How Peacock’s Year-In-Review Campaign Drove a 20% Reduction in Churn
20% Reduction in churn rate


Leading streaming service Peacock was looking for a way to celebrate individual subscribers’ viewing milestones, encourage free users to convert to paid, and stoke excitement for the coming year to build strong relationships that help increase subscription rates and decrease unsubscribes.


By leveraging Braze and Braze Alloys partners, mParticle and Movable Ink, the Peacock team built a personalized year-end review campaign highlighting individual users’ engagement, the genres they loved, and how much content they consumed that year.


Each campaign was measured by target audience (i.e. those who opened the email), benchmarked against the control (i.e. those excluded from receiving the email). Compared with the control audience, the target audience saw a 20% decrease in churn rate over 30 days, a 6% higher upgrade rate from free to paid subscriptions, and a 2-point lift in return rate to view content on Peacock.

Peacock is NBCUniversal’s premium streaming service providing audiences a singular, unmatched content destination. As one of the most complete streaming products on the market, Peacock offers exclusive breakout original series; more than 5,000 hours of live sports; hit movies right after theaters from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation and Illumination; next-day access to all new shows from NBC and Bravo; fan-favorite library content; daily live news; as well as live channels from brands including Hallmark and WWE. The platform delivers for its audiences with innovative technology, creative partnerships, and entertainment that is truly entertaining.

Alloys Partnerships

As a direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming service, engaging and retaining subscribers is incredibly important for the Peacock team. Customer engagement is at the heart of Peacock's marketing efforts, helping to ensure that customers keep coming to the platform to stream old favorites and catch the latest releases.

Engaging Users With a Personalized Year-in-Review to Boost Free to Paid Subscriptions

To more effectively acquire, engage, and retain their customers, Peacock partnered with Braze from day one. In the lead-up to the 2020 launch of their app, they knew relevant customer engagement would be the cornerstone of a successful customer experience. So as part of their preparations, they went looking for a customer engagement platform that could deliver the right message at the right time to the right user on the right channel. With Braze, they found a company leading the way in cross-channel customer journey management across the channels their customers already engaged with, including email, push, and in-app messages. As a result, the brand was able to optimize their strategy based on how they communicate with subscribers.

Two and a half years after their 2020 launch, Peacock was seeing significant success by leveraging Braze alongside customer data platform (CDP) and Braze Alloys technology partner mParticle, which they leveraged to collect customer engagement data from mobile, web, and OTT streaming platforms, then unify that information for use in Braze, where it can be leveraged to power tailored customer experiences. Braze helps to activate the Peacock marketing team’s creativity, allowing them to test and optimize everything from messaging cadence, creative, audience targeting, content choice, and much more. After starting with 100 email campaigns per year and a handful of automated triggered messaging flows centered on onboarding and winbacks, Braze has enabled Peacock to grow their customer engagement program to produce over 400 manual campaigns each year and automate over 70 triggers per day to engage customers in every phase of their lifecycle.

Crafting a Winning Milestone Email Campaign That Maximizes Retention

Peacock makes a point of keeping their subscribers engaged by leveraging personalized recommendations for their high-quality content that are delivered across channels in real time. And as 2022 drew to a close, the company decided to take advantage of that window of opportunity to bolster their acquisition and retention efforts by celebrating and showcasing the depth of their content library.

To do that, Peacock decided to build out a campaign that would showcase each customers’ content consumption, remind them of their favorite shows and movies, and show each recipient that the company understood and valued them. Ultimately, Peacock is in the business of catering to fandoms. Whether they were looking to reach a fan of Bravo, WWE, or Hallmark, Peacock’s year-end campaign needed to showcase each fandom in a way that could grow brand affinity and lead to long-term retention.

By using Braze in concert with mParticle and Braze Alloys technology partner Movable Ink, Peacock was able to create a year-in-review email campaign that celebrated user engagement in fun, personalized ways. Plus, the campaign presented an opportunity to get subscribers excited about the new content coming their way in 2023—and to inspire free users to consider upgrading to a paid subscription.

How They Did It

While year-end campaigns are a moment in time by their nature, they take thought and care to execute successfully. At Peacock, the marketing team started planning for this special cross-channel customer journey six months before it actually launched.

First, they reviewed their high-level business goals and used them to define the campaign KPIs. Their top goal? Maintain subscribers and encourage them to come back and stream more of the content they love. The Peacock team knew the more catered individual subscribers felt, the more likely they would be long-term brand advocates.

