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Peacock raises subscription costs for the first time since launch

After three years of debut, Peacock is looking into new growth measures and raising subscription costs for the first time.

Natasha Lyonne as Charlie Cale in Poker Face
Photo via Peacock

Peacock recently hiked to 22 million subscribers in Q1 of 2023, seeing a growth of two million subs from the end of Q4 of 2022. Engagement on the streaming platform also grew to 20 hours per subscriber per month, beaming a ray of growth for the NBCUniversal business.

Earlier this year, Peacock stopped offering a free version of its service to new subscribers, and is now taking a step further to accelerate the profitability of the service, hiking its subscription prices.

The news came on Monday evening as a first since Peacock’s debut in the summer of 2020. The streaming service will see an increase of a single dollar on its Premium subscription price (with ads), making it cost $5.99 per month. On the other hand, the Premium Plus subscription (ad-free) will rise to $11.99 per month, seeing a hike of two dollars.

Last month, NBCUniversal stopped bundling Peacock Premium for free for Comcast’s Xfinity customers. The price hike will immediately affect new subscribers, and will come into effect for existing users starting Aug. 17 on their next billing cycle. NBCUniversal said the price change will allow “Peacock to continue to invest in the best user experience and the highest-quality content while remaining competitive in the marketplace.”

The decision came as a part of Peacock’s new growth strategy after executives reiterated that they anticipate Peacock losses to peak this year at a total of around $3 billion. However, they are hopeful for a steady improvement from there.

Image via Peacock

According to NBCU, the platform aims to reach 100,000 hours of content over the coming year. So far, it has added more than 80,000 hours. Peacock currently delivers the most live sports of any direct-to-consumer streaming service in the U.S. The platform has also grown popular because of its recent hit originals including Bel-Air, Poker Face, The Continental, and more.

Subscribers can also stream popular titles like Yellowstone, The Office, and the Harry Potter movie series, while channel content from Hallmark and Reelz and daily morning news from CNBC and MSNBC is also aired exclusively on the app.

Additionally, Paramount Global recently increased the monthly fee for its streaming service Paramount Plus, which will be rebranded with Showtime in the third quarter of 2023. The monthly fee for the premium streaming service with no advertisements increased from $9.99 to $11.99 for Paramount+ with Showtime. The rising prices reflect the rising competition in the streaming business that has been met with huge popularity ever since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down theaters.

Kopal Kumari
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Kopal Kumari

Kopal (or Koko, as she loves being called) is highly opinionated, animal-loving, and adventurous. She's the type you'd never guess would write about entertainment, but she does, and she does it quite well.