What Will Happen To Peacock’s Free Content?
Peacock/Comcast recently changed its signup options and dropped the option to sign up for a free Peacock account. The free option had been in place since the service launched providing access to free episodes of a number of shows but limiting the seasons avaialable along with access to a number of movies and the “Channels” which is a collection of 24-7 feeds including curated content from NBC and other Comcast stations along with partner based selections.
With the change we have to wonder if Peacock will look to monetize those channels on a standalone app. If it does so there is an obvious choice. It’s called Xumo Play. Comcast owns Xumo Play, which was previously just known as Xumo. For clarification purposes, at the end of 2022 Comcast announced that its streaming platform would be re-branded as Xumo across all products and that the standalone streaming app would change its name to Xumo Play.
Xumo Play is an extensive app with hundreds of 24-7 streams of everything from live streaming traditional TV channels to curated content from its many brand partners like Funny or Die. Xumo Play also has on-demand movies and TV shows. So if Comcast would like to monetize those formally free feeds Xumo Play would be a very logical place to do so. I could imagine each clip that comes from a Comcast property ending with a prompt like “See full episodes on Peacock!” It would not be dissimilar to how Paramount Inc uses Pluto TV to promote shows from Showtime and Paramount+. Give the folks some free stuff to encourage them to pay for more.
Peacock may choose to keep the channels option on the paid side of the ledger simply because it is another way to monetize its premium customers, but channels is not the default screen for the service which makes it less likely that paid users will gravitate to it.
I would not expect the movies and TV show episodes of legacy NBC properties to become available on Xumo Play unless Comcast sees the properties fail to draw attention in its paid tier and chooses to put them out for free with ads in order to make money off of them instead of sitting unseen.