Next up, they dug into consumer analytics to determine how best to position the “year-in-review” data to their subscribers to ensure that the resulting campaign was digestible, fun, relevant to their entire user base, and differentiated from the year-end emails that other brands were sending. In addition, they knew they needed to avoid revealing which titles individuals users had reviewed in order to comply with the US Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988. Given all that, they decided to personalize based on:

  • The month the user watched the most content

  • Each user’s most streamed day of the week

  • The genres that each user streamed

  • The number of hours in each users’ biggest binge-watching session

In the campaign, the Peacock team identified a mix of genres to feature in the "What you watched this year" module based on what was popular among their overall audience and set up the messages so the genres watched by a given subscriber were lit up while the others remained dim.

Privacy is top of mind at Peacock and behavioral data can be sensitive for users. Accordingly, Peacock was careful not to alienate subscribers by digging too deep into the nuances of their viewing habits and avoided including information about the times that they were most or least likely to view content.

Next, the team identified three defining account markers to guide their campaign’s targeting. These markers, which helped Peacock set various thresholds to optimize the user experience, included:

  • Video start within the last 30 days

  • Account created at least 30 days ago

  • Subscription status of Free or Premium

With their data targeting in place, they broke their audience into four groups.

  • Personalized Premium: Premium tier audience members who had a video start in the last 30 days.

  • Personalized Free: Free tier audience members who had a video start in the last 30 days.

  • Generic Premium: Premium tier audience members who created an account more than 30 days ago, didn’t meet Peacock’s data thresholds, or didn’t have a video start in the last 30 days.

  • Generic Free: Free tier audience members who created an account more than 30 days ago, didn’t meet the brand’s data thresholds, or didn’t have a video start in the last 30 days.

Peacock built out their program within Braze, taking advantage of the platform’s native cross-channel/channel-agnostic architecture to build the entire campaign in one place. Next, they leveraged mParticle to manage the data associated with the program, allowing information to move in and out of Braze as needed. They also used Movable Ink to add content personalization and interactive elements within the emails, providing Peacock with the ability to determine what content to show to which recipients—something that was perfect for highlighting the user behaviors spelled out in each message. Movable Ink allowed Peacock to seamlessly query an API (built for them by consultancy Pickaxe) that looped in relevant content from mParticle to power all four of the email’s modules.

Peacock used Liquid personalization to populate a dynamic GIF based on each subscriber’s most streamed month in the corresponding module. After setting up the four email templates (one for each target audience), the data was ready for QA four days before deployment. As part of this process, Peacock sent live tests to internal users at the company in order to confirm that the correct creative was populating for each corresponding behavior.

On launch day, Peacock scheduled the Personalized Premium version of the campaign to be delivered to only the first 100,000 users. They made that call so their technical teams could verify everything was running smoothly. Once that was confirmed, the team sent the email to the remaining members of the audience and staggered the send times throughout the day in connection with the remaining three campaigns/audiences.

“Braze has enabled Peacock to optimize and increase our capabilities around communicating with subscribers. Three years in, we’ve used Braze to test and optimize messaging cadence, creative, audience targeting, content choice, and more to become very relevant to our consumer experience of Peacock.”

Annabella Goff
Sr. Director, CRM at Peacock

Using A/B Tests to Prove Campaign Impact on Peacock’s Fans in Real Time

To assess the impact of the campaign, Peacock compared users who opened the email campaign against control group members who hadn’t received the campaign and found that recipients had a 20% lower churn rate over 30 days, 6% free-to-paid upgrade rates, and experienced a two-point lift in return rate when it came to returning to the service to view content. The upshot? Peacock found that the year-in-review email format was just as effective for entertainment streaming services as it was for their musical counterparts.

On the whole, the ongoing partnership between Peacock and Braze has grown in scale and execution with no signs of slowing down. The brand continues to excel at delivering relevant messaging to each subscriber, giving them clear, compelling reasons to keep engaging with the service’s compelling content library.

20% Reduction in churn rate
6% Lift in Upgrades from Free to Paid Subscriptions
+2 Points Return Rate to View Content

Key Takeaways

  1. Make every milestone count. It’s meaningful when a customer puts their confidence in your business—so don’t be afraid to make those marquee moments extra special. By celebrating big milestones together, you may unlock the most precious commodity of all: brand loyalty.

  2. The best teams know a plan today can maximize retention for tomorrow. Six months might sound far away, but we all know how quickly the calendar can get away from us. For significant campaigns, planning further ahead enables teams to stay aligned, safeguard quality, and make sure their campaigns ladder back to the company’s goals.

  3. Make sure your metrics add up. It can be enticing to leverage all the data you have to personalize the customer experience, but it pays to be mindful of context. Take the time to assess whether the data you’re leveraging for your campaigns could be seen as too personal by recipients and recalibrate your personalization as needed.