Peacock went live this week. Haven’t heard of NBC’s new streaming service? Neither has most of the world. It’s partly due to the coronavirus, mostly due to the fact that it’s just one of the countless new streaming services out there. It doesn’t stand out from the pack. Not yet anyway.
A Rough Start
On Wednesday, Peacock officially launched for Comcast subscribers. Despite disruptions inflicted by the coronavirus, the chairman of Peacock, Matt Strauss, claims they’re still on track to reach their goal. They’re thinking about the long game. Not until 2024 does Strauss and NBC execs expect Peacock to break even. Four years from now, they’re expecting 30 to 35 million subscribers. Considering they’ll take back the streaming rights for The Office — which is their eternal golden goose — maybe they’ll reach those numbers.
An Underwhelming Launch
Nobody is really talking about Peacock at the moment. It’s just not on the forefront of people’s minds given what’s happening in the world. It’s both a terrible time and a good time to launch a streaming platform, as streaming services have seen their viewership numbers skyrocket over the last month. Comcast claims households are averaging two hours more than usual of streaming in a day. Still, Peacock remains optimistic. They expected a slow, troubled start given the crowded marketplace and the state of the world. Their launch has taken serious hits, though.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics
One of those major hits is the delay of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Peacock was going to host hours upon hours of coverage of the games. It would’ve been the perfect outlet for it. Now, with the games delayed until next year, there are too few reasons to sign up for Peacock today.
In addition to the Olympic games, NBC’s streaming service had to halt production on the shows they’re working on, so right now, they don’t have much enticing original content to offer. They’ve still yet to do a nationwide rollout as well, which is scheduled for July 15th. Some insiders wonder if Peacock’ will go with its nationwide launch sooner than later now.
From the sound of it, the financial and creative hits Peacock is taking isn’t altering their grand plans for the future. According to Strauss, they’re sticking to their two-phase launch, although they’re now considering releasing Peacock before July:
“We always planned to launch Peacock in two phases. July 15 is still the target date. If anything, we feel even more strongly that we need to bring this service to market and we feel that this will add a lot of value to people looking for additional options.”
Which sounds a bit silly considering there’s already countless options. Right now, Peacock has 15,000 hours of content to view, but very little to entice consumers to add another streaming service to their monthly bill.
Unlike HBO Max, which will have a Friends reunion, Peacock doesn’t have much new and exciting original content scheduled for its early beginnings. The new streaming service has TV shows with Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling and Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot) in the works, but nothing big to unveil in the coming months. It’s a very unexciting platform as of this moment, despite all the promising projects they got cooking.
Peacock isn’t worth the price, either, It costs around the same as Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, except without nearly as much original content. The basic package costs $5, while the ad-free Peacock Premier costs consumers $10 a month. Some cable providers, such as Cox, will offer it to their customers for free. Besides some late-night shows and old NBC classics, there’s just not enough incentive or general interest right now in Peacock. Besides a bad name, it’s gotta do more to stand out, like, make that MacGruber show we want now.