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Peacock Is No Longer Offering a Free Subscription Tier

NBCUniversal's streaming service is "free as a bird" no more.
  • Natasha Lyonne in Poker Face (Photo: Karolina Wojtasik/Peacock)
    Natasha Lyonne in Poker Face (Photo: Karolina Wojtasik/Peacock)

    Peacock is getting out of the free streaming game. A sign-up page on Peacock's website reveals new customers are no longer able to create a free account, once a key component of the service's branding.

    As The Hollywood Reporter notes, NBCUniversal launched Peacock in 2020 with the promise that it was "free as a bird," though the service's free offerings were relatively limited compared to those available on its paid tiers.

    New Peacock customers can now sign up for one of two paid subscriptions. The Premium tier, priced at $4.99/month, includes Peacock Originals, live sports and events, current NBC and Bravo shows, and a vast library of films and TV shows. Peacock's ad-free Premium Plus tier ($9.99/month) includes Premium offerings as well as download options and live access to your local NBC channel.

    Peacock's decision to end its free tier comes just a few days after NBCUniversal executives announced the service has crossed the 20-million subscriber mark. But despite growing its revenue and subscriber base in Q4 2022, executives predict the service will lose $3 billion in 2023.

    The move also marks the beginning of a new era for Peacock. Save for Bel-Air, which returns for its second season this month, few of the platform's first-wave originals broke through the crowded landscape — and one critically-acclaimed series, Girls5Eva, is even making the move to Netflix after getting minimal support from NBCU in its first two seasons. But for all its previous missteps, Peacock is off to a running start in 2023: The Traitors, a celebrity competition show hosted by Alan Cumming, proved to be a surprise hit, and Poker Face, Rian Johnson and Natasha Lyonne's murder comedy, has earned Peacock its first taste of pop culture relevance. For the first time, it seems like Peacock is ready to play in the big-leagues, and if that means axing its free tier, so be it.

    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: Peacock, Poker Face, Streaming TV