Peacock is NBC’s new streaming service, and the latest platform to join this decade’s streaming wars. It joins a roster of streaming services like Disney+, Amazon Prime, and Netflix, and it promises to bring something new to the table.
With all these services available to you, you may start to wonder what makes it worth getting, or if it is even worth subscribing to at all. This article goes through the basics of Peacock and helps you determine if it has enough to make you part with your hard-earned cash.
What is NBC?
NBC, also known as the National Broadcasting Company, is a broadcast network owned by NBC Universal. It has been a media staple in the United States since the 1920s, and this media conglomerate has brought audiences around the world iconic shows like The Office, Parks and Recreation, and F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
However, NBC is not only an entertainment platform. It is also the home of NBC News, which was the first regularly scheduled news program in America. This branch of NBC has been around long enough to witness important historical events like the destruction of the Berlin Wall.
Today, NBC remains as one of the United States’ most powerful media platforms. However, NBC are reeling from the negative impact of the age of online streaming on their revenues like their peers in the industry.
In order to keep up with market trends, NBC launched Peacock this year. This is their first streaming service, bringing new and exciting features to this age of online streaming. You can watch a lot of movies and shows for free on Peacock, which is not the case for other popular streaming platforms.
Many people will recognize the Peacock as NBC’s longtime logo. In fact, Tina Fey wanted to name 30 Rock, a popular sitcom she wrote based on an NBC sketch series, as Peacock.
There is no word yet on how long NBC has been planning to launch Peacock, but they did want to time it with the 2020 Olympics. Unfortunately, NBC had to follow through Peacock’s launch despite the Olympics being delayed to next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While this streaming platform is headed by NBC, Peacock’s name signifies that it is not an NBC-exclusive platform. It will have exclusives from the media giant, but it still holds the rights to stream content from non-NBC productions too. Big examples of this would be the Shrek series, the Harry Potter series, and even the Jurassic Park films.
NBC’s Peacock enters the streaming game late; it follows the footsteps of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Hulu among others. However, it has a few tricks up its sleeve that gives it an edge compared to their competitors.
With over 20,000 hours worth of streaming content, Peacock is more than ready to play the streaming game. Later in this article we explore its differences with established streaming services Disney+ and Amazon Prime.
Because NBC is under Comcast, Peacock was made available to Comcast subscribers in April of this year. For the rest of the United States, Peacock was available for download by July 15.
The launch was a success, with over 10 million people signing up on the first day. Even though the pandemic drew a hedge between NBC and their plans, people have been streaming more than ever.
NBC plans to add to its catalog of shows and movies every month to keep up with Netflix and other streaming platforms.
Signing Up for Peacock
As of July 15, you can sign up for Peacock through their website. There are three different subscription types to choose from, but they all come with seven-day trials if you are not sure about joining Peacock yet.
Types of Membership
Peacock offers three types of membership for their customers: Peacock, Peacock Premium, and Peacock Premium Plus.
The first tier is the one changing online streaming as we know it. You can access about 7,500 hours worth of movies and shows just by signing up for Peacock. For each hour of streamed content, you get five minutes’ worth of ads. Examples of content on this tier would be old SNL episodes, The Matrix, and Top Chef Masters. This alone makes Peacock worth joining as you get high-quality movies and shows.
The next tier is Peacock premium, which is the best choice for Comcast subscribers. It has the entire library of the first subscription tier but with additional shows and movies. This tier also has the latest Dreamworks shows for kids as well as Late Night With Seth Meyers and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Through this tier, you can access your Peacock shows in high definition.
To give you a clearer idea of the differences between the first two tiers, Peacock premium has about 15,000 hours worth of streamable online content, double of the first tier’s offerings.
The last tier is Peacock Premium Plus which gives you access to all the Peacock shows and channels. Peacock Premium Plus also grants subscribers the privilege to watch on all types of devices, making your streaming more portable and convenient.
Available Platforms and Future Platforms
Streaming your favorite movies and shows can only get as good as the device you are watching them on. Signing up for a Peacock account is one thing, but watching them through your TV, your tablet, or your phones are another. The flexibility of your Peacock subscription matters.
