NBCU has added two streaming vets to the executive roster of Universal Pickup, installing Shannon Willett as Chief Marketing Officer and Brian Henderson as EVP of Programming. Newly established positions in both companies.
Willett came to NBCU from Netflix, while Henderson was in Hulu.
Both will report to Peacock President Kelly Campbell.
NBCU and its parent, Comcast, have pledged to increase their programming costs and focus more on acquiring Peacock’s premium subscribers. The service was launched in mid-2020, initially emphasizing a free, ad-supported level instead of the $ 5-a-month pickup premium. Over time, with the addition of the WWE network, extensive live sports programming, and finally the release of epidemic-delayed programming such as Bell-Air, NBCU has begun to see some initial progress in its efforts to attract customers. Like any player in the streaming game, the churning peacock remains a challenge.
Comcast said in January that the number of Peacock monthly active users reached 24.5 million, well ahead of the company’s initial forecast. About 9 million of them pay for the pickup premium, another 7 million bundled it with other pay-TV or broadband services at no charge. This payment base is a fraction of the new competitors like Disney + and HBO Max, and lags far behind Netflix, which has 222 million subscribers worldwide. The average revenue per user, or ARPU, reached close to $ 10 by the end of 2021, thanks to the advertising portion of Peacock. The plan is to be able to generate more revenue from subscriptions, especially considering the 5 minute ad cap per hour, which is about one-third of what is broadcast on traditional linear TV.
“We are thrilled to welcome Shannon and Brian, two exceptional leaders who will surely play a key role in making Peacock a streaming service and rounding out our executive leadership team,” Campbell said in a press release. “Shannon is a great strategic marketer with an incredible portfolio of brand-defined, best-in-class global campaigns, and her skills will be critical to Peacock’s next stage of growth. And as a pioneer in the evolution of streaming content, We establish ourselves as the top general entertainment streaming service in the market. ”
As CMO, Willett will oversee global marketing for Peacock, covering areas such as brand management, creativity, media planning, marketing activities, social, content marketing, customer growth and customer care. His six-year tenure at Netflix ended with his tenure as VP of Global Marketing Strategies and Activities. During his time at the company, he led creative marketing campaigns and a global team of 250 employees worldwide.
In his programming position, Henderson will lead the global content strategy for Peacock, aimed at leveraging programming to acquire, use, retain and run the overall business. Its scope will range from licensed, original, international and emerging content.
As SVP of SVOD Content, Programming and Partnership at Hulu, Henderson managed content acquisitions and scheduling.