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Android absence and technical errors mar Peacock launch

NBCUniversal’s Peacock streamer suffered online ignominy on launch day as the app seemingly was missing from Google’s Play Store on both mobile and TV Android devices.

The platform, which combines free and premium subscription models, launched in the US on July 15 with over 13,000 hours of programming including iconic sitcoms The Office, Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock.

Ahead of the launch, NBCUniversal signed a distribution deal with Google that would give a complimentary three month trial of the US$4.99 Premium tier to people who signed up to Peacock via their Android devices.

However, a large number of users were unable to redeem this offer at launch due to a technical hiccup which meant that the app did not appear in searches on the Google Play Store.

Compounding the urgency of the issue for many users was the promise that matches from the English Premier League would be available for free on launch day.

Google clarified that, due to an unforeseen technical glitch, the app was available on the store but just that there was an issue with the search functionality. Peacock’s social media teams made this apparent by tweeting a direct link to the app’s page on the Google Play Store.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the tech giant said: “The Peacock TV app was published to the Google Play Store last night and is available for download. We’re currently working to ensure users are also able to search for the app on the store. Everything is up to date now and Peacock will appear in search results on Google Play.”

In comments made to tech site CNET, a Peacock representative said: “We do not have control over when platforms release and surface the app to their users, but the app is now live. We have a large marketing and promotional plan with Google, which you will see across Google platforms starting today.”

While the Android launch situation was a minor setback, many prospective users still bemoaned that the app was absent from Amazon Fire and Roku devices at launch. (This is also a situation in which WarnerMedia’s HBO Max finds itself, with no deals done yet more than a month after the service’s launch.)

A tweet from Peacock’s tech support account indicated that the Roku absence is not by design from NBCU, encouraging users to reach out to the streaming stick maker: “Peacock is free to you and free to all platforms, so why should anyone have to miss out? Squawk to Roku and in the meantime check out all the other platforms where we are free: https://bit.ly/peacockdevices #FreeTheBird