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Nielsen ranks most-watched 2022 programming, Peacock reports $978 million loss in Q4 2022

Yahoo Finance media reporter Allie Canal details Nielsen's rankings for most-watched shows and streaming platforms in 2022, while breaking down losses reported by NBC's Peacock platform.

Video transcript

SEANA SMITH: How much TV is too much TV? Data analytics company Nielsen may have found out. Americans-- get this-- streamed more than 19 million years' worth of content last year in 2022. That's according to Nielsen. That's up 27% from 2021. Yahoo Finance's Allie Canal is here with us. And Allie, clearly lots of binge watching seem to be going on. What shows came out on top?

ALLIE CANAL: Oh, yes, and according to this report, the 2022 streaming champion was Netflix. Now Nielsen looked at top overall programs, top originals, top acquired content, and then top streaming movies. And out of all of those categories, Netflix was the winner 39 times out of 58, followed by Disney+ with HBO Max sneaking in there, thanks to "Friends," which, ironically, it acquired from Netflix back in 2020. But if we take a look at the top five overall programs, that included hits like "Stranger Things," "NCIS," "Encanto."

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But I want to zero in on original programming because this is where Netflix really shines, and it's a testament to the steep investments the company has made in its programming over the past years, especially for the more episodic content that we see from them with titles like "Wednesday," "Ozark," "Bridgerton" making the top five list. And while Netflix does have a few popular movies, Disney actually had the most success when it comes to streaming films. That Disney IP just seems to hold a lot of weight with consumers and remains one of the main drivers for Disney+ subscriptions.

So, super interesting to see all of this data laid out since at the end of the day, the streaming wars is really just a content war. And I think that's why we've seen Netflix continue to be successful and to continue to dominate this space. We'll see if the competition can eventually catch up, especially as they make their own respective investments. But for now, it's clearly a Netflix and chill type of vibe going on out there.

DAVE BRIGGS: Well, that's not great for this next company we're about to talk about because Comcast out with fourth quarter earnings, and that streaming war tends to get very expensive. And is that what stood out for you from the report as far as Peacock goes?

ALLIE CANAL: Absolutely, and it was a very interesting report with Peacock because on the one hand, we did see an addition of 5 million new subscribers, but on the other hand, they reported a loss, nearly $1 billion just in that Peacock division. And this is a narrative that we've really seen across the media sector. More growth usually comes at that pretty steep cost. You can take a look at Disney as another example of this after that company reported a loss of 4 billion plus in its fiscal 2022 results.

But on the Comcast earnings call earlier this morning, executives did maintain that they expect peak streaming losses in 2023 estimated at about 3 billion. And they did remain confident that Peacock is the right business model for the company at this time. We heard from Jeff Shell. He's the CEO at NBCUniversal. And he said that they would not be investing in Peacock if they did not expect the streamer to lift the overall media segment to growth over time.

Now, over time, that's very broad, and Shell did warn that there are a few macroeconomic factors that could weigh on that timeline, such as the ad market recovery, linear cable declines, cost cuts, et cetera. But for now, it was very clear on the call that they are not abandoning Peacock. They're not abandoning streaming. They do have more than 20 million subscribers on the Peacock app, which is more than double the 10 million users the app had this time last year. So overall, not a bad quarter, but again, those macroeconomic headwinds and those accelerated losses did seem to overshadow things a little bit this morning.