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Peacock spent 70% more on advertising in build up to launch than Disney+

NBCUniversal’s late-in-the-day marketing push for its imminently arriving Peacock streaming service has been laid bare by a new report.

Advertising intelligence platform MediaRadar has examined the ad spend for Peacock and compared it to the same time period before the launches of both Disney+ and HBO Max. The report covers ad spend in print, online, YouTube, Snapchat and US National TV.

The firm found that, until recently, Peacock’s strategy mostly mirrored that of Disney+. Only in the two weeks leading up to the streamer’s July 15 launch did NBCU ramp up its marketing efforts, with Peacock’s advertising up 71% compared to Disney+’s build up in November 2019.

The report notes that a potential reason for Peacock being proactive ahead of launch is that the service has been available in early access for Xfinity customers since April – albeit without any of the service’s original content.

It also adds that Peacock has been struggling for brand awareness – as evidenced by a YouGov study – and that the increased spend is an attempt to rectify this.

By comparison, the report says that Disney+ was more aggressively marketed after launch – more advertising was done for Disney+ in the four weeks after its launch than in the four weeks prior to its launch – and that HBO Max was most advertised just prior to its May launch.

In total, the report found that US$45 million was spent on advertising by streaming services in the US in June and that the top 5 accounted for just over two-thirds of the total category spend.

Pushing towards its launch, Peacock was the third-largest advertiser in the category in June, behind Amazon Prime Video and Disney for its services Disney+ and Hulu. Peacock’s ad spend was ahead of AppleTV+ and Netflix for the month.

Peacock will launch on July 15 with free and premium tiers that offer between 7,500 and 15,000 hours of content.