The Best Streams In Life are Free…Peacock Free.

Coming late to the streaming party is a hard task for anyone, even a media behemoth like NBC. But they knew they had to do something to compete. So, what did they do? They created Peacock and made it FREE! Who doesn’t want great TV free? There is just one little catch – the free subscription comes with ads. Womp, womp, womp. 

We wanted to see for ourselves how the Peacock user experience stacks up to the competition, so we signed up and watched a few shows. Or maybe more than a few. We possibly binged all of “30 Rock,” but it was all in the name of research! Anyway, here’s what we found. 

Peacock and Peck?

We don’t know what the “Netflix and Chill” equivalent will be. But we do want to know if viewing Peacock with ads would be worth it. Peacock offers 3 different plans. First, there is the most basic Peacock plan, which is free, and only allows access to certain shows and movies that all contain ads. Then they offer two different premium services; Peacock Premium which is $4.99 a month and unlocks all of Peacock’s content but still contains ads, and Peacock Premium Plus, which is $9.99 a month and includes everything in Peacock Premium but without the ads. This means there are two different tier options that include ads, but Peacock promises you will only be served 5 minutes or less of ads per hour of TV viewing. 

Inconvenience VS Saving Money

When we watched our “quick” marathon of “30 Rock,” we encountered only two 60-second commercial breaks per episode. In some instances, the ads were at the beginning, so the show was uninterrupted. When comparing this experience to Hulu’s basic plan of $5.99 a month, it was a very similar experience, but with Peacock you’re saving money. All in all, it seems that 5 minutes of inconvenience is a small price to pay for a free streaming service. (Although, as an ad agency, we do advocate for ads!)

Modern Day Cable

Being free and offering popular content isn’t the only thing Peacock has to offer. NBC is offering a feature other streaming services don’t – an exclusive virtual channel. It’s available for all three subscription tiers. With virtual channels, a modern take on old-school cable, you can tune-in to watch whatever is showing at the moment. The channels include news, sports, late-night talk shows and channels dedicated to popular TV shows like “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.” These channels remind us of personally curated playlists you find on Spotify or the “recommended for you” page on Netflix. But instead of scrolling through Netflix for half an hour, it’s already playing for you when you log on. 

Content is King

And if all else fails, just remember that “The Office” comes to Peacock exclusively starting January 2021. “The Office” is one of the most popular shows on Netflix, and once it leaves to come to Peacock, its viewers will likely follow. “Harry Potter” is also joining Peacock’s list of favorites leaving HBO. Exclusive content like this will help Peacock compete in the streaming world, even if they arrived late. Plus, NBC’s archive of classic shows like “30 Rock” and “Monk” are going to prove they have content worth watching, and more specially, 13,000 hours of content worth watching. 

In addition to NBC’s prized archive of shows, they also have original shows in the works. Some titles include: “Brave New World,” “Cleopatra in Space,” “Lost Speedways” and “In Deep with Ryan Lochte.” Oh, and speaking of Ryan Lochte, Peacock has a section called “Road to Tokyo,” dedicated to all things 2021 Olympics. Unfortunately, the launch of Peacock was supposed to happen alongside the 2020 Summer Olympics, but because of the pandemic, the Olympics were pushed back just like the production of Peacock’s originals. But, on the brightside, it’s at least something viewers will be able to look forward to, and another perk they offer over other streaming services. (And it’s free!)

Like any great brand, NBC is leveraging its unique assets to compete by luring viewers from other platforms with free subscriptions…but how long will they remain free?