Peacock Removes Free Tier

NBCUniversal continues to add original content to Peacock, like Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin and Rian Johnson's Poker Face, and that's not cheap. As it continues to expand, NBCU is no longer offering a free tier of Peacock to new subscribers. When Peacock launched in 2020, it was one of the few services to offer a limited free-with-ads service.

The free tier level has not been available to new subscribers since Jan. 30, reports Variety. New subscribers either have to sign up for the $4.99-per-month Premium plan or the $9.99-per-month Premium Plus plan. The Premium plan includes commercials while Premium Plus does not. Subscribers who already signed up for the free plan can continue to use it, but it includes far fewer shows and movies than the Premium plan.

An NBCU spokesperson told The Streamable that the removal of a free Peacock tier reflects the company's new strategy to focus on the paid levels. Peacock Premium offers a better look at the user experience Peacock offers. The Premium Tier will include over 100,000 hours of content, from new scripted shows to live sports events. Peacock Premium also includes access to library content like The Office, That '70s Show, and Yellowstone. NBCU is also in the process of ending complimentary Peacock subscriptions for eligible Comcast Cable and Cox subscribers.

Peacock has struggled to stand out among the other major streamers. NBCU parent Comcast reported the service had 20 million paid subscribers by the end of 2022, more than double the 9 million subscribers it had the year before. Peacock posted an adjusted loss of $2.5 billion in 2022, and Comcast expects that to grow to a $3 billion loss in 2023.

Peacock's originals include Poker Face, Bel-Air, and Dr. Death. NBCU has also published Universal Pictures movies on the streamer just weeks after their theatrical releases, including Tar, M3gan, and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. The FIFA Women's World Cup and Big 10 football games will also be streaming on Peacock. NBC and Bravo shows are also available on Peacock the day after they air on linear TV.

Although many of Peacock's originals have been critical hits, many of them have struggled to find an audience. One is Girls5Eva, a musical comedy created by Meredith Scardino that counted Tina Fey as an executive producer. It was canceled after two seasons, but Netflix surprisingly revived it in October 2022. The first two seasons will be shared by Netflix and Peacock, while the third will be exclusive to Peacock's rival. Netflix previously worked with Fey on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.