Week In Review: NBC Reveals Its Peacock Feathers, Hulu Adds Even More Cool New Ad ProductsJanuary 17, 2020
1. NBC Reveals Its Peacock Feathers
NBC finally released details of its Peacock service and the good news is it sounds like The Way You’d Configure Network TV If You Were Designing Something For 2020.
In other words I’m not sure why anyone would actually tune into linear NBC other than perhaps habit or boredom.
But we’ll circle back to that in a minute.
The key thing about Peacock is that it will limit itself to just five minutes per hour of commercials. Which is less than one-third of what you’ll find on NBC now, where commercial breaks can eat up as much as 16 minutes of every hour.
In other words, a very very noticeable lessening of the ad load.
In addition, NBC is going to use many of the fancy new advertising units that Hulu rolled out, helping to make said fancy new advertising units more ubiquitous. (More on that shortly too.)
For consumers, there will be a $10/month ad-free version, a $5/month ad-supported version and a free version, though if you’re a Comcast or Cox subscriber you get more stuff for free and the free-free version sounds a lot like a FAST, which means it’s a great opportunity for NBC to try and upsell you by frequently showing you previews of Really Good Shows You Can Only Watch If You Upgrade.
Because, well, why not? You’re a captive audience and the service is free.
Why It Matters
NBC’s plan makes a lot of sense and should not alienate MVPDs That Aren’t Comcast. This is a win for them, especially since HBO Max still hasn’t figured out a way to do something similar with MVPDs That Aren’t AT&T.
HBO’s situation is much trickier than NBC’s because they have a premium product that people pay $15/month for, one that many MVPDs use as a loss leader to attract new customers. (“Get three free months of HBO when you sign up now!”) whereas nothing NBCU sells costs extra.
How HBO transitions the close to 40 million people who HBO from their MVPD over to Max without majorly pissing off said MVPDs is bound to be one of the most interesting things to watch as the Flixcopalypse plays out, and TBH, we’re not really sure how they’re going to do it.
Then there’s the ad load thing.
Clearly NBC is banking on the fact that at some point in the not too distant future, all of NBC is going to be watched via some form of Peacock because who’d want to sit through 16 minutes of commercials when you could watch the same shows with just five?
Part of that decision is likely due to NBC realizing that digital isn’t winning and that brands attach great value of TV advertising as that there is no alternative in terms of reaching a mass audience with an emotionally powerful message, and so brands will pay the same, if not more money for the five minutes Peacock is offering them as they did for the 16 minutes they can get with linear NBC now.
(Added bonus: since Peacock and similar are digitally delivered and subscription-based, the Flixes get to take…