Wasn’t just a few minutes ago that Peacock was one of the highly anticipated streaming options. To be fair so was QUIBI, (Yeah I am just going to keep beating that dead horse). In fact I asked one media executive point-blank if Peacock was the worst proposal for a new streaming service yet and he said “is this a world where Quebey exists (because nobody knew how to say it). But we are not here to talk about the new Roku content today. The story is Peacock, or more, that Peacock knows it did not launch with the right model.
A leak picked up by Business Insider says that Peacock is looking to do a relaunch of sorts that will fix lingering issues that came to light during the year late Olympics and other feedback Comcast has received. The idea is that the cable giant wants to position Peacock as a giant in the streaming world. A top 4 service. That means it would be up there with Netflix, Amazon and Disney-Hulu. Jut try to tell me that Disney doesn’t see them that way. If not Peacock will have to surpass Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, Hulu and HBO Max, and more to make it into the top tier. But it is obvious that Comcast has plans for Peacock beyond what we have seen so far. Just yesterday we made the point that Comcast is playing Google.
Can it do so? Maybe, but it is going to take a lot more than an interface refresh and exclusive access to Universal Pictures releases after they play in the movie theaters.
Get that Sunday Ticket
If NFL Sunday ticket is in fact on the market this would be the kind of thing that Peacock could use to make a mark. If it were to grab the popular NFL package that lets users watch games from outside of their market and make it universally available (see what I did there) to streaming customers for a fee, it would immediately vault the service into a tier.
Use the Hulu Model
Be the place to view all of the programming from all of its channels within 24 hours of airing. Comcast knows how to do this. They were a founder of Hulu. Well peacock needs to be the Hulu of its entire lineup. That would be compelling. Become the streaming home of the entire Universal family of Networks. Did you miss the latest USA original? Watch tomorrow on Peacock, want the latest Celeb gossip from E? Watch it on Peacock. It is already a home for the latest NBC content. Expand it to SyFy and the rest of its properties.
Combine the NBC app and Peacock
NBC has had an app for years that has never gotten the push it needed to be a go to place for content. Yet it’s a well thought out app. It is currently a service meant for pay TV customers who authenticate to get access to their shows from the whole family of Universal networks. HBO used to have the same thing. It was called HBO Go. Then it launched a separate service available for customers who did not have cable called HBO Now. See where I’m going here. Keep up, camera man. It finally dawned on AT&T/Warner Media that having two apps made no sense. The same conclusion should very well have dawned on a TV company like Comcast.
The Interface does need work. Here is what it needs
Shows should be grouped by genre and network. If Peacock does what it should and puts all of its networks in one place then it should have hubs like Disney+ or Discovery+. Customers should be able to jump into USA Network’s shows or The SyFy Channel to find their favorites. There is still room to pack similar shows together in a different cross-network category search as well.
Further emphasize the “Channels”
I would be curious to know how many people are aware of just how much content is free on the Channels section of Peacock. The lean back portion of the app works well and has plenty to see that is exclusive to the streamer. I would go a step further and follow Roku’s direction. The company built a FAST into the Roku channel but recently launched a new stand-alone app that delivers the content, while still maintaining its presence within the Roku Channel.
Further, Emphasize the Sports
Sports talk shows, Soccer, Sunday Night Football, Notre Dame, NASSCAR. That’s not a bad lineup. But it could use a lot more. Peacock/NBC/Comcast have a deep-rooted background in big-time sports. ESPN+ is stepping it game up big time getting more live content as it becomes a UFC hub along with Baseball, Hockey, and college sports. Peacock needs to bring more. It should become the place to stream NHL Hockey. NBC blew it with the NBC Sports Network but that does not mean that it can’t put together interesting content. Peacock should be embarrassed that Roku was easier to use in order to access the Olympics. That should have been Peacock’s Olympics interface. It can’t get things wrong for the 2022 games. Again there is an NBC sports app. Nobody says that Peacock can’t just import the feel of it.
Streamline WWE content
Peacock has the rights to the most extensive library of Pro wrestling content on the planet. It should work with its WWE partners to make its content more searchable and discoverable. It should also put more muscle into marketing the fact that it is now the home of Wrestlemania. The WWE section of the app should have its own feel even if branded to match the rest of the app. Again take a tip from Discovery+. Users should be able to find matches featuring specific performers, Users should be able to easily zero in on specific promotions. WCW, WWF, AWA, WCCW etc. Content rows are very 2001. Make the app look less like the Netflix Wii interface and more like a modern streaming service in general. Remember Hubs. Show your audience respect and make it easy and they will reward you.
Allow for Live Streaming of NBC
Again there is a model for this. It’s called Paramount+/CBS All Access. It can be done. If Peacock were a way to bring in NBC without cable or an antenna it would be a lot more attractive. For all the hype around sports people love watching Wheel of Fortune, Soap operas, daily news, and the rest of what comes on live. This could be a highest-tier option. the $9.99 tier. Commercial free is not the way to go. People keep implying that they would rather save money than skip commercials. But if you deliver a whole new magnitude of service it could make a difference.
Heavy Investment In Originals
Maybe Peacock doesn’t need it, but what sets streaming services apart is the original content. And let’s face it, year one didn’t pan out. Saved By the….yaaawwwwn. Punky Br.. cough cough. What to watch the next generation of spoiled high school kids in a rich zip code or IDK Baba Fet kick ass? Peacock needs to either bring in true standout content or abandon the idea of exclusive programming. It could even put most of its eggs in a few baskets but do it right. No more retread content. It has real iconic programming. Maybe it’s time for Sam to open a new bar. Maybe it’s time for Kristen Bell to walk back into the Good Place. But 80’s nostalgia has to go. For God’s sake, Comcast owns movie studios. Where is the Transformers series, where is the Fast And The Furious series? Why not try to build up interest in a dark monster universe via TV the way Disney builds Star Wars and the MCU through its shows? This is inside the box thinking am talking about not innovation. Frankenstein Back Story, Dracula Origin. Come on man.
There is actually a lot of potential for Peacock but if any company rested on its laurels in 2020 it was Comcast. It should act like the titan of the industry that it is and stop looking like an also-ran.