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Peacock TV 2024 Review: Is This Streaming Service Worth Your Money?

March 10, 2024

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Peacock TV has seen impressive growth since launching in 2020, adding exclusive content and live sports to stand out in the crowded streaming market. But is it really worth paying for yet another streaming subscription? This comprehensive review examines Peacock’s catalog, pricing, interface and more to determine if it should be on your must-have list.

Overview

Peacock Tv

Peacock TV is the streaming service from NBCUniversal, focusing on content from NBC, Universal Pictures, Dreamworks, Bravo and more. It offers current shows next-day, exclusive Peacock originals, live news and events, classic series, movies and some live sports.

Peacock originally launched in 2020 with a free, ad-supported tier with about two-thirds of its catalog. But as of January 2023, the free tier is now only available to existing accounts as Peacock pushes towards being a fully paid service.

Key specs:

  • Launch date: July 2020
  • Monthly price: $4.99 with ads, $9.99 no ads
  • Free tier: Only for existing accounts
  • Supported devices: iOS, Android, Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, web browsers
  • Top titles: The Office, Yellowstone, Bel-Air, Premier League

Peacock’s TV Shows and Movies

Peacock Tv Home

Peacock offers about 20,000 hours worth of on-demand movies and shows spanning current NBC series, Peacock Originals, Dreamworks Animation, live sports and events and licensed content.

The service benefits from access to NBCUniversal properties like Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Dreamworks Animation and Illumination. It also licensed some titles from other studios.

Peacock Original Series

Peacock Original Series

While Peacock’s originals catalog isn’t extensive yet, it has produced some buzzy and critically acclaimed shows. These include:

  • Bel-Air: Dramatic reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air starring Jabari Banks.
  • Rutherford Falls: Comedy co-created by Mike Schur about small town culture clashes.
  • We Are Lady Parts: British comedy following an all-female Muslim punk band.
  • Girls5eva: Comedy about a one-hit wonder girl group from the 90’s who reunite.
  • The Best Man: The Final Chapters: Revival of the popular Best Man franchise from Malcolm D. Lee.

Peacock also revived Saved By the Bell and Punky Brewster, both of which earned strong reviews from critics and fans.

And Peacock’s breakout 2023 hit is the critically acclaimed murder mystery comedy Poker Face starring Natasha Lyonne. With a certified fresh 93% Rotten Tomatoes score, Poker Face shows Peacock can create addicting original content to drive subscriptions.

Beyond buzzy scripted fare, Peacock offers popular reality series from Bravo like The Real Housewives of Miami and Below Deck Down Under.

WWE and Premier League fans also get access to live wrestling events and soccer matches not available on other mainstream services.

Classic Sitcoms and Dramas

Where Peacock shines brightest is its catalog of classic NBC comedies, especially mega-hits like:

  • The Office
  • Parks and Recreation
  • 30 Rock
  • Frasier
  • Cheers

Having every episode of these legendary sitcoms is a huge draw for Peacock. And most other iconic NBC comedies like Seinfeld and Friends will likely end up on Peacock eventually as licensing deals expire.

Beyond comedy, Peacock offers complete runs of critically acclaimed NBC dramas:

  • Friday Night Lights
  • Downton Abbey
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • House
  • Law & Order franchises

The streamer has also licensed lots of great sitcoms from other networks, including:

  • Modern Family (ABC)
  • The Mindy Project (Fox)
  • Psych (USA Network)
  • Monk (USA Network)
  • Everybody Hates Chris (UPN/The CW)
  • The George Lopez Show (ABC)

Add in numerous NBC classics like ER, Miami Vice, The A-Team, Knight Rider and more, and you’ve got hundreds of hours of bingeable classics.

Movies Catalog

While not as deep as dedicated movie streaming services, Peacock offers an eclectic mix of films spanning classics, recent theatrical hits, and forgotten gems.

Universal Pictures provides a pipeline of new theatrical releases like Halloween Ends, Bros, Violent Night and more. Peacock also licenses titles from other major studios and has films spanning action, drama, horror, family, documentary and more.

Genres and franchises well represented include:

  • Blockbusters like Jurassic WorldThe Matrix and Shrek
  • Horror via HalloweenPsychoThe Birds
  • Oscar winners such as Schindler’s List and Moonlight
  • Comedies like Knocked UpMeet the ParentsPitch Perfect

For movie buffs that like digging for hidden gems, Peacock’s catalog has cult classics many streamers lack like Better Off Dead, Gleaming the Cube and Fear of a Black Hat.

While not as robust as pure movie services, Peacock’s film offering combined with its TV catalog provides strong overall value – especially for under $10 a month.

Drawbacks and Missing Content

Peacock has improved licensed content over time, but a few odd omissions stand out in 2023:

  • No Yellowstone despite its network Paramount airing on NBCUniversal channels
  • Missing random seasons/episodes of certain shows like Law & Order: SVUThe Mindy Project
  • Lacks much content for kids compared to Disney+/HBO Max

And a big gap is prestigious HBO series absent from Peacock like Game of Thrones, Euphoria and The White Lotus. Hopefully more Warner Bros. content comes aboard later.

Original movies are also still a weakness. While the Universal pipeline helps, more streaming films like Netflix and Amazon churn out would be welcome.

