Netflix used to be more or less the only big-name player in town when it came to entertainment streaming service, but these days everybody wants to get in on the action. First, it was Amazon Prime. After that, it was CBS All Access. Disney got in on the action in a big way at the end of 2019 with Disney Plus – a platform that already boasts more than fifty million subscribers. Now there’s another huge name in the market. NBC has entered the so-called ‘streaming wars’ with a service called ‘Peacock’ – and if you’re a Comcast subscriber, it’s available now.
Once Netflix showed that it was possible to make huge money with over-the-top streaming, it was only a matter of time before every major player in the industry decided to get involved. The platforms work because they replicate the style and function of online slots websites. A very long time ago, the companies that make online slots games realized there was more money to be made in putting hundreds of online slots in one place than there was by launching a new website for each online slots games. Now we have hundreds of online slots sites and thousands of the greatest slots for you such as the popular game Fluffy favourite mobile. Television and movie streaming now looks to be heading in the same direction. The market will eventually become saturated – but NBC is gambling that saturation point hasn’t been reached yet.
Peacock has been planned by NBCUniversal for some time but wasn’t scheduled to be released this early in the year. The first reports that the company was considering accelerating its launch schedule appeared at the start of the week commencing 13th April, and it’s now clear that the reports were accurate. This has come as a surprise to many industry insiders. Originally, the launch of Peacock was tied to the start of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in July, and it was supposed to come with a whole raft of brand new programming. As we now know, the Olympics won’t be happening this year, and the majority of new shows that Peacock hoped to bring to its audience won’t be available. Instead of delaying the launch and waiting for everything to settle down, NBCUniversal has decided that if there’s no Olympics to wait for, they may as well push ahead and bring the product to the market right now.
The marketplace that Peacock is launching into is incredibly crowded, and so it’s perhaps surprising that NBCUniversal has decided to take their first steps into it with a diminished product offering. Netflix already has one hundred and fifty million subscribers. Disney, as we mentioned earlier on, has fifty million. HBO Max will arrive in May and will capture its own share of the market, and Amazon Prime and Hulu are all doing healthy numbers. There’s a limit to how much the average consumer is willing to pay in subscription fees, and so you don’t have to be an industry expert to see that it won’t be possible for all of these services to survive in the long term.
Perhaps in response to the content and pricing wars that already exist within the market, Peacock comes with three price points. The first of them is completely free of charge. The second is a mere five dollars each month, and the top tier is ten dollars. As you might expect, the free offering is extremely limited and is designed to act as a teaser to tempt you into paying for a more expansive service. Only a few episodes of the platform’s most popular shows will be available, so once you’ve seen them, you’ll have to pay for one of the ‘premium’ packages to carry on watching. All of the content that’s available on the ten-dollar tier is also available on the five dollar tier – the only difference is that the people on the five dollar tier will have to put up with commercials. The ten-dollar tier is advert-free.
The creation of an official NBC streaming platform has obvious potential consequences for Hulu, which currently streams several NBC shows. For now, those shows are safe. The contract signed between the two companies still has around two years to run, and could only be broken if NBC opted to pay an astronomical fee to Hulu for the loss of the content. NBC is thought to have no interest in doing that, and so will likely allow the contract to expire and remove their content from Hulu’s platform in 2022 – presuming, of course, that both platforms survive the streaming wars and are still trading in 2022.
The biggest question from a consumer point of view is what the content available on the platform will be. At launch, Peacock comes with more than fifteen thousand hours of content, which will be added to rapidly in the weeks and months ahead. That will include next-day access to all first-run NBC shows and early access to all of their late-night talk shows, including Jimmy Fallon’s and Seth Mayers’. Live soccer from the English Premier League will also be available through Peacock when soccer eventually resumes in the country.
There’s also a packed schedule of brand-new original content planned for Peacock including a reboot of ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ a new version of ‘The Office,’ and a reboot of ‘Saved By The Bell.’ A televised version of the classic Aldous Huxley novel ‘Brave New World’ with Demi Moore in a starring role has also been commissioned and filmed, and is understood to be on its way to Peacock in the very near future. They’ll sit alongside existing popular content like ’30 Rock,’ ‘American Ninja Warrior,’ ‘Chicago Fire,’ ‘Cheers,’ ‘Downton Abbey,’ ‘Frasier,’ ‘Knight Rider,’ and several versions of ‘Law and Order.’ Further down the line, original films will also become part of the Peacock offering.
Although the market is competitive and crowded, it sounds like NBCUniversal have enough top-tier content to keep audiences happy, and their free access point seems a smart way of drawing people in to try their service out before they buy it. We’re all sitting at home seeking fresh entertainment at the moment – so now we have one more option to consider!