After finding a second life as a cultural phenomenon on Netflix, The Office returned home to NBCU’s Peacock on January 1, 2021. The series’ move serves as a fascinating case study in library programming as a vehicle for subscriber acquisition and the power of content vs. distribution.
The Office drove 3.9x more Sign-ups to Peacock compared to the average December weekend
Peacock earned more paid Sign-ups around The Office’s arrival than it did for its nationwide launch, or any programming event, including the start of the Premier League.
In the first two weeks of January, Peacock saw a 9 percentage point uptick in customers choosing the Premium Plus ($9.99/mo) plan, which like Netflix, allows ad-free viewing to all nine seasons of The Office.
TVOD transactions for The Office peaked on January 1st
While some fans followed The Office from Netflix to Peacock, others simply purchased the show. ANTENNA observed a spike in TVOD transactions for the series around the time it left Netflix.
In the first two weeks of January, 46% of The Office TVOD transactions were for the complete series — with 93% of those purchases coming in via Apple’s $29.99 promotion (link). From a volume perspective, on January 1st, ANTENNA observed 177% more paid Sign-ups to Peacock than TVOD transactions for The Office.
That said, total The Office TVOD transactions on January 1st were 51% of what Tenet did on its December 15th digital release day at the $19.99 price point — which is impressive for a series that debuted over 15 years ago, and has long been available via other channels.
The Impact on Netflix’s Churn Rate
There was no meaningful impact on Netflix Churn amongst Subscribers that made a TVOD purchase for The Office — as these customers likely treated the one-time transaction as a supplement to their Netflix Subscription.
On the other hand, Netflix Subscribers that did Sign-up to Peacock in January 2021 showed a 4.7 percentage point increase in Churn vs. those that did not add Peacock — meaning that a portion of users did cancel Netflix, as they followed The Dunder Mifflin crew to Peacock.
However, <1% of Netflix Subscribers Signed-up to Peacock, so overall Churn Rate for the service was not materially impacted.
Brendan Brady is a Content Strategy Associate at ANTENNA, a measurement and analytics company providing insight into purchase behavior and subscription metrics across the new media landscape.