Peacock puts his bird back in the cage.
According to an updated signup page for the streaming service NBCUniversal, new users no longer have the option to create a free account to access more than 10,000 hours of content on Peacock. Instead, starting this week, users will have to choose between Peacock’s $4.99 ad-supported monthly plan or its $9.99 ad-free plan. The direct link to create a free account also redirects to the same login page that prompts users to choose between the two paid plans.
Existing users with free accounts will continue to have access to the free tier.
An NBCUniversal representative said the update reflects Peacock’s focus on its premium plans and the influx of programming this year, including originals like the Natasha Lyonne starring Poker face and live sports.
The subscription update, which came out Monday and was first spotted by The Streamable, represents a major turnaround for Peacock, which has marketed its free tier — complete with the slogan “free as a bird” — to differentiate itself from its streaming competitors.
Peacock said last week it had surpassed 20 million paid subscribers, but expects losses, which were $2.5 billion in 2022, to reach $3 billion this year. The streamer also made its debut on Nielsen’s The Gauge, accounting for 1 percent of all TV viewing time in December, but trailing competitors like Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Prime Video and HBO Max.