For starters, any Comcast customers can rest easy as Peacock seems to give the most benefits to them, subscription-wise. They were the first to get a taste of NBC’s new streaming service, having access to Peacock on April 15, 2020.
By July 15, the roster of devices you can watch your favorite Peacock content from grew. As it launched across the United States, Peacock became available on all Apple devices, all Android devices, all XBox One devices, and Android, LG, and Vizio smart TVs. You can even watch it through your PlayStation 4.
You can also access Peacock through your web browsers, specifically Chrome, Firefox, and Apple’s Safari.
Best yet, as of September 21, Roku users can join in on Peacock streaming. After months of meetings, NBC and Roku were able to reach a common ground on making Peacock accessible to as many streamers as possible.
Long as this list is, this is not the complete picture. Peacock is accessible on all Chromecast devices too.
There is no word yet on Peacock’s availability on Amazon Fire TV devices. After settling on negotiations with Roku, though, people expect Peacock to come for Amazon Fire next.
What You Can Watch On Peacock: Old Shows
Everything sounds great and all, but not everyone is convinced that Peacock is worth subscribing to. What makes its content different from the movies and shows you can watch on Disney+, Netflix, and Amazon Prime?
NBC has been producing content since the 1920s, so Peacock’s library of movies and shows will always be significantly large. Since its official launch in July, there are already high-profile shows and projects under the Peacock name.
It also has the edge of housing well-known and well-loved shows on broadcast television. Examples of these would be SNL (Saturday Night Live) and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
They also have the rights to many classic TV shows, all of which have ended but may find their rebirth on Peacock. These are only some of the examples of the fantastic shows you can watch on the NBC platform.
One of the most popular NBC offerings is The Office. An adaptation of the popular British mockumentary, The Office is about Dunder Mifflin, a paper company in Scranton Pennsylvania. The show focuses on its employees’ antics and adventures, usually led by their boss Michael Scott.
This show aired in 2005 and ran for nine seasons. It stars Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson, Angela Kinsey, and other comedy legends. As a bonus, this show is where popular writers Rashida Jones, Mindy Kaling, and B.J. Novak began their way to stardom.
It is important to note, though, that The Office is not yet available on Peacock. The show is still under the Netflix catalog, and will only be available on the platform in January 2021.
A show that is already available on Peacock is 30 Rock, which is an Emmy-winning show that satirically depicts a sketch comedy filmed in 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. Spearheaded by Tina Fey, this is based on her time at Saturday Night Live (SNL), another beloved NBC show.
Fey plays Liz Lemon, the head writer of a sketch comedy show named TGS with Tracy Jordan. Throughout the series, she has to deal with eccentric and difficult-to-work-with celebrities that are not made easy by her arrogant boss, Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin).
The show is a critical success and had many celebrity guest stars throughout its run. It even had cameos from politicians such as Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi.
Parks and Recreation
Another critically acclaimed comedy show you can watch on Peacock is Parks and Recreation, starring Amy Poehler. It was supposed to be a spin-off of the Office, but show runner Michael Schur had other plans for Leslie Knope’s story.
Parks and Recreation is another ensemble show that shares the same mockumentary style as The Office. It focuses on Leslie Knope, a kind-hearted politician who wants to do right by her town. She also wants to become the first female president of the United States.
To get to her goals, she makes the most out of running the Parks and Recreation department in Pawnee, Indiana.
She is joined by Ron Swanson, April Ludgate, Tom Haverford, Andy Dwyer, and other colorful colleagues in turning Pawnee into a better place. Together, they face bureaucratic systems and small-town problems.
This show is experiencing a second life as internet memes, so you know it is worth the watch.
Frasier is another old comedy classic from NBC. It is about a Harvard psychiatrist who starts to run his own talk radio segment on the KACL radio station. At the same time, Dr. Frasier is also dealing with his recent divorce and move to Seattle, where he has to take care of his retired father.
