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NBCU’s Peacock streaming service hits 1.5M app downloads in first 6 days

NBCU’s Peacock appears to be having a somewhat better launch than Quibi did, based on data from app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower. While numbers pointing to new app downloads aren’t a complete picture of consumer adoption for a cross-platform service, they can provide a window into early traction outside of any official numbers provided by the companies themselves.

In Peacock’s case, Sensor Tower says the mobile app has now been downloaded around 1.5 million times across the U.S. App Store and Google Play within its first 6 days on the market.

For comparison, that’s 25% more than the 1.2 million installs Quibi saw during the same period post-launch in the U.S., but only 12% of the 13 million downloads Disney+ generated within its first 6 days.

Sensor Tower chose not to compare Peacock with HBO Max due to the fact that HBO’s new service replaced the existing HBO Now app, which was already pre-installed on consumer devices. That would not be as apt a comparison.

Peacock, of course, doesn’t have the brand-name recognition of Disney. And arguably, its name doesn’t translate into consumers’ minds as “NBC,” despite its connection to the classic peacock logo. Disney, meanwhile, had a built-in fan base before its streaming service’s launch. And, more broadly, there was pent-up consumer demand for a more family-friendly offering, as well.

Before last week’s launch, Peacock had been available on parent company Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex platforms, but that didn’t include its mobile companion. The mobile app instead officially launched on July 15, and quickly shot up to No. 1 on the iPhone App Store, where it remained through the following day. On iPad, it ranked No. 1 between July 16 and July 18.

Today, the app has since dropped to No. 26 on iPhone (among non-game apps). Meanwhile, on Google Play, it has ranked No. 2 since July 17, and is No. 1 among non-game apps.

Quibi had also seen early traction on the app stores’ top charts shortly after its launch, ranking as high as No. 4 on iPhone on its launch day, April 6. But just over a week later it had rapidly fallen out of the U.S. iPhone app rankings, App Annie’s data indicated, dropping out of the top 50. That saw it coming in behind Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video.

Peacock hasn’t yet fallen that far, which could be a good signal.

There was also much discussion that Quibi’s failure to gain significant early traction had to do with its lack of support for TV viewing, despite launching in the middle of a pandemic when users were staying at home and watching on their living room big screens.

However, it’s worth pointing out that Peacock hasn’t yet rolled out to the two most widely-adopted living room platforms in the U.S.: Amazon Fire TV and Roku. That lends more support to the idea that Quibi hasn’t been struggling to grow because of its mobile-only nature, but because its content wasn’t drawing in viewers.

For what it’s worth, Quibi has disputed recent reports of its slow traction, noting earlier this month its app had gained 5.6 million downloads since launch — more than the 4.5 million Sensor Tower had claimed at the time.

Even if Sensor Tower’s estimates aren’t an exact science, the overall trend its figures paint is one of where neither Peacock nor Quibi have become overnight sensations at launch. Of course, the growth trajectory for any Netflix rival is sure to be tough in today’s crowded market. But these companies have made it even more difficult for consumers to connect due to their lack of a recognizable brand name and their failure to offer dedicated apps for top living room devices at launch.

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Daily Crunch: NBCUniversal reveals its streaming plans

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. NBCU’s streaming service Peacock launches April 15 for Comcast subscribers, everyone else on July 15

NBCUniversal shared the details about its upcoming streaming service at an investor event yesterday. There will be a free tier of Peacock that includes more than 7,500 hours of programming, including classic shows and the current seasons of freshman broadcast series.

But if you want to see the original programming that NBCUniversal is creating for Peacock — as well as get early access to “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and twice as many hours of content overall — you’ll need Peacock Premium, which will be bundled for Comcast and Cox subscribers, and will cost $4.99 per month otherwise.

2. Elon Musk shares details about SpaceX’s Starship, including estimated 20 to 30-year service life

Answering questions on Twitter, Musk said that Starship — meant to support a human colony on Mars — will need to operate on a brisk schedule. The spacecraft is being designed with the plan of flying it for an average of three flights per day, each carrying over 100 tons per flight, for a total of more than 1,000 flights per year per vehicle.

3. Xiaomi spins off POCO as an independent company

POCO, a sub-smartphone brand that Xiaomi created in 2018, is spinning off a standalone company that will now run independently of the Chinese electronics giant.

4. Zendesk launches Sell Marketplace to bring app store to CRM product

Zendesk acquired Base CRM in 2018 to give customers a CRM component to go with its core customer service software. After purchasing the company, it changed the name to Sell, and now the company has launched a new Sell Marketplace.

5. Funnel closes $47M Series B to prepare marketing data for better reporting and analysis

Funnel is a Stockholm-based startup that offers technology to help businesses prepare — or make “business-ready” — their marketing data for better reporting and analysis. The company says it will use the injection of capital to accelerate its plans in the U.S.

6. Chinese podcasting and audio content app Lizhi debuts on Nasdaq

Lizhi, one of China’s biggest audio content apps, is debuting on Nasdaq today under the ticker symbol LIZI. It’s going public before its major Chinese competitors, but Ximalaya is expected to also list in the United States later this year.

7. Space Angels’ Chad Anderson on entering a new decade in the ‘entrepreneurial space age’

Space as an investment target is trending upwards in the VC community, but specialist firm Space Angels has been focused on the sector longer than most. The network of angel investors just published its most recent quarterly overview, revealing that investors put nearly $6 billion in capital into space companies across 2019. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

Source: TechCrunch