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Review: Peacock Premium in 2021

You have many choices today when it comes to streaming services and what you want to stream. Peacock is another one of those options.

Peacock, the NBCUniversal-owned streaming service, is one of the newest members in the streaming wars and it has definitely made some of its own moves in the past year since it launched last year.

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It costs $4.99 a month for the ad-supported model and $9.99 a month for the ad-free version, both of which can be subscribed to through in-app purchases in the App Store.

There is a completely free version of Peacock that has more ads and not as much content available too.

When it comes to Peacock’s type of content, let’s start with exclusive TV shows.

Right now, the streaming service has exclusive streaming rights to “Two and a Half Men,” “George Lopez,” “The Office,” as well as exclusive original TV shows like “A.P. Bio,” the reboot of “Saved by the Bell” and “Intelligence” starring David Schwimmer from the old NBC sitcom “Friends” (not on Peacock).

For movies, it’s not that bad. At this time, Peacock currently has the “Harry Potter” franchise, “The Hunger Games” movies, as well as a few other movie trilogies and franchises. This is good because it allows the viewers to binge through them on one streaming service instead of having to go through multiple ones, or worst of all, having to rent them through the Apple TV app or Prime Video.

Outside of franchises, it has some good ones that include “Inception,” “Stuck in Love” and both “Grown Ups” movies.

Peacock did kick it up a notch this year and got the exclusive streaming rights to “The Boss Baby: Family Business.” This is a big deal for streaming services and their users because of the way how the movie theater business has changed and that users who have the service, with ads or without them, will not have to pay an additional fee to watch that movie, which is unlike services like Disney+ that often require new movies to be streamed on the service for $29.99 with its Premiere Access price.

Another aspect of Peacock is the fact that it does cater to sports fans. Peacock does regularly carry sporting events like WWE, select NHL games, the 2021 Olympics, MLB baseball games and others.

While that sounds nice for its users, it is one of its downfalls.

A few weeks ago, my brother came to visit me and he is a major racing fan. Our plan was to stream the Indy 500 through Peacock, as I had seen that the streaming service had been carrying practice and qualifying coverage all the previous week leading up to the race.

The big issue was we found out that Peacock would not be showing the actual race live. To me, that left a bad taste in my mouth.

Sporting events like that, especially since it was being carried on NBC, should have been a no-brainer for Peacock to get streaming rights to. Both at the race and in the NBC broadcast, that would have been an excellent way to market and advertise its streaming service to the world.

Looking beyond this problem, with the shut down of NBC’s sports network (NBCSN) later this year, it might be in NBC’s best interest to make sure that the race gets streamed on Peacock and not just the pre-race stuff.

Additionally, for its sports content, while I was a fan of Peacock carrying the Notre Dame football spring game back in May, that’s not enough. I expect NBC to eventually get streaming rights so if a Notre Dame game or even NFL Sunday Night Football game is on national the NBC station, Peacock better be streaming the game live too.

If NBCUniversal wants to make Peacock better than the competition, another suggestion I have is that it gets streaming rights to its premium subscribers so they can live-stream their local NBC stations at no additional charge. It’s a feature services like Paramount+ have and it seems like it could be a good idea for NBCUniversal to integrate into Peacock.

As for the functionality on the devices themselves, the video player on the iPhone and iPad are fine, but do lack Picture-in-Picture support on both devices. While this might be fine on the iPhone, it seems like to not have it on the iPad, especially since the newer models do have bigger screens and better Retina Displays.

The tvOS app is not that good either, as it does struggle with the “What did they say” question.

Lastly (in terms of the cons), it needs a better menu. The fact that when I open the app and it does not take me to an interface similar to Netflix, Hulu or the Apple TV app is not good. It makes navigating the app harder and more annoying.

What I did like about the ad version of the service is it does have pretty leniently-timed commercial breaks. Not too long, not too short. I also like the clever thing that it does where they have ads when your programming is paused for a longer than normal duration.

Overall, Peacock has some work it needs to do before it is considered a top-tier streaming service. It has made some good moves with getting original movies like the sequel to “The Baby Boss” movie, but the live programming and lack of really any programming that is of high value or desire from the public is something that needs to be addressed if the service wants to truly compete.

It’s these reasons that give it 2/4 stars in my book, and trust me, that is a generous rating from me. I’m giving it an extra star to show that it does have potential in other areas, but for now, the people at NBCUniversal have a lot of calls to make and a lot of streaming deals to sign.

Rating: 2/4 stars

David Becker

Author: David Becker

Appleosophy Weekly

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