Peacock TV is available with three different subscriptions plans with each one catering to a different type of viewer. Understanding the difference between the free, Premium and Premium Plus ad-free options can help to ensure you are getting the best value from a Peacock streaming experience.
Unlike other streaming services, the differences between the three Peacock access levels are a lot more nuanced than simply the number of streams or the resolution quality. For those simply interested in the main differences, below is a summary of the information provided in this guide.
Peacock free, Premium, and Premium Plus differences:
|$0||$4.99 p/m||$9.99 p/m|
|13,000+ hours of content||20,000+ hours of content||20,000+ hours of content|
|NBC shows one week after air||Next day access to NBC shows||Next day access to NBC shows|
|Select Originals||Peacock Originals||Peacock Originals|
|Limited sports||Premier sports||Premier sports|
Peacock free tier explained
Peacock is one of the latest services to offer a completely AVOD level of access. Ad-supported video on demand has become an important part of the streaming landscape and while many services are classified as an AVOD service, if they still charge a monthly fee then it is more accurate to say the service adopts a hybrid AVOD and SVOD approach. In contrast, true AVOD services do not charge customers anything and instead, directly rely on the use of ads to generate revenue.
Peacock’s entry-level tier is a true AVOD plan as the access does not include any monthly cost to the subscriber. It’s is free. Of course, this does also result in a more limited service in comparison and that is what consumers will have to weigh up before making a decision on whether the free tier is the right one for them.
One of the biggest limitations with the free Peacock tier is the availability of content. Peacock provides subscribers with limited access to movies and TV shows. In the case of TV, the reduction is not only going to be in terms of the variety of shows that are on offer, but also the number of episodes from the same show.
This is not to say that all shows will only offer part-access to specific series or limited seasons in general, as free Peacock does include many classic shows and in their entirety. In fact, the service currently offers free users streaming access to more than 13,000 hours of programming, including access to current NBC shows one week after they air.
Peacock Premium explained
Peacock Premium costs $4.99 per month or $49.99 when paid annually. Although NBCUniversal classifies this tier as ‘premium,’ it is better to simply think of it in terms of the standard subscription.
Unlike the free tier, Peacock Premium provides unlimited access. Therefore, there is no content available on Peacock that a Premium subscriber cannot stream. This includes the ability to watch all of the movies and every episode of all the TV shows currently streaming on the platform. To put the difference into perspective, while the free tier launched with more than 13,000 hours of programming, a Premium subscription provides access to more than 20,000 hours.
Peacock Premium additional benefits:
- Next day access to NBC shows
- Peacock Originals
- Premier sports
The major downside with the Premium subscription is that it includes ads. Although subscribers are paying for a subscription, it is additionally supported through the use of adverts. In this sense, it is very similar to the way a basic Hulu subscription works, with subscribers paying a monthly fee and still encountering advertisements during playback. Also similar to the basic Hulu subscription, Peacock does offer an even more premium subscription for those looking to skip the ads.
Premium Plus (ad-free) explained
Peacock Premium Plus currently costs $9.99 per month, or $99.99 if paid annually. With the understanding of what the standard Premium subscription offers, the Plus version becomes very easy to decide on, considering it is the same subscription overall.
There is currently no difference in terms of the access or variety of content on offer between the Peacock Premium and Premium Plus tiers. The only difference is the removal of ads. It should also be noted that although Premium Plus removes the ads, there are situations where ads are still a possibility.
Due to streaming rights, a small amount of programming will still contain ads (Peacock channels, events and a few shows and movies)Source: Peacock
Free, Premium and Premium Plus summary
While Peacock is being offered in three different tiers, the decision of which one is right for any individual subscriber is relatively straightforward. There are no variations in any of the additional features, including the number of devices that can stream at the same time.
Considering the basic tier is free, and consumers are able to test this plan out without having to pay, the only real decision to make is between the Premium and Premium Plus tiers. This decision strictly comes down to whether the consumer is happy to pay less each month (or year) and view ads in return, or whether they would prefer to pay twice the monthly amount to remove the ads.
Regardless of which premium version is right for you, there is no commitment or obligation beyond the current month. As this is a no-contract streaming service, consumers retain the ability to upgrade or downgrade a Premium subscription at any point. Similarly, Premium and Premium Plus subscribers can always cancel a Peacock subscription altogether and still enjoy access to all of the content available through the free version.