NBCUniversal Launches Peacock Streaming With Free Content

Photo Illustration by Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The takeaways

  • NBCUniversal, owned by Comcast, launched Peacock into the streaming market today on Apple TV – but not Amazon and Roku.
  • With most content available for free, Premium content is $4.99, a more affordable offering than much of the market.
  • Peacock ranks as the third-biggest advertiser for June, yet has raised brand awareness amongst only 26.8% of consumers.

What happened?

NBCUniversal entered the streaming market today with Peacock. The Comcast-owned company seeks to stand out with 13,000 hours of free content. As for their Premium subscribers, 20,000 hours are available for $4.99 a month. The service launches on major platforms, including Google and Apple.

Prior to launch, NBCUniversal planned to promote Peacock via the Summer Olympics until they were postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19. Given the popularity of sports streaming and the Summer Olympics’ status as NBCUniversal’s biggest programming effort of 2020, this has shifted the reliance to NBC’s library of hit TV shows. However, a YouGov survey found just 26.8% of consumers know about Peacock (for comparison, Quibi sits at 24.8%).

Moreover, negotiations with Roku and Amazon Fire TV remain unfinished at the time of launch, according to CNBC. Peacock is first party data-driven and can use the data for targeted advertising, thereby charging higher advertising rates. Reportedly, they want an Amazon deal that retains exclusive consumer sign-ups, much like Disney negotiated with the launch of Disney+. Meanwhile, negotiations with Roku are said to revolve around an agreement on shared ad inventory.

By the numbers


Via MediaRadar

Advertising tracker MediaRadar reports that all streaming services bought $45 million worth of ads in June. Peacock ranked as the third-biggest advertiser, behind Amazon and Disney, ahead of AppleTV+ and Netflix. At two weeks before launch, Peacock spent 71% more on advertising than Disney+ did at the same point before its launch.

Though Comcast will spend $2 billion on Peacock this year and next, it still has to contend with its low brand awareness. The free tier will certainly be attractive in the current, pandemic-driven, cost-aware consumer market. Peacock Premium is also much cheaper than Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and many newer services.

For further reading on the streaming market, please see this article.

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