Peacock's Latest Release Helped It Overtake Netflix
This is a single insight from This Week in Apps #136 - What a Mess!. Check out the full article for more insights.
The streaming race got some attention again this week after mostly being over for a while. The big news was Netflix's plan to roll out a new low-cost tier supported by ads, and the other one was Peacock's domination of the App Store.
Peacock's downloads rose to their highest peak ever. That's right, ever. Our estimates show downloads rising 467% last Saturday compared to the average of the previous week, from around 60K to more than 340K downloads. All in a single day.
Peacock also topped the App Store at the same time and stuck around for a decent part of the week. We estimate Peacock made its way into more than 1.2M new devices between Friday (10/14) and this Tuesday (10/18).
The spike wasn't accidental but rather thanks to the release of Halloween Ends, a new movie that was released to theaters and Peacock at the same time. Yes, Peacock is trying what HBO Max and Disney+ are trying to move away from.
Original content continues to run the show. Not a surprise.
But there is something interesting here beyond big numbers. I compared the downloads of Peacock to the downloads of Netflix in the US to see how the two stack up. Why Netflix? Because it's (finally) getting into the ad-supported business, something Peacock has done from the get-go. Netflix's ad-supported tier isn't free like Peacock, so it's not exactly the same, but more on that in a bit.
Since Friday, Peacock has been beating Netflix on downloads.
Although downloads have gotten close in the last few months, Netflix was consistently on top and with a solid margin between them. That flipped on the 13th and is still the case a week after.
While Peacock added more than a million new users Netflix added about 400K. A third.
If you're curious why Netflix is trying to lower its price, this is exactly why. The decision to not make the ad-supported tier completely free is a strange one and if I had to guess I'd say it's just a cautious approach to eventually go free but to first see how/if it'll cannibalize their current offering.
Netflix had a lot of momentum but lost a lot of it in the last few years "thanks" in part to apps like Peacock and others who offer a free tier that includes ads. Netflix needs those viewers back, and will have to build a real ad business to make it all worth it.
The faster their ad business is built and refined the faster we'll see this low-cost tier turning free.
I'm curious to see how Netflix's free offering will go, especially because it will also apply to its mobile apps. More on that in the future.
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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.