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Peacock Eliminates Free Tier for New Users

The news follows the streamer's loss of $2.5 billion over the course of 2022, and the expectation for a $3 billion loss this year.

A woman with red-blonde hair and her hands tucked in the pockets of a reddish brown leather jacket, standing in front of a red fence by night; still of Natasha Lyonne in "Poker Face"

Natasha Lyonne in “Poker Face”


Hope you got to try free Peacock — while it lasted.

The NBCUniversal streaming series has dumped the option for newcomers to sign up for its free tier. As of Monday, Peacock instead will now only offer its $4.99/month “Premium” plan (with ads and without the ability to download select content) and its $9.99/month “Plus” tier, which comes commercial-free and also includes local the NBC channel.

Existing sign-ups at Freecock can carry on as-is, an NBCU spokesperson told IndieWire, and those paying subscribers who might otherwise churn out of the ecosystem will be given the option to stay via the free tier. There are currently no plans “as of right now” to completely delete the free option, the person said.

This decision is what our NBCUniversal spokesperson says is “part of Peacock’s growth strategy,” and that the paid offerings are “more reflective of the brand and the unique experience we can bring subscribers.” The new focus on the Premium and Plus tiers will allow Peacock to “remain competitive in the marketplace,” the spokesperson continued.

The move to cut the free tier comes after years of struggle. Peacock has largely failed to make a significant impact in the crowded streaming marketplace and has faced heavy financial losses as a result. In Q4 2022, the streamer crossed 20 million subscribers; it also lost $2.5 billion last year. (Nearly $1 of that came in the fourth quarter alone.) Comcast expects that loss to increase to a whopping $3 billion in 2023.

Peacock is the home to originals (like “Poker Face,” “Bel-Air,” and “Dr. Death”), live sports (including WWE programming), Pay 1 movies from Universal Pictures (like “Tár” and “Puss in Boots”), and library titles (“The Office” and “Yellowstone”), as well as next-day NBC and Bravo shows. The free option offered the ability to watch some basic content with ads, but it notably walled-off the majority of its original content and significant titles from the archive (like “The Office,” which remains one of its biggest selling points) in its paid categories.

The streamer’s content will reach 100,000 hours this year, we’re told.

News of Peacock’s elimination of its free tier was first reported by The Streamable.

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