NBCU’s PeacockBy Tom Dougherty
20 January 2020
The offerings of NBCU’s Peacock are anything but simple
In the world of streaming TV, simplicity pays. Netflix and Disney+ know this, but others – including the recently unveiled Peacock from NBCUniversal – haven’t figured that out.
Hulu sports one of the most confusing interfaces in the industry. Amazon Prime isn’t much better. The jury’s still out on Apple+ but understanding how it works hasn’t seemed overly complicated.
Meanwhile, figuring out how to use Disney+ is so easy a child could navigate it. (And probably does.) Netflix and its more than 150 million subscribers have learned how to understand its workings.
Now, we get Peacock, which unveiled its pricing structure and launch date (April 15) at the Television Critics Association’s press tour last week in Los Angeles.
See if you understand this, and how you’ll end up choosing.
There’s two levels: Peacock Free and Peacock Premium. OK so far. But Premium has TWO options: a $4.99/month ad-supported offering 15,000 hours of programming and A SECOND Premium alternative, a $9.99/month ad-free service.
“How will Peacock be received? My guess is that initial subscribers will go the Free route until they understand how the two levels of Premium works, then make a choice. But seems that NBCU hasn’t made a choice either.”
How do you choose among the tiers of NBCU’s Peacock?
Hmm. My first question. What is the difference between Peacock Free (with ads) and Peacock Premium 1 (also with ads)? I had to search around the internet to find an answer and it turns out it’s the amount of content. Free offers 7,500 hours of content. Premium 1 (which isn’t how NBCU calls it) streams full seasons of just about everything.
Now, I see it. But it’s overly complicated and I have no idea how to choose. Or even if I will.
Simplicity isn’t just important in streaming TV. It’s important in everything. For any brand to succeed, its meaning must be clear and immediately understood. Anything overly complex raises a hurdle to adoption.
As consumers, we actually prefer inertia to action. Spurring someone to action takes a stake through the heart, so to speak.
The launch of Disney+ was an enormous success because its brand is a powerful and clear representation of magic. Apple+ is trying to simplify streaming TV choices by becoming the house of them all.
How will Peacock be received? My guess is that initial subscribers will go the Free route until they understand how the two levels of Premium works, then make a choice. But seems that NBCU hasn’t made a choice either.
Instead, it left it up to viewers to sort through the confusion. April 15 is tax day. So maybe that fits. Because sorting through the Peacock offerings feels like filling out a tax form.
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