Editor's take: NBC is a bit late to the steaming battlegrounds as established players like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have had years to hone their craft and create compelling original content. Its key differentiator, however, could be the free tier. Assuming it affords enough quality content and is thoughtful with the ad interruptions, NBC could have a disruptive model on its hands.
The wait is finally over. After months of build-up, NBCUniversal on Wednesday formally launched its Peacock streaming service, which offers a blend of live and on-demand programming with a rather unique hook.
Peacock offers three different tiers for users to choose from. The free, ad-supported tier offers more than 13,000 hours of content at launch including current season hits from NBC (one week after they air) and on-demand access to movies like The Bourne Identity, Jurassic Park, The Matrix, The Blair Witch Project and The Mummy, just to name a few. No credit card is required to sign up for the free account.
Free tier users will also get to sample Peacock Originals, we’re told.
For $4.99 per month, you can get the ad-supported premium tier, which unlocks full access to all 20,000 hours of programming on the platform. NBC said this tier will include no more than five minutes of advertising per hour. For those that would prefer an (almost) entirely ad-free experience, that can be realized in exchange for $9.99 a month. Due to streaming rights, NBC notes that a small amount of programming will still contain ads.
Annual payment options featuring slight discounts are also available at $49.99 and $99.99, respectively.
Peacock is currently available on Apple devices, Google platforms, Xbox consoles and select smart TVs. Support for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro is coming next week although critically, the service isn’t currently supported on Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices. This will almost certainly need to change if NBC hopes for any long-term success.