Exclusive: Peacock Drops Free Tier for New Sign-Ups, Will Only Offer Paid Plans to New Customers
Peacock will no longer offer their free tier for new subscribers, The Streamable has confirmed. Instead, new users who attempt to sign up for NBCUniversal’s streaming service will now only be given the option to subscribe to its two premium tiers — Peacock Premium and Peacock Premium Plus. Existing users will continue to have access to the free tier of Peacock, where a substantial library of film and TV will still remain.
According to an NBCU source, who confirmed the change, said this decision was the result of a shift in focus to the Premium offering, which the company feels is more reflective of the unique offering available to subscribers. The Premium Tier is expected to grow to 100,000 hours of content in 2023, with “Poker Face,” live sports like the Women’s World Cup, Big Ten Football, and Premier League, and a library of shows including “The Office” and “Yellowstone.”
Before the change, new customers who navigated to the sign-up page would see three options to choose from: an ad-supported premium tier, an ad-free premium tier, and the free streaming plan which offered select episodes of Peacock originals, certain movies, and even some complete seasons of shows.
Now, new users who attempt to sign up for an account no longer see the free tier as an option. They are only given the choice of subscribing to Peacock Premium ($4.99 per month) or Premium Plus ($9.99 per month). This is the case for users who try to join Peacock either via mobile phone or desktop.
The free tier of Peacock is still available to current subscribers who cancel or users who were formerly getting a Premium tier of the service for free, such as Cox internet customers who have recently lost their complimentary access.
Currently, new users are being offered a special deal in place of a free option: a full year of Peacock Premium’s ad-supported tier for $29.99 — normally $49.99 — a savings of over 40%.
This is an interesting strategy for Peacock to pursue. When the service initially launched, it was marketed around the idea of being one of the few premium streaming services that offered a tiered approach that included a free option. It now appears that NBCU is essentially making its free tier a last-resort measure to keep customers who balk at paying for the service engaged and existing subscribers from churning away from the service altogether.
Perhaps Peacock is striking while the iron is hot. After all, the company was able to more than double its paid subscriber total in 2022, rising from 9 million to 20 million customers. It’s hard to blame the service for attempting to double down, especially as NBCU is hoping to reach peak losses with Peacock this year before beginning the climb to profitability in 2024.
Still, there’s no denying the move to discontinue offering the free tier of Peacock to new users is a bit of a gamble. NBCU is still monetizing users on Peacock free with advertising revenue, but that form of its ad-supported business is apparently becoming less of a focus for the company. NBCU has routinely spoken openly about its plan to eventually remove the complimentary access that Comcast cable and internet customers get to Peacock’s ad-supported subscription tier. While that is a higher-level plan than the base, free option, it does stand in contrast to many of the streamer’s competitors who are making moves to expand their free offerings, either on their service or via third party streamers.
Even without the free tier, Peacock is one of the best streaming values on the market. Only Paramount+ offers ad-supported streaming as cheaply as Peacock does, and the $4.99 per month Premium tier offers the full Peacock on-demand library as well as live sports like NFL football. Premium Plus ditches those ads, and includes a 24/7 livestream of local NBC stations in 210 markets across the United States.
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.