With a free service that contradicts the trend of other services started in the so-called streaming wars, Comcasts NBC hopes to make money, especially with advertising earn running against his library of shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation, top-class films from his studios andthat contain a series of restarts (and restarts of restarts).
If you are a Comcast or Cox customer, you basically get a $ 5 discount: you watch for free with an ad-free premium membership, or you pay $ 5 to upgrade to the ad-free version. NBC said it was working on more partnerships to offer this discount to a larger number of consumers.
For comparison, Netflix, which has no ads, offers the cheapest tier at $ 9 a month, while the most popular plan is $ 13. Apple TV Plus costs $ 5 a month, Disney Plus $ 7 a month, and HBO Max $ 15 a month when it starts in May.
And if you're a Comcast customer, you can start streaming three months earlier. The service will launch on April 15th for Comcast's Xfinity X1 cable customers and Flex Streaming customers. International expansion will come, NBC said, but no schedule has been set. The news was part of the Comcast unit's unveiling of Peacock in a two-hour presentation at NBC's 30-story Rockefeller Plaza headquarters in New York.
Deciding to unlock Peacock brings the service closer to the music streaming model used by Spotify, which offers a free tier of on-ramp ads for paying subscribers. However, free, ad-supported streaming videos have many precedents. The recent trend in streaming services – especially those with high-quality programs like Peacock & # 39; s – is to avoid advertising and put everything behind a paywall.
Peacock is NBC's fighter in the so-called streaming wars, a seven-month window in which media giants and technology titans release a number of new streaming services to take over Netflix. These battles are more than just clashes between megacorporations. You determine not only who will shape the future of television as streaming becomes the norm, but also how many services you have to pay to watch your favorite shows.
And in this case, as far as Peacock is concerned, it means that even traditional TV channels and cable companies like Comcast are placing big bets that they can never change cable cutting. But Comcast is working on Peacock to counter the decline of traditional television, a strategy that puts advertising in the foreground, and forecasts that Peacock attributes to about half of the viewers that competitors like Disney Plus expect.
What are the main differences between the free Peacock catalog and the premium catalog?
The free library offers approximately 7,500 hours of video material, including:
- Access to current broadcasting seasons the next day in the first season (so-called freshmen series).
- Selected episodes of Peacock originals (but not full seasons).
- Curated Peacock streaming genre channels such as SNL Vault, Family Movie Night and Olympic Profiles.
- Complete classic series and popular films. 19659019] Spanish language content.
With premium membership, you always receive an all-access pass. It offers 15,000 hours of video and you get:
- Full seasons of Peacock originals.
- Access to current seasons of recurring programs the next day.
- Early access to late night talk shows so you don't have to stay up late to watch Jimmy Fallon (which airs at 5:00 p.m. / 8:00 p.m. ET) or Seth Meyers.
- Additional sports such as Premier League Soccer.
Based on his experience with Hulu, which was part of Comcast's NBC until last year, NBC is likely to strategize a free tier. Hulu costs $ 6 a month with ads and $ 12 a month without ads. However, it started out as a free, ad-supported website where shows could be streamed. It is also possible that NBC learned a lesson from Seeso, a paid, comedic streaming service that was launched in 2014 and that worked less than three years later.
Peacock’s ad-supported layers contain five minutes of ads per hour, the company said. Traditional network ad load can go up to 15 minutes an hour. And Peacock won't repeat the same commercial over and over again, he added. It includes things like "pause ads" that take up the entire screen when the viewer pauses the video, and "binge ads" that sponsor a fourth episode of a program with no other ads when you watch three episodes.
NBC expects Peacock to reach 30 to 35 million active accounts by 2024. For comparison: Disney's streaming servicewhich started in November, is expecting around 60 million and 90 million paying subscribers at the same time. NBC also anticipates that Peacock will stop losing money in 2024 after spending $ 2 billion in 2020 and 2021.
Originally published January 16.
Update, January 17, : Adds more details and context.