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NBCU streaming service Peacock to reach breakeven in 2024

NBCUniversal Media LLC expects its streaming service Peacock to break even by 2024.

Peacock, launching on parent Comcast Corp.'s platforms April 15 and nationwide July 15, will generate $2.5 billion in revenue by 2024, Matt Strauss, chairman of the service and NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises, told investors Jan. 16. This would see it break even on an adjusted EBITDA basis.

The company expects "significant growth and growing profitability" as the platform scales, Strauss said. International opportunities will be assessed on a territory-by-territory basis, and discussed at a later point, he said.

The chairman reiterated guidance of a cumulative $2 billion EBITDA investment behind Peacock for content, marketing and technology support in 2020 and 2021.

Demand from advertisers has been strong, Linda Yaccarino, chairman, ad sales and partnerships at NBCU, said. Launch partners, including Eli Lilly and Co., State Farm, Target, Unilever and Apartments.com, have committed hundreds of millions of dollars long term to the new platform as part of schedules across NBCU's myriad content assets.

Yaccarino said these and other advertisers are attracted by the platform's ability to target customers with more relevant messaging against premium content, including vintage sitcom hit "The Office," via a light ad load of 5 minutes per hour.

Peacock, she said, will feature ad innovations to boost impact, recall, and sales. For example, advertisers will be able to sponsor an entire episode with a single ad. Explorable ads will trade on data to align viewers with pertinent content and messaging.

On-command ads on Comcast's X1 operating platform will facilitate voice-activated messaging that could prompt viewers to download an app to receive discounts and offers from Target’s Run and Done delivery system, for example, according to Yaccarino.