Peacock Shuts Down Free, Ad-Supported Tier for New Users

After making Peacock's free ad-supported tier a major part of the promotion around the launch of the service, NBCUniversal has decided to cancel the plan altogether. While those already signed up for Peacock's "Free as a bird" level will continue to have access to the service, new sign-ups have been deactivated. Instead, those interested in getting the service will either have to sign up for the Premium plan ($4.99 per month) or the Premium Plus plan ($9.99 per month). While both carry a sizable library, ads are still included on the smaller of the two paid plans.

"As part of Peacock's growth strategy, we are shifting our focus to the Premium offering which is more reflective of the brand and the unique experience we can bring subscribers," a spokesperson for the streamer said in a statement.

According to the company's year-end earnings call earlier this month, Peacock ended up losing more than $2.5 billion throughout 2022. Furthermore, the company expects the platform to suffer even more losses this year before beginning to even out in the years ahead.

"Peacock's full-year EBITDA loss of $2.5 billion was in line with the outlook we provided a year ago, and for 2023, we expect Peacock losses to be up modestly to around $3 billion," Comcast president Mike Cavanagh said during the call. "As we've said previously, we believe 2023 will be peak losses for Peacock and from there steadily improve."

According to that same call, Peacock's total user base grew to over 20 million subscribers in 2022.

"It's very clear we picked the right business model," added NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell. "We made that investment... and made clear from the start we're going to make a return on that investment. I think we feel better about that now."

Have you been using Peacock's ad-supported level? Which other streaming services do you use? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!