Peacock Begins Testing Interactive Video Feature; Is Interactivity the Future of Streaming?
Peacock is moving forward. NBCUniversal’s streaming platform gained 2 million subscribers in the third quarter of 2022, and has begun experimenting with ways to keep those subscribers — and attract more — via innovation.
NBCU recently announced that it would begin testing a new interactive video feature for Peacock shows. The initial testing took place for select ticketholders to BravoCon, the annual convention celebrating the stars and shows of the Bravo Network.
The new feature combines Peacock’s latest design vision with video samples from Season 2 of the hit franchise “The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip.” As viewers watch, Peacock will surface a wide variety of options for audiences to access with their remotes. The options include bonus footage and behind-the-scenes glimpses, timed to appear during relevant moments, and all under user control.
“The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip” is the first show on Peacock to use its new interactive video feature. The show’s third season will launch with three episodes using the final interactive feature. Viewers can simply decide to watch the episode as it airs, or to click on prompts as they appear during key points of episodes for an enhanced experience.
“Combining culture-defining content with cutting-edge innovation, this experience is about giving fans the choice to dive deeper into the most dramatic Housewives moments on their own terms,” NBCUniversal senior vice president John Jelley said. “It transforms viewing into an interactive journey of discovery and personalization through multiple vantage points. Seamlessly integrating exclusive footage at just the right moment, users can now take control of how they watch the scenes that breakthrough the zeitgeist, and we are thrilled to offer this powerful storytelling tool to Hollywood’s content creators, visionaries, and originators.”
NBCU is not the only company experimenting with more interactivity in its streaming offerings. Disney will be introducing what it calls “Next-Gen Storytelling” to its streaming service Disney+ in the near future. That feature will not only introduce virtual reality elements to Disney+ titles but will also attempt to digitize Disney park experiences and marry them more closely to video streaming.
Peacock’s interactive video feature isn’t that ambitious yet, but if it succeeds, it could be a step in that direction. After all, NBCU also has a parks division, and is the only other company besides Disney that could combine the streaming and theme park experience in this way.
If the new interactive video feature on Peacock is successful, expect more companies to begin experimenting with interactivity. Prime Video would be a possible candidate to do so, as its X-Ray feature could easily be adapted to appear during certain key points in a video stream.
Such innovative steps are a good sign for Peacock. It may not have the robust subscription numbers of giants like Netflix, but the platform is experimenting with ways to stand out in an increasingly crowded streaming market.
Peacock is a subscription video streaming service from NBCUniversal that includes original shows, blockbuster movies, and classic television series. Peacock is home to “Yellowstone,” and “The Office,” as well as original hits like “Poker Face” and “Bel-Air.” You can also watch live sports including Sunday Night Football, Premier League, and exclusive MLB games. Peacock is also the exclusive home to many WWE events like WrestleMania. Premium Plus subscribers can stream their local NBC feed in all 210 markets.
Peacock includes news, entertainment, sports, late-night, and reality from various NBCU properties including NBC, Bravo, and E!.
Peacock also includes the entire library of Bravo shows and has exclusives like “Below Deck: Down Under.” They also include live and on-demand access to Hallmark channels.
The company has acquired the rights to many classic shows like “Parks and Recreation,” and the entire Dick Wolf library including “Law & Order” and “Chicago Fire.”
The service also features blockbusters and critically-acclaimed films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and content acquired from Hollywood’s biggest studios.