On Thursday, Comcast’s NBCUniversal becomes the fourth company in less than a year to unveil a video-streaming service to compete with Netflix. But NBCU is taking a very different approach to its service, Peacock, than the three earlier companies, Disney, Apple and WarnerMedia, did, making it more of a test case for an alternative approach to video streaming.
While other services are mostly free of commercials but cost subscribers $5 to $15 a month, Peacock will rely heavily on advertising but will be free to Comcast cable subscribers and possibly other people. Secondly, Peacock will rely less on original shows and will fill its lineup with more reruns—in some cases shows that are available on other outlets—as well as news and sports. Netflix and Disney’s Disney Plus both rely heavily on originals as a way of persuading people they have programs that you can’t find elsewhere, and the services don’t carry news or sports.