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Report: NBCUniversal Has Big Plans for Peacock Relaunch According to Leaked Info

Steve Anderson

NBCUniversal is planning a relaunch of its Peacock streaming service early in 2022. That’s the word from a leaked strategy deck that Business Insider picked up.

The goal, according to the leaked info, is to set up Peacock as a “top 4 must-have SVOD (streaming video on demand)” platform. How does it reach such heights currently occupied by incumbent operations like Netflix and Hulu? Simple; through “mass premium customer acquisition.”

This is sort of like saying that your plan to be a billionaire is to “find a billion dollars.” However, Peacock’s plan to acquire those premium customers en masse seems to be a bit more tangible, thanks to some input from users and advertisers.

The biggest change is that starting in 2022, Peacock will be the exclusive home to all Universal movies after they leave theaters.

One of the major plans revealed in the deck is the plan to revamp Peacock’s interface. One of the biggest complaints about Peacock came from its airing of the Tokyo Olympics. Users found the interface “confusing,” and also lacking overall. Most streaming viewers were only allowed to see highlights from events rather than whole events. With another Olympics coming in 2022 — this time in Beijing for the Winter Olympics — Peacock has plans to make things run a lot more smoothly for viewers.

This is good news, as International Olympic Committee officials have already announced that viewing the Olympics live in-person will be limited to Chinese citizens alone. Anyone else wanting to watch will have to do so from a streaming or televised platform.

Meanwhile, for those not in to see the Olympics, NBC has plans there as well. The company plans to appeal directly to viewers with its upcoming marketing, focused around the phrase “For All Fankind.” According to Insider, NBC is already seeking marketing agencies to build advertising around this theme, complete with a laundry list of issues to focus on and to avoid.

Peacock certainly has some assets to appeal to the fan, but it’s generally around sports. Whether its WWE Network, Premier League, Notre Dame Football, or Sunday Night Football. They also recently reached with Steph Curry to bring several new pieces of content to Peacock and their cable channels.

If it seems odd that Peacock would have a relaunch when its actual launch was maybe a year ago, it’s not so odd.

Remember, Peacock tried its initial launch in time for the original 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games — right in the middle of the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic; when it wasn’t even clear if the Olympics would take place to begin with. Such conditions do not bode well for a business launch. Certainly, it was a good time to be a streaming platform. All of those people sitting home with little better to do than stream video made for excellent circumstances.

Peacock may have had a few too many growing pains for its own good. Clunky interfaces, slow content adoption, and an Olympics experience that was hardly world-class, all hurt the platform.

While its ambitions certainly don’t want for ambition, getting Peacock into the top four is going to be a challenge. We know that streaming viewers demand low prices and a wide variety of content. We also know that NBCUniversal / Comcast’s ability to get content to Peacock is complicated by its earlier agreements with Hulu. Still, Peacock is clearly planning to shoot for the moon here, and even if it doesn’t get quite that far, it could still wind up among the stars.

Peacock

Peacock is a subscription video streaming service from NBCUniversal that gives access to up to 15,000 hours of content including original shows, blockbuster movies, and classic television series.

It will include news, entertainment, sports, late-night, and reality from various NBCU properties including NBC, Bravo, and E!.

Just like other streaming services, Peacock will have their own original series including reboots of Save By The Bell, Punky Brewster, and Battlestar Galactica. They also have shows like Rutherford Falls (Ed Helms), Dr. Death (Alec Baldwin), and a behind-the-scenes docs-series about Saturday Night Live.

The company has acquired the rights to many classic shows like the entire Dick Wolf library including Law & Order and Chicago Fire, Parks and Recreation, and The Office.

The service will also feature blockbusters and critically-acclaimed films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and content acquired from Hollywood’s biggest studios.

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