NBCUniversal’s Peacock Looks Beyond On-Demand TV To ‘Broadcast 2.0’

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NBC is launching the free, ad-supported service that offers on-demand programming as well as TV-like, always-on channels

According to NBC News, NBCUniversal “launched its new streaming service Peacock on Wednesday, the last of the major media companies to enter the so-called ‘streaming wars.’ It also provides viewers with something familiar and somewhat counterintuitive: a broadcast television experience, but offered directly to consumers.”

“At a time when Disney, AT&T’s WarnerMedia and others have launched subscription-based on-demand services to compete or at least catch up with Netflix, NBC is launching the free, ad-supported service that offers on-demand programming as well as TV-like, always-on channels built around everything from news and sports to late-night and reality TV,” the report stated.

According to NBC News, several media and entertainment executives said that NBC’s Peacock service is not so much about imitating Netflix, “but about positioning the company’s existing, ad-supported business for a future in which traditional television may not exist.”

“Peacock is the manifestation of the future of NBC in some respects, because it takes a page from the broadcast model," Matt Strauss, the chairman of Peacock and NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises, said in an interview. "It’s like broadcast 2.0.”

“Peacock, which has been available since April to roughly 15 million Comcast subscribers, launched nationally Wednesday at three tiers,” NBC News reported. In addition to lots of classic shows, newer shows, movies and a handful of new originals, “Peacock features live news, sports, late-night shows and other programs. And, in an analog move, it offers more than 20 channels built around certain shows, themes and genres.”

“We made a calculated decision to launch a service that isn't just on demand," Strauss said. "We also knew that streaming in many ways lacked certain elements that made TV enjoyable...Sometimes, you just want to watch TV.”

Peacock’s “great challenge will be to gain traction in a heavily crowded marketplace where consumers already have a litany of streaming services to choose from, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, the Disney+ suite (Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu) and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max,” the report continued. “Peacock’s advantage is that it's free, which may be particularly attractive to consumers in an economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.”

Strauss said the goal “is to get ‘30 to 35 million monthly active accounts...within three to four years’ but it could prove more challenging to get those subscribers to abandon familiar viewing habits for yet another streaming device,” NBC News wrote.

Read the full report here.

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