As the streaming wars continue to heat up, one upcoming platform is considering a departure from the subscription-based model that typifies the industry. NBC is presently exploring an option for its forthcoming streaming service Peacock that derives revenue through ads rather than direct payments by viewers, ostensibly running free of charge. According to CNBC, there will also be an ad-free option for the service at an additional cost. No one from NBC has commented on the potential policy decision.
The news comes shortly after WarnerMedia announced the monthly cost to consumers for its own service, HBO Max. That platform will run a staggering $15 per month, $2 more expensive than Netflix and more than double the cost of Disney+ and Apple TV+, which run $6.99 and $4.99 per month, respectively. NBC was initially planning to offer the streaming service’s ad supported model exclusively to its cable subscribers, and charging everyone else.
Peacock will house NBC’s full catalog of past shows, offering full series like The Office, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and Cheers to viewers. The network has spent sums in the hundreds of millions of dollars to re-acquire the streaming rights to several of these shows from now-competitors like Netflix. In addition to these established titles, Peacock will also be the home of new series specifically produced for the platform, including upcoming titles from Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels and The Good Place helmer Mike Schur as reboots of Battlestar Galactica from Sam Esmail and Punky Brewster from Steve and Jim Armogida. The service will also be the exclusive home for 2020 Summer Olympic coverage in the United States.
According to CNBC’s report, NBC has yet to make a final decision on whether it will embrace the ad-based model over the industry standard subscription one. The forthcoming streaming service is expected to launch in April of next year.