In an economy where it is becoming increasingly difficult to market anything apart from sanitizers and masks, NBC has taken the bold, fearless decision to launch its very own streaming service Peacock. What does the future look like for Peacock? Read on to know more.
Competition in the digital video market has gotten stiff, with new streaming platforms racing to take on Netflix. But the folks at NBC believe they are at a vantage point as their new streaming service is FREE.
- What is Peacock’s game plan?
- ‘Downton Abbey’ to bring its fans to Peacock’s table
- ‘The Office’ set to give the winning push to Peacock
Yes, you heard that right. With roughly 13,000 hours of video content, the basic version of Peacock is free to anyone with an internet connection. They believe the audience would be willing to trade a few minutes of advertising for a service that’s essentially free, but no less than a paid platform.
Peacock chairman Matt Strauss said,
“We believe that we’ve identified this white space in the market, which is a premium, ad-supported streaming service”.
What is Peacock’s game plan?
Peacock has a considerable portion of NBCUniversal’s archive up its sleeve, including critically acclaimed dramas like Friday Night Lights and Downton Abbey, popular comedies like 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation and Cheers, and super-hit film franchises like The Matrix, Jurassic Park, and The Bourne Identity.
Peacock also has an enticing array of originals to attract viewers to its premium subscription. Additionally, with Capital One, L’Oreal, Molson Coors, Subaru, Verizon, Apartments.com, State Farm, Target, and Unilever as its service’s launch sponsors, Peacock has promised that the ads will be limited to five minutes per hour, which is less than linear cable by about a third.
Downton Abbey to bring its fans to Peacock’s table
Created by Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey stars Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Maggie Smith, Rob James-Collier, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt, Allen Leech, Lesley Nicol, Phyllis Logan, Kevin Doyle, Dan Stevens, Penelope Wilton, Sophie McShera, Matthew Goode, Lily James and Jessica Brown Findlay.
Amazon Prime Video will lose the streaming rights of its hit historical drama Downton Abbey to NBCUniversal’s new subscription service Peacock. This doesn’t come much as a surprise to the viewers. The reason being, in 2008, NBCUniversal had purchased Carnival Films, the UK-based production company behind Downton Abbey, which was only at a developing phase at the time.
So, ever since the premiere of the show in 2010, NBC has actually been benefiting from its success. In fact, in 2012 Carnival’s managing director, Gareth Neame, also thanked the NBC acquisition of the studio for “really opening a lot of doors”.
Julian Fellowes’ 20th century drama series depicting the lives of the aristocratic residents and their servants residing in a sprawling British estate has mesmerized fans for 10 years. The series has been commercially and critically acclaimed. In 2011, Downton Abbey was recognized by the Guinness World Records as the “most critically acclaimed English-language TV series”.
It also earned the most nominations in the history of Primetime Emmy Awards. Thus, it is bound to prove beneficial for Peacock in the months to come.
The Office set to give the winning push to Peacock
An American mockumentary sitcom created by Greg Daniels, The Office stars Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B. J. Novak, Melora Hardin, David Denman, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Angela Kinsey, Oscar Nunez, Phyllis Smith, Ed Helms, Mindy Kaling, Paul Lieberstein, Creed Bratton, Craig Robinson, Ellie Kemper, Zach Woods, Amy Ryan, James Spader, Catherine Tate, Clark Duke and Jake Lacy.
Netflix boasts of The Office being one of its most streamed shows. But, in June 2019, Netflix confirmed all nine seasons of the popular comedy series will be leaving the streaming service starting January 2021. The comedy series will thereafter be exclusively in Peacock’s kitty at the cost of a whopping $500 million. According to “The Hollywood Reporter”, NBCUniversal received exclusive domestic streaming rights to The Office until 2026. To top it all, Peacock introduced a channel called Office Shorts that includes clips from the show.
Netflix expressed on Twitter, “We’re sad that NBC has decided to take The Office back for its own streaming platform. But members can binge watch the show to their hearts’ content ad-free on Netflix until January 2021.”
With The Office coming to Peacock in 2021, fans were curious about one thing — Can we expect a reboot of The Office? To answer that, in September 2019, NBCU’s then-chairman of direct-to-consumer and digital enterprises, Bonnie Hammer had said, “It is my hope and goal that we do an Office reboot”. Not divulging further details, Hammer had told “Deadline” that he would be able to take this forward after the show arrives on the streaming platform in January 2021.
Peacock’s strategy is a little different from its competitors. Instead of spending billions of dollars on just high-end shows for their 15 April launch, they chose to emphasize equally on their archives of older shows. It’s like NBC is offering their older, yet popular content to anyone who signs up for free.
This formula of relaying old movies and shows worked wonders for Netflix in its earlier days and that is exactly what NBCUniversal is hoping to replicate. Hence, shows like Downton Abbey and The Office, that have already proven successful among the audience, can be a saving grace in Peacock’s future.