Peacock continues to shift its focus to paid subscriber growth. Yesterday, the streamer began notifying Xfinity customers that on June 26, 2023, Peacock Premium will no longer be bundled in at no extra charge, an NBC Universal spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch.
Plus, starting on April 3, new Xfinity subscribers will be able to get six months free of Peacock, the spokesperson added. Once the six-month trial is over, Xfinity customers will get Peacock at a discounted price. The discounted price has yet to be decided.
Xfinity Flex customers and Xfinity X1 customers who have a subscription to Xfinity Internet or Digital Starter TV have had access to the ad-supported plan of Peacock Premium at no additional cost ever since the streaming service launched in 2020.
A Reddit user leaked the news a few days ago with a screenshot of an internal support document, which states, “Starting April 3, Peacock Premium will no longer be included for new Xfinity video and Flex customers. Customers will be presented with discounted offer details within the Peacock app. Stay tuned for offer details and more information.”
The document also noted that, on June 26, existing Peacock Premium subscribers will need to resubscribe via their Xfinity 1 or Flex account.
The NBCU spokesperson pointed out that it was always in the company’s plans to eliminate the Peacock complimentary offer for Xfinity customers. Back in June 2022, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell talked about the change during the Credit Suisse Communications Conference.
“Comcast homes who get Xfinity get Peacock Premium for free. At some point, we’ll roll that to pay,” Shell said. “Millions of people in Comcast homes are getting it for free.”
Peacock has yet to be profitable for parent company Comcast. While Peacock recently reported revenue of $2.1 billion, its losses widened to $978 million, compared with a loss of $559 million in 2021.
The streaming service added five million paid subscribers in Q4 2022 to bring the total to 20 million — which doesn’t include free or promotional accounts.
The NBC Universal spokesperson reiterated to us that emphasizing its Premium subscription keeps Peacock competitive in the current environment. A lot of streaming rivals have increased the price of their subscription plans, including Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and Netflix. Peacock offers one of the most affordable options for cord-cutters, next to Paramount+, Discovery+ and Apple TV+.
The ad-supported version of Peacock Premium currently costs $4.99 per month. As of December 2022, DirecTV Stream customers can add a Peacock Premium subscription for only $2.99/month.
Last month, Peacock stopped offering the free tier to new subscribers. However, the free tier — which offers less content — is still available to subs that already have the plan.
Throughout 2023, Peacock plans to expand its Premium content to approximately 100,000 hours.