Peacock kills its free tier option for new customers
Peacock is no longer offering its free tier to new customers, a spokesperson for NBCUniversal confirmed to TechCrunch on Tuesday. The company says it's shifting its focus to its Premium offering and that doing so will allow the streaming service to remain competitive in the marketplace. The change was first reported by The Streamable.
The free tier is still available to users who are already on the plan, the spokesperson said in an email. In addition, users who cancel their paid subscriptions will automatically be downgraded to the free tier. Peacock has offered the free tier since its launch in 2020, giving users restricted access to the streaming service's content catalogue. The tier included a limited amount of content when compared to the paid tiers.
New customers will now have to choose between Peacock's Premium or Premium Plus tiers. The ad-supported Premium tier costs $4.99 per month and includes the full content library, live sports and NBC and Bravo shows after they air on TV. The Premium Plus tier costs $9.99 per month and offers an ad-free experience, offline viewing support and a livestream of your local NBC channel.
Peacock launched around the same time as Disney+, HBO Max and Apple TV+ but was the only one to offer a free tier. Now the company's focus is shifting. The spokesperson told TechCrunch that Peacock is now focusing on its Premium offering, noting that the paid subscription is more reflective of its brand.
The move comes as Peacock recently reported its best quarterly result since its launch. The streaming service added 5 million paying subscribers in its fourth quarter of 2022, bringing the total to 20 million, up from the over 15 million subs in the previous quarter. The boost in paid subscribers was primarily due to the FIFA World Cup, which streamed in Spanish on Peacock Premium and Telemundo.