This show is a spin-off of another famous sitcom called Cheers, where Dr. Frasier had to attend to Sam Malone’s lustful addictions. Despite TV’s bad track record when it comes to spin-offs, Frasier had reviews as good as its source material.
This show features the talents of Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce, and Peri Gilpin. You can watch the life and times of Frasier, Daphne, Niles, and Roz on Peacock now. There are quite a lot of episodes to sort through—about 11 seasons’ worth of them.
Will & Grace
Another show that explores the themes of moving on from a divorce is Will & Grace. Like Frasier, this show also has 11 seasons under its belt. However, its last three seasons were released over the course of the past three years, through a Will & Grace revival.
This show stars a gay lawyer named Will and his best friend Grace who begin living together after the latter’s divorce. They often share their misfits and musings with their friends Karen and Jack, a socialite and an actor, in New York.
Often celebrated for its bravery in depicting the trials and tribulations of gay and Jewish stereotypes, Will & Grace is TV gold for Peacock.
It, along with the shows mentioned above, will likely to gain a new set of fans through Peacock streaming.
What You Can Watch On Peacock: New and Upcoming Releases
After the successes of The Office, Parks and Recreation, and the Good Place, show runner Mike Schur became a household name in NBC television. With the amount of soul he had in each of his shows, it came to no one’s surprise that he has another one with Peacock under way.
Rutherford Falls explores the story of a man named Nathan (Ed Helms) as he discovers that his ancestor’s statue is about to be taken down. Living in a small town, he discovers what it means to connect with your past and move on to the future.
As always, Schur is not one to shy away from exploring deep, philosophical themes with his shows. Even though Rutherford Falls is a comedy, there is much meat in this story to look forward to.
Principal shoots for this show began in August of this year, already moved due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has the largest number of indigenous writers on American television.
Tina Fey’s long-running collaborations with NBC will never go unnoticed. From her stint on SNL to her award-winning show 30 Rock, people find themselves wondering what she is working on next.
Girls 5Eva is her made-for-Peacock show, which features a girl group with a one-hit wonder. As they move on with their lives, their famous song is sampled by a famous young rapper. Riding on the success of that song, the show revolves around them trying to make it in the pop industry once more.
These girls take their chances as they balance their music careers with family, kids, expenses, and life as they know it.
The Amber Ruffin Show
Amber Ruffin is a correspondent most known for work on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Now, her comedy skits, skills, and voice will take the front stage on her own show, The Amber Ruffin Show.
Watch this seasoned comedienne spearhead her own late-night talk show on Peacock.
As problems on cybersecurity grow rampant, people may resort to encrypted messaging apps or spy gadgets. This show, however, focuses on the department required to handle these issues.
Intelligence is a show starring David Schwimmer. He plays an NSA agent-turned-American liaison for the U.K.’s Government Communications Headquarters. His work ethic clashes with the current team members’, and his arrogant attitude leaves a bad taste to the mouth.
Still, they have to get work done. They become an unlikely team of individuals facing dangerous cybercrimes that have worldwide consequences.
Nick Mohammed, Gana Bayarsaikhan, Jane Stanness, and Sylvestra Le Touzel join Schwimmer in this ensemble comedy on the world’s most vicious political department.
Who Wrote That
NBC has been the home of comedy for a while now. The home of SNL, The Office, and Parks and Recreation, it is the go-to place of people for quality comedy over the course of the past century.
You may be familiar with Lorne Michaels, the man behind Saturday Night Live (SNL), if you are a fan of NBC comedy. He still runs the show (and the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) to this day, making him one of NBC’s most valued show runners.
Who Wrote That is a show featuring Lorne Michaels, who then explores the world’s favorite sketches from SNL. This is one of the many docuseries available on Peacock.
What makes this special, though, is that SNL is from NBC. They have access to the vaults and behind-the-scenes details people have never seen before. Also, what better way is there to celebrate SNL than with its beloved founder?
Other Peacock Features
Shows in Development
There are many shows in development for Peacock. You can expect films and shows of different genres coming your way as a Peacock subscriber.
For comedies, there will be a series adaptation of SNL star Will Forte’s MacGruber film, released over a decade ago. It featured Forte as a man named MacGruber, seeking revenge for the unlawful death of his wife.
