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Peacock kills its free tier option for new customers

Peacock is no longer offering its free tier to new customers, a spokesperson for NBCUniversal confirmed to TechCrunch on Tuesday. The company says it’s shifting its focus to its Premium offering and that doing so will allow the streaming service to remain competitive in the marketplace. The change was first reported by The Streamable.
The free tier is still available to users who are already on the plan, the spokesperson said in an email. In addition, users who cancel their paid subscriptions will automatically be downgraded to the free tier. Peacock has offered the free tier since its launch in 2020, giving users restricted access to the streaming service’s content catalogue. The tier included a limited amount of content when compared to the paid tiers.
New customers will now have to choose between Peacock’s Premium or Premium Plus tiers. The ad-supported Premium tier costs $4.99 per month and includes the full content library, live sports and NBC and Bravo shows after they air on TV. The Premium Plus tier costs $9.99 per month and offers an ad-free experience, offline viewing support and a livestream of your local NBC channel.
Peacock launched around the same time as Disney+, HBO Max and Apple TV+ but was the only one to offer a free tier. Now the company’s focus is shifting. The spokesperson told TechCrunch that Peacock is now focusing on its Premium offering, noting that the paid subscription is more reflective of its brand.
The move comes as Peacock recently reported its best quarterly result since its launch. The streaming service added 5 million paying subscribers in its fourth quarter of 2022, bringing the total to 20 million, up from the over 15 million subs in the previous quarter. The boost in paid subscribers was primarily due to the FIFA World Cup, which streamed in Spanish on Peacock Premium and Telemundo.

Peacock tops 20M subscribers in Q4 as losses widen

Peacock kills its free tier option for new customers by Aisha Malik originally published on TechCrunch
Peacock kills its free tier option for new customers

Peacock adds live TV from all local NBC stations to its Premium Plus tier

Peacock announced that on November 30, its Premium Plus subscribers will get 24/7 access to their local NBC station in all of NBC’s 210 markets, including live TV programming like local news, sports, weather and entertainment.
Subscribers will soon be able to livestream popular programs like “The TODAY Show,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Saturday Night Live” without paying for cable. As part of yesterday’s soft launch, some Premium Plus subscribers already gained access to their NBC local affiliate channel livestream.
“With Peacock’s local affiliate livestream, our subscribers are getting the unique combination of the ad-free on-demand content they love with the local news and NBC programming that is already part of their daily life,” Kelly Campbell, president, Peacock and Direct-to-Consumer, NBCUniversal, said in a statement.
NBC’s local affiliate stations join brands and channels like NFL, Golf, Premiere League, NBC News, Sky News, TODAY, Hallmark, WWE and others.
Peacock is likely including more live TV options to compete with rival Paramount+, which has always included local programming on its platform. Paramount+, with its 46 million subscribers, brings live TV to 99% of the United States, the company claims on its website.
After experiencing a slowdown in subscriber growth, it’s also possible that Peacock is urging more of its subscribers to upgrade to Premium Plus. Peacock recently revealed that its total paid subscriber base jumped from 13 million paid subscribers to over 15 million in the third quarter.
While it’s unlikely that many Peacock subscribers of its free ad-supported plan will switch over to the $9.99/month Premium Plus tier, its possible subscribers paying $4.99/month for the Premium plan will want to switch over to get 24/7 access to their local NBC station.
Plus, $9.99/month is a better deal than paying the hefty price for cable or live TV streaming services like Sling TV.
“This is an exciting new offering that expands our best-in-class broadcast and local programming to new audiences,” added Philip Martzolf, president, NBC Affiliate Relations.

Peacock grows its paid subscriber base to 15 million after pulling back shows from Hulu

Peacock adds live TV from all local NBC stations to its Premium Plus tier by Lauren Forristal originally published on TechCrunch
Peacock adds live TV from all local NBC stations to its Premium Plus tier

Peacock grows its paid subscriber base to 15 million after pulling back shows from Hulu

NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell revealed in a CNBC interview that Peacock added more than 2 million paid subscribers in the third quarter, bringing the total to over 15 million. The recent growth shows the streaming service is recovering from its slowdown at the end of the second quarter when Peacock stalled at 13 million paid subs.
Shell claimed the boost in subs stemmed from a strong content lineup, including NBC next-day episodes that Peacock reclaimed from Hulu.
“It’s really driven by the content…So all of our content that’s on NBC, Bravo, our other channels for the first time in the next couple of weeks is coming to Peacock where it used to go to Hulu,” Shell said in yesterday’s interview.
NBCUniversal announced in August that starting on September 19, Peacock Premium will get next-day access to current seasons of NBC shows the day after they debut on the linear network. Earlier this year, the company also took next-day Bravo shows from Hulu.
Paid subscribers can watch the hit franchise “Law & Order,” as well as “One Chicago” and other popular shows like “Saturday Night Live,” “Real Housewives,” “Top Chef,” “The Voice,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Late Night With Seth Meyers” and “America’s Got Talent.”
Shell also confirmed that Disney is planning to buy Comcast’s 33% stake in Hulu, as has been expected. “It sounds like [Disney is] going to buy it…It’s a great asset,” he said. “If it were put on the auction block, it would fetch a high price—it would be a pretty robust auction. We’d want to participate in the auction… that’s not what we anticipate happening.”
The company will lose a valuable asset once Comcast no longer owns a stake in Hulu. Peacock is behind its competitor Hulu, which has 46.2 million subscribers.
Expanding its content library and investing in more original titles appears to be helping the streamer get back on track — slowly but surely.
In addition to NBC and Bravo content, Peacock is investing in more originals to gain more subscribers. For instance, Peacock is investing in original films as part of its deal with Lionsgate. Also, the streamer recently announced its upcoming first original adult animation series, “In the Know,” starring “Beavis and Butt-Head” creator Mike Judge and Zach Woods from “Silicon Valley.”

Peacock invests in its first adult animation series, stars Mike Judge and ‘Silicon Valley’s’ Zach Woods

Peacock grows its paid subscriber base to 15 million after pulling back shows from Hulu by Lauren Forristal originally published on TechCrunch
Peacock grows its paid subscriber base to 15 million after pulling back shows from Hulu