Entertainment Streaming

What Is Peacock and Why Does It Exist?

Best part of this service is that it's pretty much free.

Why hello there again? Welcome back to yet another commentary review article on yet another streaming services. When you think about it, 2020 is “Year of the streaming services” as we have gotten Quibi, HBO Max, and now Peacock, all within the year. With places still shut down due to the pandemic/COVID, we have plenty of options to help keep us entertained. I still largely watch mostly Netflix or Disney+ but I will say that Peacock kind of surprised me. Peacock, is the latest streaming service from NBCUniversal and unlike the other competitors out there, this service has a free plan. Of course there is a plan that you have to pay for if you want more content with additional plans ranging from $4.99 and Premium Plus for an additional $5.00 a month. Yeah, I still don’t understand how it all works but I will say there’s mostly free content available. Reminds me of the early days of Hulu, that used to have free episodes the day after they aired with commercial breaks in between. Those days were so much simpler. Another thing to add, I get that the Peacock is their mascot but the name of Peacock just sounds weird. It’s becoming more normal to me but it’s a bizarre name choice.

A majority of Peacock’s marketing has been that it’s “Free as a bird” and that statement is true because it is indeed free………..but there’s a catch. There are two paid plans above the free option that are referred to as tiers. Peacock Premium costs $4.99 a month and gives you access to more content including the Peacock originals, live sports, and more stuff that might not be available on the free version. There is a 7 day free trial for this one. The other plan, because of course there is, costs $9.99 and includes everything from the Premium version but with no ads. However, that is kind of a lie because due to the licensing agreements a small portion of their content might still have a few ads. I don’t really know who would actually pay for the “premium option” because the free version already as a bunch of content. Unless you want to watch Shrek, then you have to pay for the premium but like who would pay a subscription free just to watch Shrek? That movie is like 20 years old, why didn’t they have a newer, more recent film included in the premium option? Seems dumb but either way, I say that the free option is pretty great, there’s a bunch of content to choose from. I’ve mostly been watching the original Unsolved Mysteries and some Alfred Hitchcock movies.

Moving onto the overall content which mostly includes stuff within the NBC/Universal library. Overall there’s a wide range of stuff to choose from and I was impressed with what they had to offer. Similar to Apple TV+, they have their own original content and allow you to watch a few episodes for free. If you want to watch the whole season then you have to upgrade to “Premium” but none of their original content looks interesting to me. Their content at launch included Brave New World, revived Curious George series, Where’s Waldo?, and a feature length film, Psych 2: Lassie Come Home. Not a whole bunch but I will add that the Curious George, Where’s Waldo, and Psych 2 all were available for free to watch so there’s that going for it. Pre-existing content includes Parks & Recreation, Jurassic Park trilogy, The Matrix films, 30 Rock, Alfred Hitchock library, and several others. Not a bad start and considering it’s free, there’s not much to complain about. There are certain types of content that are only available on Premium Tier but there’s still plenty to watch for free.

Overall, I think Peacock is a pretty good streaming service and that might come as a shock considering the title of this article however I won’t deny that I do like the service as a whole. I would not pay for it but I will gladly use the free option as long as it’s available. There are commercials but like I said, there’s not many you have to sit through with maybe 1-3 ads at the max. Comparing this launch to the launches of Disney Plus and HBO Max, I would probably put it between the two in terms of performance. The advantage this has over Disney+ is the fact that there’s a wide variety of content for kids and adults. The marketing was more chill and relaxed as if NBC/Universal wasn’t expecting monster numbers and given there’s a free version, I expect them to do fairly decent. That assumption is a shock to myself as a few months ago, I thought this service was going to tank. However, to my surprise I actually think the service might do well provided they keep the free option available. Do I still prefer Netflix over this? Yes but I still will take free content if it’s there. One huge problem though is that this is not available on Roku or Amazon Fire. HBO Max still has yet to make a deal with either company and it’s getting ridiculous at this point. With those two streaming devices taking up such a large portion in the market, it would be smart if NBC/Universal just cut the crap and made a deal for their sake.

What do you think of Peacock? Have you subscribed yet?

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