The American group Comcast, owner of NBCUniversal, Xfinity and Sky Group, officially launched its video streaming platform Peacock on July 15, 2020. This is a surprising announcement at first given that giants Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ currently occupy the lion’s share of the market. Announced in 2019, this new streaming service stands out from the competition by providing access to part of its catalog for free thanks to advertising funding.
The platform will initially offer copyrighted series and movies owned by NBCUniversal. These will mainly include cult American series, such as Punky Brewster, Psych, Battlestar Galactica, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock and Cheers, the series that launched Woody Harrelson’s career. As for cinema, Peacock’s catalog will be composed of movies that were released in theaters several years ago, such as The Matrix trilogy, or franchises like Jurassic Park, Shrek and Jason Bourne. However, following the example of the movies produced and distributed exclusively by Netflix and Prime Video, we can expect to see more recent movies and original content pretty quickly. Peacock also differs from its competitors by broadcasting U.S. soccer matches and providing 24/7 access to NBC News and American talk shows like Late Night with Seth Myers and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon for Peacock Premium subscribers.
Before providing its streaming service nationwide, Comcast offered a 3-month trial to Xfinity TV box users, that is to say 15 million subscribers. Peacock has three different subscription plans that provide tiered access to the NBCUniversal catalog. The first tier is a free version that provides access to almost 13,000 hours of content, punctuated by ads.
The second offer is the Peacock Premium subscription at $4.99 per month. It includes a catalog that is twice as large, access to new episodes of NBC series the day after they air, exclusive Peacock series and Premier League soccer matches. A very interesting offer for soccer fans across the Atlantic. Note that Peacock Premium also includes advertising.
The Peacock Premium Ad-Free subscription provides the same content as the Peacock Premium offer but without the ads for $9.99 a month. When reading the fine print, however, one notices that this version is not entirely ad-free as some events, series and movies will still be punctuated by advertising due to certain clauses of the distribution contract. The two premium versions of Peacock will offer an annual subscription for $49.99 or $99.99 depending on the chosen tier. These prices are very similar to those of the competition.
So far, no announcement has been made regarding the arrival of Peacock in Europe, but the concept of a streaming platform that is financed by advertising rather than subscriptions is something that other services such as Rakuten TV Free are also interested in. Therefore, one can expect to see a service similar to Peacock on the European market very soon.