Peacock Drops Free Subscription Tier as NBCUniversal Shifts Focus to Premium, Original Content

The streaming platform will still offer free options for existing costumers

Natasha Lyonne in "Poker Face"
Natasha Lyonne in "Poker Face" (Peacock)

Peacock has dropped its free subscription tier for new users, TheWrap has learned. The NBCUniversal platform’s move comes in a bid to remain competitive in the ever-changing streaming landscape and does not apply to current consumers, who will still be able to utilize the unpaid option.

As part of Peacock’s growth strategy, the streamer is shifting its focus to its $5 Premium offering, which has perks like a larger breadth of content. According to a spokesperson, the move is more reflective of the brand and its customer base. The platform also offers Premium Plus, which is $10 and offers additional features like offline downloading.

With more streamers being pressed to exhibit revenue gains rather than growth at all costs, the move is in line with a focus on increased ARPU, or average revenue per user. Peacock expects to continue increasing its scale, however, ultimately predicting a reach of 100,000 hours of content, which includes more live sports (like the Women’s World Cup and Big 10 football), new originals (like Rian Johnson’s critically acclaimed “Poker Face,” the upcoming sci-fi drama “Mrs. Davis” from Damon Lindelof, “Bel Air” Season 2 and more), Universal Pictures films (like “Tár,” “Megan” and “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”), library titles (like “The Office,” “That ’70s Show” and “Yellowstone”), breaking news and NBC and Bravo next-day programming.

Like the smaller streaming services, Peacock has tried to refocus its brand identity amid a challenging economic landscape and saturated market. In a shocking move last October, Netflix acquired one of its best-known originals, “Girls5Eva,” which it renewed for a third season. Both platforms now share co-exclusive global streaming rights to the first two seasons, while the junior installment will stream solely on Netflix.

TheStreamable first reported the news.