Peacock TV User Experience

Peacock offers apps for all major platforms and devices like iOS, Android TV, Fire TV, Roku and browsers. Overall the interface provides a smooth streaming experience, but has some annoyances.

Peacock Devices

Signing Up and Profiles

Getting started only takes a few minutes to create an account and set up profiles. Peacock allows up to six profiles tied to one account like Netflix.

The service also links with pay TV provider accounts from Comcast Xfinity, Cox and Spectrum to unlock deals like free access to Peacock Premium. You can also get Peacock on LG TVs, Roku devices, Vizio TVs, and Amazon Fire TV stick.

Navigation and Viewing Experience

The Peacock interface follows typical modern streaming UI conventions – homepage carousels by section, continue watching rows, A-Z listings, search etc.

Useful touches include:

  • Trending section curated by Peacock’s algorithms
  • Coming Soon carousel for upcoming titles
  • Rotten Tomatoes scores displayed prominently for movies

However, some aspects feel clunky like navigating the live Channel Guide and lack of grid view for A-Z listings. Profiles and downloads also only display at the very bottom rather than prominently up top.

During video playback, Peacock offers the typical pause, rewind and subtitles options. Streams stay crisp with minimal buffering for most premium subscribers.

Peacock Tv Viewing Experience

Downsides:

  • No ability to remove Continue Watching titles
  • Limited HDR and 4K support
  • Channel guide navigation quirks

But on the whole Peacock provides a smooth, reliable viewing experience comparable to established streamers. Room for UI refinement remains, but the fundamentals satisfy.

Ads on Peacock

Both of Peacock’s paid tiers include ads by default. Peacock Premium has about 5 minutes of ads per hour with ad-breaks during programming.

Upgrading to the $9.99 Premium Plus tier removes ads from all on-demand content. Though some live programming like WWE events still contains ads.

During testing, ad frequency matched the promised 5 minutes per hour. Commercial breaks land about where they would on regular TV.

Pros

  • Interesting “binge ad” format plays ~2 minutes upfront then allows ad-free viewing
  • Relatively non-intrusiveCons
  • Annoying that Premium Plus doesn’t eliminate all ads
  • Some platform apps seem to reset ad timers

Cost and Value of Peacock

Peacock shakes up the standard premium streaming price point at just $4.99 per month for full catalog access. Comparable tiers on Netflix, HBO Max and Disney+ fall between $9-$16.

Here is how Peacock costs and features stack up:

PlanPrice/moFeaturesAds?
Peacock Premium$4.99Full catalog, WWE, news & events, next-day NBC shows, early late night, some live sportsYes
Peacock Premium Plus$9.99All Premium features, live local NBC affiliatesSome live programming

Promotions and Deals

Existing cable/internet customers from Comcast Xfinity, Cox and Spectrum can unlock free or discounted Premium access via account linking. This perk alone makes having a Peacock sub worthwhile for eligible cord-cutters.

The streamer also frequently offers promotional discounts like 99 cent months for new members, analogs to the Netflix and HBO Max Black Friday sales.

Bottom line: Peacock provides unmatched value at just $4.99 monthly. Compared to the highest Netflix tier at $20.99 with ads (!), the savings add up fast. While the content library has gaps, you easily recoup costs watching 1-2 NBC classics per month.

The Verdict: Is Peacock Worth Paying For?

The Bottom Line: Thanks to its affordable pricing, extensive TV catalog from NBC, live news/sports and growing originals slate, Peacock deserves a spot in most streamers’ rotations.

While the movie catalog lags rivals, Peacock checks enough boxes across sought-after genres to satisfy both casual and more niche streaming fans. Having full runs of hits like The Office and Modern Family provides endless comfort viewing.

And with major ratings successes like Poker Face and Yellowstone exclusivity rights, Peacock continues leveling up into a premium streaming competitor.

The quality and variety of content will likely never reach Netflix or Disney heights. But at just $4.99 monthly, Peacock delivers ample bang for your buck if you stream NBC/Universal properties with any regularity.

Peacock’s Strengths

  • Inexpensive compared to other premium streamers
  • Extensive NBCUniversal TV library spanning sitcoms, dramas, news, WWE
  • Growing slate of well-reviewed Peacock Originals like Poker Face
  • Live events and replays for Premier League, Sunday Night Football, World Wrestling Entertainment
  • Robust content pipeline from NBCU networks and Universal Pictures theatrical releases

Where Peacock Can Improve

  • Continuing to acquire exclusive rights to buzzy licensed content like Yellowstone
  • Adding full runs of a few missing classic NBC series like Seinfeld
  • Making the interface and viewing experience more seamless
  • Expanding original movies and kids content catalogs
  • Eliminating ads on all programming for Premium Plus subscribers

So should savvy streamers prioritize Peacock in 2024? While more content gaps remain than leading services, NBCUniversal continues making a compelling case between cost, quality licensed titles and burgeoning originals.

Give the free tier a test drive – but the Premium plan’s value equation tips scales into easy recommendation territory for frequent NBCUniversal viewers.

Hopefully the strengths highlighted in this Peacock review help you determine if the streamer deserves a long-term spot in your stacking arsenal. Feel free to share any questions in comments!