more signups than the nationwide launch, including a notable uptick in people signing up for the $10-a-month premium plan that allows them full ad-free access to all nine seasons.

While sales of The Office on iTunes also saw an increase, Antenna’s team noticed a much bigger addition to Peacock subscribers than overall digital purchases. Peacock has grown to 33 million users. That’s 7 million more than the 26 million figure NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell reported on December 8th, 2020.

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