Comcast’s Peacock scraps free tier for new subscribers

Comcast-owned streaming platform Peacock has scrapped its free entry tier for new subscribers. The story, first reported in The Streamable, comes just a week after Comcast reported a $2.5 billion annual loss for Peacock during 2022.

Peacock, which launched in 2020, was a primer mover in the shift towards lower-cost ad-funded streaming tiers, which has now been embraced by the likes of Netflix and Disney+. However with losses expected to peak at $3bn in 2023, running a free tier looks like money left on the table. The new players in the ad-funded streaming market tend to have hybrid models, charging a monthly fee while also running ads.

Going forward, would-be Peacock subscribers have choice of two tiers: Premium, with ads, at $4.99; and Premium Plus, no ads, at $9.99. This brings the platforms more or less into line with the charging structure at the other major platforms. Existing subscribers are not affected by the change and will continue to get free access.

In addition to the opportunity to improve monetisation around the nascent platform, there is an argument that the new price-points are more reflective of the premium positioning that Peacock aspires to. Since the launch the service has grown to offer around 100,000 hours of content across all major genres including live sport.

At time of writing, Peacock is reporting around 20 million subscribers.

Tags: Comcast, Peacock

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