NBC launched its Peacock streaming service in 2020 with the option for viewers to watch content on a heavily restricted free tier, but NBC has now ditched that option for new accounts.
Peacock’s free tier has been available since the streaming service first debuted, but had some heavy restrictions. Free accounts had a limited amount of content compared to paid tiers, with some shows like The Office only offering a limited number of episodes, and content added after airing on NBC was unavailable. Only select episodes of Peacock originals were available on the free tier as well.
But now, free accounts on Peacock are not available to new subscribers. Signing up for a new account requires a paid tier.
NBC Universal said in an email to 9to5Google that the change was part of a “shift in focus” towards Peacock’s paid offerings, which NBC says “create the best experience for a majority of viewers.” NBC adds that it expects to reach 100,000 hours of streaming content in 2023.
Peacock plans now include the $4.99/month “Premium” tier that includes the full content library, live sports, and NBC and Bravo shows as they air on TV. The $9.99/month “Premium Plus” tier upgrades on that with support for offline viewing, no ads, and a livestream of a local NBC channel.
Existing users of Peacock’s free tier won’t see their accounts disabled, but new customers are not able to sign up for free. NBC did confirm to 9to5Google that existing Premium members can downgrade to a free streaming tier.
Peacock is also offering a temporary discount on annual plans, though, with as much as 40% in savings.
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