This week, the much anticipated Peacock streaming service finally launched to a mostly positive reception. While some have complained about the number of ads, anyone who has used the NBC-branded streaming website or app knows it's still less than on that platform. However, the amount of on-demand content available for free is staggering: from modern favorites like 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation, to classic shows like The Carol Burnett Show and Murder She Wrote, there's a lot to watch.
But, there's been a lot of confusion involved in the launch as well. For example, users were surprised to find they can watch the Fox series Hell's Kitchen on the NBCUniversal-owned platform. While it's nice to see non-Universal series available on the platform, the show is missing a lot of its content. Of the 10 episodes in the first season, there are only 7 available on Peacock, while all 10 are available on the Disney-owned Hulu (Disney now owns Fox). If a series is going to skip episodes, including seasons finales, why even offer it at all?
The service seemingly has also been confusing for NBC itself. The company had to take a new approach to its upfront presentation this year. This presentation is usually a big event held in New York to present the newest slate of shows to advertisers, but this year a big gathering wasn't possible. To compensate, they created a 30 Rock special that served as the presentation. In it, they talked a lot about Peacock, because it's a place where advertisers can buy ad space.
Like we have become familiar with Hulu, the next morning (usually around 5 am Eastern), the show or special appears on streaming platforms. Since Peacock was brand new and highly featured in the special, it was reasonable to see the same behavior for Peacock. Unfortunately, it didn't appear on Peacock until 9 pm Eastern. However, it appeared on NBC's app and website in the morning. This goes to show that NBC still isn't sure exactly how or if these two platforms will live together, and which is more important to the business.
Before Peacock can really emerge as a top-tier freemium subscription service, NBC is going to need to work out what service is the priority and make consumers aware of that move.