Another project underworks is a revival of The Office. Though it is still unknown what kind of revival is underworks, expect a reunion with the Dunder Mifflin office on Peacock. This can also be a spin-off, similar to their plans for Parks and Recreation at the time.
As for other genres, a Rashida Jones show starring Jada Pinkett Smith is also arriving at Peacock in the future. It is a psychological drama called Straight Talk and not much is known about this yet.
These are only a few of the many shows and movies underway for Peacock subscribers. Other notable titles include a Saved By the Bell reboot, a show from Mindy Kaling, and a fantasy animated comedy based on a popular Dungeons & Dragons podcast.
News Shows & Sports
NBC began as a radio station, so it comes to no one’s surprise that Peacock has its own roster of news and sports shows available on their platform. In fact, Peacock’s launch was supposed to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics. The platform planned on covering it with commentary and athlete profiles.
As Peacock continued with their launch despite the COVID-19 pandemic, they now offer Olympic highlights and exclusives for their viewers. Joining this roster are notable titles like Dream Team 2020, The Greatest Race, and Hot Water.
Audiences can also expect premium access to golf’s Ryder Cup and Premier League programming.
Beyond sports, Peacock will also offer same-day broadcasts of news. Some of these are live, others are rebroadcasted. But the most special of the bunch is a 2020 election coverage by NBC News, Sky News, and CNBC. Peacock users can keep track of the much-awaited 2020 presidential elections.
Peacock vs Disney+ and Amazon Prime
Other than Peacock exclusive offerings, people may wonder what makes Peacock different from other platforms. Specifically, people wonder about its differences from popular streaming platforms like Disney+ and Amazon Prime.
Peacock’s free subscription service is so far unparalleled to other platforms. Just by signing up, you already have access to over 13,000 hours of free content. This is not just any roster of content, too.
On Peacock, you have access to the Jason Bourne movies, the Jurassic Park series, the Harry Potter series, and even the Matrix franchise.
They also offer the bonus of news and sports shows, which is not common on Disney+ and Amazon Prime.
This is possible because of Peacock’s ad service. By viewing an hour’s worth of content, you get five minutes of advertising. This is a special rate that makes it different from its colleagues.
Not to mention, its three tiers of subscription are new to streaming platforms. Usually, people only have one option to access content.
Peacock also introduces the concept of “channels” to subscription platforms. Disney+ and Amazon Prime thrive on a diverse offering, but Peacock brings a new dimension to this.
By using channels, Peacock can give you lineups of shows that are similar in theme. Imagine the “You Might Want To Watch” tabs on subscription platforms, but this time they are grouped together.
For example, it has a channel focused on news programs. By viewing that channel, you get your fill of all of NBC’s news shows and commentary programs.
Compared to Disney+
Disney+ has a remarkable library, and people flock to it to get their fix of Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars content. Peacock knew this, which is why they upped their advertising by 71% compared to Disney+.
The Disney+ library has The Mandalorian, Avengers Endgame, Toy Story, and even non-Disney shows like The Simpsons.
Compared to Peacock, Disney+ also has mobile downloads enabled. Peacock users have to be a certain tier to access Peacock content through their phones and tablets.
Compared to Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime is quite untouchable when it comes to online streaming. People will most likely choose to subscribe to Amazon Prime because they offer free shipping per subscription.
As for Amazon Prime’s catalog of movies, there are over 58 of the best movies that you can on Amazon Prime. It even has your favorite Marvel movies in its roster. Peacock users may miss out on these titles, which may dissuade them from continuing their subscription.
Peacock comes at such an important time of the streaming wars. People are growing tired of keeping track of different streaming platforms. On average, people will only join 3.4 of these platforms, so Peacock needed to have an edge.
However, Peacock brings different and game-changing features to online streaming. They also offer a competitive library of watchables—from comedies, to dramas, to documentaries. They believe that what they bring to the table will win over some of their competitor’s audiences. And with the way things are shaping up, it seems like they are doing just fine.