Do you feel like the options for streaming video subscriptions are already plentiful? Peacock is hoping you have room in your life for one more.
NBCUniversal plans to release Peacock — its new streaming service — in 2020 and hopes to compete with the likes of stalwarts like Netflix and Hulu, as well as new streaming offerings from Disney, HBO and Apple.
Will it be able to differentiate itself in a suddenly cluttered marketplace? That’s what we’re hoping to find out prior to the launch of Peacock in the coming months.
In this article, Team Clark will explore the information available so far about Peacock to try to help you decide if it’s worth a try as a new entertainment option.
Peacock is a yet-to-be launched subscription streaming service from NBCUniversal. It will feature content from NBC classics like The Office and Cheers, in addition to a good deal of original content.
Reboots of popular series like Saved By The Bell and Punky Brewster are expected to be a part of the original content offering from Peacock. In total, there will be more than 15,000 hours of content available on Peacock.
You may be wondering why NBCUniversal chose to call it Peacock. This is a nod to the classic peacock-themed NBC logo that was developed in the early days of the network’s television broadcasting.
With streaming now considered the “next frontier” for many traditional television content producers, it makes sense that NBC would want to keep that iconic branding attached to the project while creating some differentiation between the traditional broadcast network and the new streaming service.
Peacock is not yet available for purchase. Here’s what we know so far:
Peacock will launch in April 2020
, according to an announcement made by NBCUniversal in September 2019. NBC has been touting Peacock as a key part of its 2020 Olympics coverage, which will take place in Tokyo beginning in July.
NBCUniversal has not yet released an official price for the Peacock service. Per the official site, "Peacock will be both advertising and subscription supported. Details on pricing and distribution will be announced closer to launch."
The indication that it will be both advertising and subscription supported could mean that there will be pricing tiers. Hulu, for example, charges $5.99 per month for its content with ads and $11.99 for an ad-free experience.
There is not yet a complete list of devices that will support the Peacock streaming service. While most streaming devices are likely to welcome the addition of Peacock, updates are expected closer to launch.
With the extensive library of NBC television programming and Universal films at the service’s disposal, there should be an exciting list of popular content available via Peacock.
One of the new service's biggest draws will be being the exclusive home of popular NBC comedy The Office. While currently available for streaming on Netflix, it has been reported that all nine seasons of the show will move to Peacock by January 2021.
Here’s a look at some of the legacy television content that is likely to be a part of Peacock’s offerings:
- The Office
- Parks & Recreation
- Saturday Night Live
- Will & Grace
- 30 Rock
- Friday Night Lights
- Downton Abbey
- King of Queens
- The Real Housewives franchise
One major NBC classic that will be missing from Peacock is Seinfeld. Streaming rights to the popular 1990s television series recently were acquired by Netflix. Friends, another iconic NBC show, will move from Netflix to HBO Max in 2020.
There also will be a wide array of films available through Peacock, including:
- The Bourne franchise
- The Fast & Furious franchise
- Despicable Me
- Dallas Buyers Club
- Knocked Up
- A Beautiful Mind
- Field of Dreams
- Mamma Mia!
- Meet the Parents
In the fight for the cord-cutting market share, streaming services are hustling to create their own new content in addition to managing the availability of established content. Peacock is no different in that regard.
While we still don’t have the entire picture for Peacock’s original content offerings, the series that we do know about so far indicate a game plan of leaning on established brands and stars to generate interest.
Here are just some of the plans for original content:
- Saved By The Bell: A reboot of the popular 1990s teen comedy will include original series stars Mario Lopez (A.C. Slater) and Elizabeth Berkley (Jessie Spano)
- A.P. Bio: After two seasons on NBC, this classroom comedy starring Glenn Howerton and Patton Oswalt will move to the streaming service for Season 3
- Battlestar Galactica: A yet-to-be titled reboot of the popular sci-fi series
- Punky Brewster: Another reboot from the popular 1980s sitcom
- Who Wrote That: A Saturday Night Live docu-series from creator Lorne Michaels
- Rutherford Falls: A comedy starring Ed Helms
- Straight Talk: A comedy featuring Rashida Jones and Jada Pinkett Smith
There also will be original content from NBC late-night television stars Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers on the platform.
In a space that once was dominated by streaming stalwarts Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, there has been a recent push by major brands like NBC, Disney, WarnerMedia and Apple to get non-live streaming subscription services in place.
All four have new services that will have launched within eight months of each other, leaving consumers with some tough decisions to make. While we have some more complete breakdowns of each of these services, here’s a quick overview of what each of Peacock’s competitors will offer:
Launched in November 2019 with a $6.99 monthly subscription rate, Disney+ relies on five major brand pillars for this streaming service: Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic. With a mix of Disney classics and new original movies and series, this service is already a hit — especially in households with children. Read more about Disney+ here.
WarnerMedia is launching a new streaming service with the premium HBO branding behind it in May 2020. This will not replace HBO NOW, but it will have many of the perks of that subscription combined with new original content series. HBO Max also will have exclusive rights to Friends, which has most recently been available on Netflix. At $14.99, this service will be one of the more expensive non-live subscriptions on the market. Read more about HBO Max here.
Apple launched Apple TV+ in November 2019 with a surprisingly low price tag of just $4.99 per month. This platform is for original content and has an emphasis on quality over quantity. At this time it does not carry quite the variety of entertainment that Peacock is planning, but it is possible that it ends up being a better value. Read more about Apple TV+ here.
Peacock will be entering a crowded streaming space when it launches in April 2020, but there are reasons for NBCUniversal to be optimistic that it will have success.
First and foremost, The Office has an extremely loyal following. Having the exclusive streaming rights to the Dunder Mifflin gang is going to be enough to get some people to give the service a trial run. But that doesn’t happen until January 2021, so Peacock will have to bide its time until then.
The reboots of Saved By The Bell and Punky Brewster are going to be interesting. It feels like a move out of the Netflix playbook, which was able to successfully reboot a similarly successful sitcom from that era in Full House with Fuller House. Other original projects have big names behind them, so there is hope for viral success.
Pricing will be an important element for Peacock. If it is too expensive, streamers may stick with the familiarity of Netflix or opt for the premium brand in HBO Max. Disney has put a strong value option on the market at $6.99, so that could also be a determining factor.
Will you be looking to add Peacock to your streaming options in 2020? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
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