On the day Linda Yaccarino appeared at Signal 2020, her company also launched a new streaming service, the latest entrant in a very crowded space stocked with pure-plays like Netflix, and media and entertainment incumbents like HBO and Disney. It was 13 years after NBC’s first foray into streaming by partnering with others to create Hulu. After Disney’s takeover of Hulu in 2019 (NBC retains an equity stake), the peacock network is giving it a go on its own with Peacock.
“I know you can’t put a date on transformation,” said Yaccarino, chairman of advertising and partnerships for NBCUniversal, at Signal 2020. “But certainly the transformation of the future of advertising is today, with the birth of Peacock.”
Peacock, which offers a free option for viewers, has already rolled out some innovative ad formats. For advertiser Suave, it has made use of voice-command technology, asking Comcast subscribers to say “save with Suave,” in order to get a $5 gift card. And, marketers can create shoppable TV ads using QR codes. The network is also limiting the ad load to no more than five minutes per hour.
“We’re making shoppable experiences part of the everyday game for Peacock and embedding advertising partnerships and branded experiences as part of the consumer experience,” she said.
In less than three months, the service has already accumulated 15 million viewers and drawn advertisers such as State Farm, Target, Unilever and more. In a conversation with John Battelle at Signal 2020, Yaccarino went behind the scenes on Peacock, talked about how marketing should lead change in the media landscape, and how she intends to push the media industry forward on its collision course with tech and data.
Watch her conversation here: