Peacock Gets Off the Ground

Now streaming: Peacock.

NBCUniversal's new streaming service is now available to the general public with more than 13,000 hours of free programming. But if you want to browse all 20,000 hours and skip the ads, you'll need to upgrade.

The streaming service launched first to Comcast's Xfinity X1 and Flex customers back in April, but is now open to stream from the user's device of choice — from Apple to Android and Chromecast to Xbox One consoles and Smart TVs. And starting the week of July 20th, it will also be available to stream on users' PlayStation4 and PlayStation 4 Pro.


Peacock will stream shows from studios like NBC, ABC, CBS, Telemundo, DreamWorks and much more. From classic movies like "Jurassic Park" to the latest episodes of "This is Us," they will offer a variety of shows, movies and live content from news and sports.

The free tier allows users to watch most shows with some ads. The premium tier costs $4.99/ month and brings subscribers all 20,000 hours of content, still with some commercials, though not the full five minutes of ads per hour. The ad-free tier costs $9.99 a month.

The cancellation of this year's Olympics was a loss, but media analysts don't believe the service will have any trouble succeeding amid the global pandemic.

"It's a differentiated product than many of the streaming services out there because it is more about advertising revenue than it is about subscription revenue," said Bruce Leichtman of Leichtman Research Group, a consulting and research group focused on the broadband, media and entertainment industries. "So it is creating a different type of streaming product."

Peacock will now add to its existing audience of 29 million Comcast broadband subscribers, reaching viewers far outside of their usual umbrella.

Streaming media expert Dan Rayburn spent the last week navigating Peacock. He said Peacock's success will depend on how it anticipates what its users want.

"I'm waiting to hear how much personalization rolls out," he said, "because I do think that's something that consumers want more of with these services. They want it personalized for their tastes and their needs."

Although it adds to the list of services already present like Netflix and Disney Plus, Peacock will be able to maintain its own audience.

"One thing we've seen in the market is that consumers like options, many of these services aren't in replacement to one another; it's a complement to one another," said Rayburn.

With 20,000 hours of premium content up on launch day, Peacock is looking to add original movies in September and much more content behind it.

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